Sunday, February 17, 2008

Health Benefits of Buttermilk

When I do something like make buttermilk, I get lots of questions about whether buttermilk is good for you. So here is Buttermilk Primer 101. You can find much more info online, if you are interested in researching for yourself.

Buttermilk is a Probiotic food. These contain living microorganisms, that can survive the passage through the stomach and become active in the intestines.

Healthy bacteria reside in everybody's colon, and in return for food and a warm place to live these resident bacteria contribute to your health. One of the most intestinal-friendly resident bacteria is the family of lactobacteria, so-called because they thrive on lactose sugars. The commonest form is L.acidophilus.

Here are some healthy things these bacteria do to your body:

> Manufacture vitamins
> Improve digestion
> Boost Immunity
> Manufacture nutrients
> Protect against cardiovascular diseases
> Protect against carcinogens

Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus.

Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk.

One cup of buttermilk has 99 calories and 2.2 grams of fat, whereas whole milk has 157 calories and 8.9 grams of fat. Do check the labels as some brands of buttermilk are higher in fat than others.

Decades ago, buttermilk was made from the liquid that separated from butter during the churning process. Left to ferment naturally the result was old-fashioned buttermilk, a thinner, sweeter beverage than what's in dairy cases today Now buttermilk is made by adding cultured bacteria to low-fat or fat-free milk, just like yogurt. The live cultures provide its distinctive rich, creamy texture--and a host of health benefits.

So drink up for your health! And enjoy that smooth, slightly tart, creamy texture (I like mine with some black pepper sprinkled in).

By the way, my homemade buttermilk came out FANTASTIC!! For pennies compared to store-bought.


Donna said...


I found your site the other day about buttermilk and as soon as I get to the store to get more milk...I am going to make me some!

I liked this informative post so much on the benefits that I linked it on my site about my homemade yogurt...I hope you don't mind. Here's the addy:

Thanks a bunch for these posts!

Renee' said...

Hello, found your site today when I was exploring the benefits of buttermilk. My grandmother and her sister lived well into their
90's. The one thing they did every morning was to drink a glass of buttermilk! I often wondered about buttermilk's health benefits. Thank you for sharing.

Renee' (homeschooling mom from Georgia)

Anonymous said...

hi,i like the information on buttermilk.But how do u make buttermilk at home?

Anonymous said...

i had buttermilk bread at at a B+Bin rosslare it was wonderful!

Cat said...

I just started drinking buttermilk last week after reading online about it's health benefits, and how it used to be more common part of the diet. I had never heard of drinking it, just thought it could only be used in recipes now and again. After a couple days of having a glass daily I seem to have gotten used to the taste. It is good with honey or some sugar mixed in to help it, but it tastes good on it's own once used to it.
I'm 31, but I feel like an old man drinking it, like I should plop down on the couch and enjoy a nice episode of "Matlock" or something. But I like to eat healthier when I can.

Darryl Willis said...

I never liked buttermilk although both my parents loved it. It wasn't until 2009 when I was visiting Ukraine that I felt obligated to try it (so as not to be rude). Butter milk was a regular drink among my hosts! I quickly found myself acquiring the taste for it. Now I drink it all of the time (to the chagrin of my wife and children)! I have just tried (this morning) adding xylitol (for sweetening) and strawberries to my buttermilk (and a little crushed ice). I blended it all into an incredible delicious smoothie!