Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product, which tops the charts as one of the most refreshing and invigorating drink, especially during the summer season.
After all, what can be easier than chugging down a glass of chilled buttermilk to beat the unrelenting heat?
Originally, buttermilk was referred to as the liquid that was left over after churning butter from cream. However, today it is described as a fermented dairy drink, common in many countries with warm climates.
To make a distinction between the two types of buttermilk, the liquid left after churning butter from cream is known as traditional buttermilk. On the other hand, the fermented milk drink is known as cultured buttermilk.
It is true that buttermilk is often consumed as a healthy beverage, but it is also frequently used in cooking. It serves as a base to prepare homemade marinades, dips, smoothies, soups, and salad dressings. It is also used as an acidic ingredient in baked goods.
This fermented beverage is suitable for lactose-intolerant people who face difficulty meeting their daily calcium requirements from other dairy products. The microbes in buttermilk turn the lactose sugar into lactic acid, thus making it suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.
The nutritional profile of buttermilk is very impressive. It contains a good amount of vitamins A, D, and B12 as well as calcium, potassium, protein, selenium, phosphorus, and probiotics. Also, it is low in fat and calories.
It is on account of this nutrient-heavy profile that buttermilk is attributed with a whole string of health and beauty perks.
Advantages of Buttermilk
Here’s how you can utilize the goodness of buttermilk for better skin, hair, and overall health.
1. Improves Skin Tone
Being loaded with milk protein and lactic acid, buttermilk helps get rid of impurities and dead skin cells from the skin, which can steal away the natural glow from your skin.
- Mix enough buttermilk with a ½ cup of gram flour and 1 teaspoon of turmeric to make a smooth paste. Apply this mask on the skin. Allow it to dry on its own, and then rub off the mask using wet fingers. Finally, wash your face with water. Use this skin-lightening mask once a week.
- For daily treatment, mix a pinch of saffron in a ½ cup of buttermilk and set it aside for 30 minutes. Then, apply the solution on the skin and massage gently. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and then rinse it off thoroughly. Use this remedy once daily.
2. Lightens Marks and Spots
The lactic acid in buttermilk helps exfoliate the skin to remove spots and marks, and does so without drying out your skin.
- Apply buttermilk on your spots and marks using a cotton ball. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing the area with water. Follow this remedy once or twice daily until the marks are gone.
- Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons of dry orange peel powder with enough buttermilk to make a paste. Apply this paste on your skin and gently massage it around. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and then scrub it off. Rinse the area with cold water. Use this remedy two or three times a week.
3. Reduces Suntan
A suntan can be reduced using buttermilk, due to its lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acid content. Buttermilk also has a moisturizing property to keep the skin soft and smooth, which is important to accelerate the healing process.
Simply dabbing some pure buttermilk on the skin is a cheap and effective remedy for suntanned skin. To yield even better results, consider mixing it with other potent skin-protective ingredients.
- Blend ¼ cup of cold buttermilk along with ½ of a tomato. Optionally, add a handful of mint leaves. Apply this liquid to your suntanned skin. Allow it to dry on its own. Do this once daily.
- Alternatively, mix 2 teaspoons each of buttermilk and honey. Apply the mixture on the affected area using your fingertips. Massage the area for 5 minutes, and then let it sit for 20 minutes. Finally, wash off the area with plain water. Repeat this one or two times daily.
4. Cleanses the Skin
Buttermilk works as an excellent cleanser for the skin. It draws out and cleanses the dust, dirt, and other impurities from the skin. It also nourishes your skin from within to keep it looking healthy and bright.
- Dip a cotton ball in buttermilk and use it to cleanse your face. Then, rinse your skin with plain water. Use this simple remedy daily before going to bed.
- Alternatively, mix together equal amounts of buttermilk and rose water, and then add some drops of olive or almond oil to the mixture. Soak a cotton ball in this liquid and gently cleanse your skin to remove dirt and grime. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Do this daily or a few times a week.
5. Relieves Acidity and Bloating
It helps to beat the burning sensation you feel during a bout of acidity. Plus, buttermilk is low in fat and easy to digest.
- To improve digestion and relieve bloating, add a pinch of dry ginger powder and a little rock salt to a glass of buttermilk and drink it one or two times daily.
- To prevent heartburn and acidity after a heavy meal, simply drink a glass of cool buttermilk after you are done eating.
6. Boosts Your Calcium Intake
Buttermilk is a good source of calcium, especially for people who are lactose intolerant and cannot have milk. A glass of buttermilk can provide you with approximately 282 mg of calcium, which is almost 28% of the daily recommended value.
Aside from calcium, buttermilk also contains vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. The various enzymes present in buttermilk also help the body absorb and utilize calcium and other nutrients more efficiently.
7. Makes Hair Healthy and Strong
Buttermilk is highly beneficial for your hair. The healthy amount of protein and vitamins present in buttermilk provide much-needed nourishment to your hair to stimulate hair growth and make it healthy.
- Put the following ingredients in a blender: 3 tablespoons of buttermilk, 1 egg, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Blend until you get a smooth texture. Apply the paste all over your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap, and allow the paste to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse your hair well with cool water. Use this hydrating hair mask once a week.
- Alternatively, mix ½ to 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 banana (cut into small pieces) together in a blender. Apply this paste on your hair and scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and then wash it off with cold water. Use this hair mask once a week.
8. Fights Dandruff
- Apply buttermilk on your scalp and massage it gently for 10 minutes in circular motions. Allow the buttermilk to sit for 15 minutes, and then wash your hair with lukewarm water. Repeat this three or four times a week to fight dandruff.
- Alternatively, mix the juice of ½ of a lemon into a ½ cup of buttermilk. Massage this solution into the scalp. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before washing your hair. Do this remedy three or four times a week.
9. Reduces Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
A 2014 study published in Nutrition reports that short-term buttermilk consumption reduces blood pressure in normotensive individuals.
This is mainly due to the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) found in buttermilk. MFGM proteins possess biological activities, such as cholesterol-lowering, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Drink a glass of buttermilk daily. To enhance the taste, you can add dry herbs or dry-roasted cumin seed powder to it.
10. Prevents Heat Stroke
During the peak summer season, anyone can get heatstroke. To prevent it, drink a glass of cool buttermilk before going out in the sun.
If you need to go out in the sun during the summer days, carry a bottle of cold buttermilk with you. Have a few sips of it whenever the heat starts to get to you.
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