Summers are just around the corner and soon we will be craving cool drinks to satisfy our thirst.
And what better option than buttermilk (Chaas).
Most of us love buttermilk just because of its delicious taste but I am sure at the end of this reading, you are going to love buttermilk more than ever.
By the way, did you know that this dairy product is one of the healthiest things you can drink?
Let’s learn some of the most amazing benefits of buttermilk.
We will also discuss who should avoid drinking buttermilk and what are its alternatives.
In the end, I am also going to share the most delicious recipe of buttermilk
WHAT IS BUTTERMILK?
Well, the name sounds a little misleading, because buttermilk is not a blend of butter and milk and it is not a high-fat drink.
Traditional buttermilk is a kind of byproduct of butter, so when we churn butter from cream, the milk separates once the butter is ready.
This leftover milk is called buttermilk.
This churning process removes all the fat of the milk by converting it into butter and leaves the leftover milk turn sour, full of bacteria which is actually good for you in a lot of ways.
BENEFITS OF BUTTERMILK
You will be amazed to know the benefits of this single drink.
Let’s start with the first one.
1. PREVENTS ACIDITY
- Buttermilk can combat acid reflux. 
- Ginger and spices in buttermilk work as an antacid and soothe acidity.
- It acts as a coolant and cools your stomach naturally. 
- We tend to eat a lot of spicy and oily food, due to this our stomach lining gets irritated. A glass of buttermilk can ease out this irritation.
- The spices that we mix in buttermilk prevent indigestion and excessive burping. 
- When these condiments and buttermilk are consumed together, a cooling effect is made on the gastrointestinal tract.
- Buttermilk is a natural probiotic, it promotes good bacteria and boosts immunity.
- Overall good gut health is ensured by regular drinking of buttermilk. 
3. A GOOD SOURCE OF CALCIUM
- The biggest source of calcium is milk but it is also loaded with a lot of fats.
- On the other hand, buttermilk is a good source of calcium and has fat even less than regular whole milk.
- 1 glass of buttermilk boosts your calcium intake by 350 mg.
- It improves sleeps and also enables hormone synthesis. 
- For people who are lactose intolerant and cannot consume their calcium through milk, buttermilk is a great option. 
- Our bones start getting weaker as we grow in age, so it is very important to maintain our calcium intake in our diet.
4. FLUSH OUT FATS
- Buttermilk removes a coat of oil, butter, or ghee caused by a meal from the throat and stomach.
- After a heavy meal, you tend to feel drowsy, a glass of buttermilk can rejuvenate you.
- Having buttermilk after meals can relieve you of that heavy meal discomfort and bloating, hence making you feel lighter. 
5. LOW-FAT HEALTHY DRINK- SUITABLE FOR WEIGHTLOSS
- It is a low-fat drink enriched with proteins, potassium and B vitamins. 
- You can drink this throughout your weight loss journey. 
- You may think by its name that it must be full of fat content but you will be amazed to know that the fat content in buttermilk is even less than the normal milk.
- The drink satisfies hunger, this satiation prevents binge eating and snacking, therefore a person consumes less calorie.
- For people who are lactose intolerant, it is easily digested without a problem.
6. REDUCES CHOLESTEROL AND BLOOD PRESSURE
- Buttermilk is a natural remedy for controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Buttermilk has an abundance of bioactive proteins.
- These are antibacterial and antiviral in nature.
- Drinking buttermilk regularly has shown to lower blood pressure significantly. 
- Studies show that a glass of buttermilk daily can considerably reduce cholesterol. 
- Even Ayurveda texts recommend drinking buttermilk for good health. 
- This is also backed up by science as some studies show that buttermilk can keep cholesterol under check.
7. PREVENTS DEHYDRATION
- Dehydration is a common issue, especially in summers.
- Some people are unable to drink a lot of water, some people even don’t like the taste of water.
- These people are at a high risk of getting dehydrated.
- Then comes the magic drink, buttermilk.
- This is very effective in preventing dehydration, also due to its delicious taste, people relish buttermilk a lot.
- Its electrolytes and water content helps to replenish the body fluids thus prevents dehydration. 
- Buttermilk is best during summers, it prevents many summer related general health issues.
- In Ayurveda, it is used to treat lack of appetite, spleen disorders and anaemia.
8. CONTAINS ESSENTIAL MACRO NUTRIENTS
- Buttermilk is nutritive and contains many essential elements required for a well-balanced diet. 
- It contains carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and many essential enzymes. All these things make this drink a complete meal.
- Vitamin B complex and vitamin D are found abundantly in buttermilk so it is a good choice for people suffering from a deficiency of vitamin and anaemia.
- Vitamin D strengthens the immune system and makes you less susceptible to viral infections.
- About 90% of buttermilk is water and that’s why it is considered one of the best drinks in summer.
- Drinking buttermilk during summers prevents your body from dehydration.
9. HELPS IN BODY DETOX
- Buttermilk contains riboflavin.
- This is essential for converting the food we eat into energy.
- Our body uses riboflavin to activate enzymes present in the cells, this results in the production of energy.
- It is also important for cell growth and function.
