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Butter is the left-over product that is separated when you churn milk. Buttermilk is commercially prepared by the fermentation of milk. The fermentation is carried out by adding a probiotic bacterium called Lactobacillus acidophilus to milk, which makes the milk acidic and gives it a sour taste. Buttermilk is healthier than other soft drinks and sports drinks in the market as they are usually full of preservatives and artificial flavours.
Is It Safe to Consume Buttermilk During Pregnancy?
It is safe to drink buttermilk during pregnancy if it is made from pasteurised milk. However, it is advised not to drink buttermilk at night because it can increase the risk of reflux and aspiration during your sleep and can cause pulmonary issues and chronic cough. You should ideally consume buttermilk with your breakfast or lunch as it helps improve digestion.
Note: If you are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, stay away from buttermilk. It may cause a reaction. You can also check with your doctor before consuming buttermilk during pregnancy.
Nutritional Value of Buttermilk
Buttermilk is well-known for its soothing qualities and benefits. These days low-fat buttermilk is also readily available and can be consumed by people who are conscious about gaining weight. Listed below are the various nutrients that buttermilk has to offer.
Calorie and Fat Content
The calorie content of butter is generally dependent on the fat content of the milk. Dairy producers usually use low-fat (1 %) or reduced-fat (2 %) milk for the production of buttermilk. Low-fat buttermilk contains about 1 grams of fat and 62 calories per 100 ml, while reduced-fat buttermilk contains about 2 grams of fat and 140 calories per 100 ml.
Buttermilk is said to be a rich source of calcium. Buttermilk made from low-fat milk contains about 116 mg of calcium while buttermilk made from reduced-fat milk contains about 275 mg of calcium.
Buttermilk is also rich in riboflavin, a component of vitamin B, that is essential for the conversion of food into energy. Buttermilk made from low-fat milk contains about 0.4 grams of riboflavin per cup, while buttermilk made from reduced-fat milk contains about 0.5 grams of riboflavin per cup. The daily value for Riboflavin recommended by FDA is 1.7 grams.
Low-fat buttermilk has about 1 gram of protein per 100 ml, while reduced-fat buttermilk has 10 grams of protein per cup. The Daily Value for protein recommended by FDA is 1 gm per kg of body weight.
Benefits of Buttermilk During Pregnancy.
Buttermilk is beneficial for just about everyone due to its various nutritional benefits. Here are some of the perks of drinking buttermilk while you are pregnant.
- Buttermilk is a fermented milk product. This probiotic contains live micro-organisms and bacteria that has many health benefits. Drinking buttermilk helps in populating your intestine with health-promoting microorganisms, which improve your immune system and reduces the chances of diarrhoea.
- Drinking buttermilk will keep your body hydrated.
- Buttermilk aids in reducing gastric problems that arise during pregnancy.
- Buttermilk is rich in calcium. Calcium is essential for the bone development of the baby. It also reduces the risk of hypertension in babies.
- Drinking buttermilk for short periods of time can reduce your blood pressure.
Daily Intake of Buttermilk During Pregnancy
Consuming buttermilk in moderation is beneficial for your pregnancy. But drinking buttermilk in excess quantities can cause problems as well. Excessive consumption of buttermilk can increase the fat content in your body. According to studies, you can consume up to two glasses of buttermilk per day to meet your nutrient requirements.
Recipes of Buttermilk
Since buttermilk has so many benefits and high nutrient value, you may want to add it to your diet, especially during pregnancy. Popularly known as ‘chaas’ or ‘lassi’ in India, buttermilk can be savoury or sweet. Here are the recipes for savoury buttermilk or ‘masala chaas’ and sweet buttermilk.
- Plain yoghurt- 1 cup
- Cold water- 2 cups
- Salt- 1/2 teaspoon
- Black salt- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cilantro and mint to garnish
Take the yoghurt and the spices in a large bowl or container and whisk the ingredients together. Add the cold water and mix. Pour the buttermilk in a glass and garnish with mint and cilantro leaves.
- Plain yoghurt- 2 cups
- Cold water- 2 cups
- Powdered Sugar- 3 tablespoons
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Chopped almonds for garnishing
Add the yoghurt to a container and whisk it properly. Add the cold water and powdered sugar and mix well. Pour the sweet lassi in a glass and garnish with the chopped almonds. Additionally, you can add a few ice cubes if you like.
Buttermilk is a delicious drink that you can enjoy during pregnancy. Consume this drink in moderation and reap its numerous benefits. You should get in touch with your doctor if you have any concerns about adding buttermilk to your diet.