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Benefits Of Buttermilk, Nutrition, And Its Side Effects

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy beverage that offers several benefits for your health and well-being. Buttermilk is an excellent source of calcium. Here are some of the benefits of buttermilk.

Benefits Of Buttermilk

Digestive aid

Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which aids digestion by breaking down and absorbing nutrients more effectively. It can help soothe an upset stomach, relieve constipation, and reduce bloating.

Probiotic properties

Buttermilk is a natural source of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, which are known as probiotics. These probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, improve digestion, and enhance the immune system.

Nutritional value

Buttermilk is rich in essential nutrients like calcium, protein, potassium, and vitamins such as riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B12. These nutrients are vital for bone health, muscle function, and the production of red blood cells.

Low in fat

Traditional buttermilk is made from the leftover liquid after churning butter, so it has a lower fat content compared to whole milk. It can be a good option for those looking to reduce their fat intake while still enjoying a creamy beverage.


Buttermilk has a high water content, making it a refreshing and hydrating drink, especially during hot weather or after physical activity.

Weight management

Due to its lower fat content and high protein content, buttermilk can help you feel fuller for longer, potentially aiding in weight management and controlling calorie intake.

Bone health

The calcium content in buttermilk contributes to maintaining strong bones and teeth. Consuming calcium-rich foods like buttermilk can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and promote overall skeletal health.

Skin benefits

Applying buttermilk topically or using it as an ingredient in face masks can have various benefits for the skin. It can help soothe and moisturize dry or irritated skin, reduce blemishes, and improve overall skin tone.

It’s important to note that buttermilk can have different compositions depending on the method of production. Traditional buttermilk, which is fermented, tends to offer more health benefits compared to commercially produced versions that may contain additives and higher sugar content.

Buttermilk Nutrition

The nutritional composition of buttermilk can vary depending on the brand and method of production. However, here is a general overview of the approximate nutritional values of a typical buttermilk serving (1 cup or 245 grams):

  • Calories: 99
  • Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.3 grams
  • Trans fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 12 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 12 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Calcium: 285 milligrams (28% of the recommended daily intake)
  • Potassium: 370 milligrams
  • Vitamin B12: 1.1 micrograms (46% of the recommended daily intake)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.3 milligrams (19% of the recommended daily intake)

It’s important to note that these values are approximate and can vary slightly depending on the specific brand and production method of the buttermilk. It’s always a good idea to check the nutrition label on the buttermilk packaging for precise information.

Buttermilk Side Effects

While buttermilk is generally safe for consumption, there are a few considerations and potential side effects to be aware of:

Lactose intolerance

Buttermilk contains lactose, a natural sugar found in milk products. Individuals with lactose intolerance may experience digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea when consuming buttermilk or other dairy products. However, some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate buttermilk better due to the fermentation process, which can reduce lactose levels.


Buttermilk is derived from cow’s milk, so individuals with milk allergies should avoid consuming it. Milk allergies can cause symptoms like hives, swelling, digestive issues, and even severe allergic reactions.

Sodium content

Commercially produced buttermilk may have added salt or sodium, which can be a concern for individuals on low-sodium diets or those with high blood pressure. It’s advisable to check the label for sodium content or opt for low-sodium or homemade buttermilk.

High in saturated fat

Although traditional buttermilk is low in fat, some commercially produced buttermilk products may contain added fats or be made from whole milk. These versions can be higher in saturated fat, which, when consumed excessively, can contribute to heart disease and other health issues. Opting for low-fat or reduced-fat buttermilk can be a healthier choice.

Interactions with certain medications

Buttermilk may interact with certain medications, particularly those that affect the absorption of minerals like calcium and potassium. If you are taking any medications, especially those related to mineral balance or blood pressure, consult your healthcare provider to determine if consuming buttermilk could interfere with your medication.

As with any food or beverage, individual reactions and sensitivities can vary. If you have specific concerns or medical conditions, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before incorporating buttermilk into your diet.


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