- Riboflavin has anti-oxidation properties and so it assists in detoxifying the body. 
10. RELIEVES CONSTIPATION AND HAEMORRHOIDS
- Buttermilk is a home remedy for treating constipation naturally. 
- Not only constipation buttermilk can relieve and prevent various other stomach related issues like bloating, diarrhoea etc.
- Buttermilk facilitates bowel movements due to its high fibre content.
- If you are suffering from constipation consider drinking buttermilk at least once a day, you will see the results.
- Chronic constipation if not treated on time can often result in haemorrhoids.
- Adding buttermilk to your daily diet can help in curing haemorrhoids, it is one of the most effective health benefits of buttermilk. 
11. STRENGTHENS SKELETAL FRAME OF YOUR BODY
- Buttermilk has all the goodness of milk.
- It is a rich source of phosphorus and calcium and you know how essential calcium is for our bone.
- Not only bones, but calcium is also important for stronger and healthier teeth.
- The calcium of buttermilk gets absorbed by the bone tissue which helps in maintaining bone density.
- Adding buttermilk daily to your diet can prevent degenerative bone disease like osteoporosis. 
DOWNSIDES OF BUTTERMILK
We have now seen the great benefits that this magical drink has. Let us now look at some of its downsides and who should avoid drinking buttermilk.
MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTION IN SOME PEOPLE
Buttermilk contains lactose, which is a natural sugar.
Many people are lactose intolerant that means if they consume the lactose in any form, it can result in allergic reactions.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include
- Upset stomach
Although it is seen that buttermilk is easily digested by people who have lactose intolerance because the lactose of milk is converted into lactic acid.
However, some people may have high sensitivity to lactose content, for them consuming buttermilk could be a great problem.
People who are allergic to milk should not consume buttermilk at all.
BUTTERMILK CAN BE HIGH IN SODIUM
Milk products have good amounts of sodium content in them, so if you are advised to limit your sodium intake, you should not drink buttermilk.
Some people are sensitive to dietary salts. Consuming high- sodium diets regularly can affect their heart kidneys brain and blood vessels adversely.
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTES
If buttermilk is not available to you in the traditional form that is the leftover milk after churning butter.
These are some substitutes that you can try out.
FROM CURD/ YOGHURT
- Take a bowl of curd or yoghurt.
- Add water to it.
- Mix it well in a blender.
- The consistency should neither be too thick or too watery.
FROM MILK AND VINEGAR
- Take a glass of cold whole milk and add a tablespoon of vinegar.
- You can also use lemon juice in place of vinegar.
- Add it to the milk.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes you will see that the milk has started curdling a little and has become thick.
- Your buttermilk substitute is ready.
- Do not store this mixture for long.
FROM WHOLE MILK AND CREAM OF TARTAR
- Take a few drops of milk.
- Add half a spoon of cream of tartar.
- Mix this properly.
- Now add the leftover milk.
- Mix them well and let it sit for 5 minutes until it gets curdled and thick.
- Do not add cream of tartar directly into milk because then all your mixture will become lumpy.
RECIPE FOR PREPARING SPICED BUTTERMILK
I highly recommend you try this recipe once. I am sure that you will forget all your carbonated drinks.
In a blender add
- Coriander leaves
- Mint leaves
- Small piece of ginger
- Pinch of asafoetida
- Rock salt
- Black salt
- Roasted cumin powder
- Now pour water
Blend all these ingredients.
The next step is to take a little ghee over the flame, add a few cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Let it splutter and pour this over your buttermilk.
Now you can relish this tasty recipe.
There are times when we feel like drinking something that satiates us.
We often choose cold drinks and packed juices and end up feeling bloated.
So why not choose a much healthier and better option which is buttermilk.
And we have already seen the list of amazing health benefits it provides.
So there is no reason for not drinking buttermilk.
If you are someone who cannot resist drinking water just after the meal, buttermilk is your saviour.
In the nutshell, buttermilk is a healthy, refreshing drink that lowers our body heat especially when the temperature is on rise.
Do you drink buttermilk every day?
Or do you know other health benefits of buttermilk apart from this list?
Do let us all know.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Can I drink buttermilk during intermittent fasting?
During the fasting window, you should not consume buttermilk because it contains lactose (natural sugar) and protein. This can disturb the fasting state. Only low-calorie drinks should be consumed like simple water or coconut water.
But yes, during eating hours you should definitely drink buttermilk.
Should I continue drinking buttermilk in pregnancy?
Buttermilk has various health benefits. During pregnancy, constipation is a very common problem and buttermilk is very effective in dealing with constipation.
However, if you feel any kind of discomfort after consuming buttermilk, discontinue it and consult your gynaecologist.
Can I drink buttermilk during cold and cough?
You should avoid drinking buttermilk during cold and cough because during cough the severity and intensity of mucus increases.
In this case, you should avoid dairy products like buttermilk as they can further increase mucus production.
Can buttermilk reduce my body heat?
Yes, drinking buttermilk may help you to cool down your internal body heat. It contains probiotics, minerals and vitamins which helps to restore the natural energy of your body.
If you are feeling drained by heat, a glass of buttermilk can rejuvenate you.