Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product, which is very popular during the summer season. A glass of chilled buttermilk is refreshing and invigorating.
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.
On account of this rich nutritional profile, there are numerous beauty as well as health benefits of buttermilk.
Here is how to use buttermilk for your 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. Also, lactic acid brightens the skin tone and gives your skin a smooth texture.
- Mix enough buttermilk with 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, then rub off the mask using wet fingers. Finally, wash your face with water. Use this skin-lightening mask once a week.
- For a daily treatment, mix a pinch of saffron in 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, then rinse it off thoroughly. Use this remedy once daily.
2. Lightens Marks and Spots
Buttermilk is rich in lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid like those used in most beauty products designed to get rid of ugly 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, then scrub it off and rinse with with cold water. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
3. Reduces Suntan
A suntan on your skin can be reduced using buttermilk, due to its lactic acid content. It 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 very good remedy for suntanned skin, and it is a very cheap and effective treatment. But to make the treatment more effective, you can mix buttermilk with other powerful 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 it on the affected area using your fingertips. Massage for 5 minutes, then let it sit for 20 minutes. Finally, wash off the area with plain water. Repeat 1 or 2 times daily.
4. Cleanses the Skin
Buttermilk works as an excellent cleanser for the skin. It 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, then add some drops of olive or almond oil to the mixture. Soak a cotton ball in this liquid and gently cleanse your skin of dirt and grime. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Use it daily or a few times a week.
5. Relieves Acidity and Bloating
Buttermilk is rich in probiotic microbes that help promote digestion. These healthy microbes prevent the growth of bad bacteria, which can cause stomach infections and diarrhea.
Buttermilk can also prevent indigestion and excessive gas. It can even fight stomach bloating and acidity by reducing the irritation in the stomach lining due to acid reflux. It helps beat the burning sensation you feel during a bout of acidity.
Plus, buttermilk is low in fat and is more quickly digested.
- 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 1 or 2 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 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 percent of the daily recommended value.
Calcium is essential for the body to maintain strong bones and healthy teeth. It also contributes to nerve transmission and muscle function.
In addition to 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 calcium and other nutrients.
7. Makes Hair Healthy and Strong
Buttermilk is highly beneficial for your hair. With a healthy amount of protein and vitamins present in buttermilk, it provides the 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 it with shower cap and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse 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, then wash it off with cold water. Use this hair mask once a week.
8. Fights Dandruff
If you suffer from dandruff, buttermilk can help you get rid of it. The lactic acid in buttermilk can help prevent the growth of fungi on your scalp, one of the common causes of dandruff.
Plus, buttermilk aids in combating scalp dryness, which aggravates the symptoms of dandruff like intense itching.
- Apply buttermilk on your scalp and massage gently for 10 minutes in circular motions. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then wash your hair with lukewarm water. Repeat 3 or 4 times a week to fight dandruff.
- Alternatively, mix the juice of ½ of a lemon into ½ cup of buttermilk. Massage this solution into the scalp. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before washing your hair. Follow this remedy 3 or 4 times a week.
9. Reduces Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
According to Ayurvedic practitioners, drinking a glass of buttermilk daily can help keep bad cholesterol as well as high blood pressure under control.
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. Backents 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.
Buttermilk can reduce body heat and keep you cool. The salt, assorted electrolytes and water can stave off dehydration.
If you need to go out in the sun during summer days, carry a bottle of cold buttermilk with you. Have a few sips of it whenever the heat starts to get to you.