Why Buttermilk is the Elixir of Life
When asked what was the secret of his energy and good health, the late Akkineni Nageswara Rao, a popular Telugu film actor and recipient of numerous awards, once replied that it was a few glasses of buttermilk every day. In fact, it is reported that for his famous role in Devdas, he ate nothing and drank only buttermilk for a few weeks in order to lose weight.
In Ayurveda, buttermilk is prescribed as a treatment for various conditions. It is used against digestion related problems, anaemia, swelling and lack of appetite. It is also used by diabetics and people who desire weight loss.
So what is it about buttermilk that makes it such a powerful drink?
Buttermilk, which is made from churned curd and water, has the goodness of probiotics (healthy bacteria that are good for the intestine) and is a hydrating coolant that helps the body relax. It is also rich in calcium, vitamin B, potassium, antioxidants and doesn’t contain any fats.
The health benefits of buttermilk, when freshly made with a seasoning of cumin seeds (jeera), curry leaves, ginger and salt are –
- Reduces acidity – Buttermilk helps neutralize the excessive gastric acids in our stomach and reduce acidity.
- Helps in digestion – The probiotics in buttermilk along with the healing properties of ginger and cumin help in easy digestion.
- Cools the body – Buttermilk is a natural coolant. It helps regulate the body temperature and is a must-have during summers.
- Washes down the fats – Had a heavy meal? A glass of buttermilk can help wash away the excess layers of oil and fat in our stomach. Nutritionists constantly recommend buttermilk for people who desire weight loss.
- Boosts calcium – The daily calcium requirement of the body is 1000 mg, which can be easily achieved by 3 glasses of buttermilk.
- Lowers cholesterol – Various studies have shown that buttermilk contains a bioactive protein that has antiviral, antibacterial properties and can aid in lowering our cholesterol levels.
- Reduces blood pressure – The same protein that lowers our cholesterol levels also lowers blood pressure.
- Prevents dehydration – Buttermilk is a unique combination of water, electrolytes and salt, which is the perfect recipe to fight dehydration.
Buttermilk is one drink that can be consumed limitlessly. There are no side effects to it. It is nourishing, enriching and wholesome. It works equally well for people who are lactose intolerant.
The Punjabis can’t do without a glass of lassi, the south Indians can’t complete their meal without majjiga and the Gujratis treat chaas as nectar. Guess it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that buttermilk is the elixir of life!