The origin of buttermilk is rather different from the present day buttermilk. Previous buttermilk actually meant the left over liquid after churning butter from the milk, which is how it derived its name. Now what we call buttermilk is usually the residual liquid after curd is churned and the butter removed. Usually it was considered the poor man's curd. But research and development of science has helped to understand the underlying advantages of this watery liquid. Now it has become an integral part of the Indian diet as well as many more diets the world over. It has superseded the qualities of both milk and curd in many ways. A quick glance at the host of benefits it offers –
• Probiotic food: The lactobacillus (lactic acid bacterium) present in buttermilk makes it an intestine friendly food. These bacteria survive the digestive passage and become active once they reach the intestines and hence the name probiotic. These beneficial bacteria help in combating pathogenic (disease causing) organisms ingested via food or water. They improve the disease fighting capacity of the host, thus boosting the immune system.
This easily digestible drink is light on the tummy and relieves symptoms of stomach upset, acidity, diarrhea or indigestion. As it helps in rebuilding the fluor of gastrointestinal tract it is believed to be helpful in chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. It definitely is an intestinal elixir.
• Nutritional benefits: This healthy and nutritious drink made by baking curd can be made more delicious by adding spices like cumin seeds, salt and chillies. Although watery in nature, the nutritional benefits can never be undressed.
1. Low-fat and low calorie: Removal of fat makes it a favorite with many dieters. Those aiming for weight loss can include it in their diet regimen as it is devoid of fat, but supplies all the essential nutrients.
2. Vitamins: It is a good source of B-vitamins. The lactobacillus along with the gut flora (intestinal bacteria) helps synthesize many B-vitamins like riboflavin and vitamin B12.
3. Minerals: Being a dairy product it is a rich source of calcium and is also rich in potassium.
• Ideal summer drink: In hot climate especially in tropics and in summers one feathers satiated with a glass of chilled buttermilk. Not just that, it rejuvenates and relieves signs of dehydration and sunstroke. This tangy drink along with a few pods of fenugreek seems to be an effective home remedy in reducing excess body heat and hot flushes.
• Being a low fat drink, it is beneficial to diabetics, hypertensives or those suffering from other cardiac problems.
So, next time opt for buttermilk instead of other processed drinks.