DIET AND FITNESS:

7 Weird and Wonderful Health
Benefits of Drinking Buttermilk

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November 28, 2015

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist






Buttermilk may not be particularly fashionable –  the sour
taste may take some getting used to - but you’d be surprised
how many health benefits it has. This tart, distinctively
flavored milk can be drunk straight or used in cooking.

Buttermilk was originally the liquid left behind after cream
was churned for butter but, today, it most commonly refers
to a fermented dairy product made from cow’s milk. The
sour taste is due to the presence of lactic acid bacteria,
which also accounts for its thickness. Love it or loathe it,
buttermilk can be great for your health.

Nutrients in Buttermilk

Buttermilk is packed with essential nutrients.

The buttermilk you find in the stores typically is made from
low-fat cow’s milk.  A single, one-cup serving of buttermilk
contains around 8g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates, and 2g
of fat – 1g is saturated fat. When you drink a cup of
buttermilk you get 284mg of calcium, which is around 28
percent of the daily value and a little less than you’d find in a
cup of regular milk.

Buttermilk also contains 22 percent of the daily value of
phosphorous and riboflavin, plus 370mg of potassium.

Calcium is important for building strong bones as well as for
nerve function and muscle. You need phosphorous for cell
growth and maintenance and regulating heartbeat, plus
riboflavin is used for energy and for nerve function.

Is Buttermilk Good for You?



























While buttermilk contains these essential nutrients it can
certainly be seen as beneficial for your overall health – in
moderation.  

Make sure you choose a low-fat or no-fat version of
buttermilk or you could be consuming a lot of calories when
you opt for the full-fat version, and a lot of saturated fat
since 60 percent of the fat content is saturated. Buttermilk
also contains a higher amount of sodium than regular milk,
so it is best to combine buttermilk with regular as part of a
healthy diet.

Read on to find out more about buttermilk’s health benefits
and why you need to include this sour tasting milk in your
diet.  

1.
Buttermilk Helps Prevent Age-Related Macular
Degeneration – Without Raising Cholesterol


Increasing your intake of lutein is believed to decrease your
risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) of your
eyes. Egg yolks are high in lutein and are therefore a great
food to help prevent this condition.  But eating a lot of eggs
also increases your cardiovascular disease risk by raising
your cholesterol.

Buttermilk comes to the rescue. Drinking buttermilk with the
same meal that includes lutein-rich egg yolk increases your
lutein levels without affecting your cholesterol, according to
a 2014 study from Maastricht University Medical Center,
Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Therefore, buttermilk helps you keep clear of age-related
macular degeneration without hitting you with a cholesterol
raise. (Read more about
what to eat to boost your eye
health
.)

2.
Limit Cholesterol Impact By Eating Eggs with Buttermilk

In general, you can limit the
cholesterol hit of eggs by eating
them with buttermilk, reports a 2013 study from NUTRIM
School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht
University Medical Centre, the Netherlands.  

The study looked at the result of eating eggs with or without
buttermilk for a period of 12 weeks. The results show that
the rise in cholesterol is less pronounced when eggs are
combined with buttermilk.


3.
Reduce Your Blood Pressure with Buttermilk

A 2014 study from Laval University, Quebec, Canada
discovered that short-term buttermilk consumption reduces
your
blood pressure.

The milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) within buttermilk is
reportedly rich in bioactive proteins, which may possess anti-
hypertensive properties. Buttermilk consumption significantly
reduced systolic blood pressure and mean arterial blood
pressure in the study.

4.
Buttermilk is a Source of Natural Antioxidants

Antioxidants are excellent additions to a healthy diet as they
promote the destruction of damaging free radicals in your
body.

Buttermilk contains good levels of antioxidants, according to
a 2013 study from STELA Dairy Research Center and
Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Quebec
City, Canada.

5.
Buttermilk Could be Used as the Base for Functional Foods

According to a 2014 study from the University of Melbourne
in Australia, buttermilk can effectively carry and stabilize a
preparation of curcuminoids.  
Curcuminoids are compounds
found in the spice turmeric that reduce inflammation and
fight your risk for diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer .

Scientists believe that buttermilk is an effective base for the
components and could deliver them in functional foods and
drinks.

6.
Did You Know Buttermilk Can Actually Neutralize
Explosives?

Not strictly a health benefit you can use every day, but this
property of buttermilk is nevertheless surprising.

A 1998 study from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
reveals that nitroreductase enzymes found in buttermilk,
spinach, fungi and other natural compounds can actually eat
and transform explosives such as TNT, reducing them to low-
toxicity byproducts.

When mixed with a buffer solution and a reductant like lactic
acid, the enzymes transform the explosives into a byproduct
of the digestion process.

7.
Buttermilk is High in Vitamin D

If you drink just one cup of buttermilk you get 127
international units of
vitamin D – this is a high level, making
buttermilk a good source of vitamin D in the diet.

Vitamin D is used to help your body take in calcium, and also
to maintain the levels of phosphorous in the body. You need
enough vitamin D to prevent softening of the bones and the
condition
osteoporosis.






























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Buttermilk helps to lower blood
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