Explained: Benefits of Buttermilk in Pregnancy

Buttermilk and ghee is the widely consumed dairy product in India since ancient time that date backs to 3000 BC, during the Lord Krishna’s time.

No doubt that many woman like to drink this delicious beverage on daily basis even during the pregnancy.

But is it safe to drink buttermilk in pregnancy?

Buttermilk which is made from the pasteurised milk and when consumed during breakfast or lunch, is fairly safe during pregnancy. If you are allergic to the milk products, then you should avoid it.

What is buttermilk?

Even though its name suggests so, buttermilk does not contain any butter.

When the whole milk is churned in butter, the leftover liquid is called as buttermilk.

The traditional buttermilk widely consumed in every household of India and majorly consist water, milk protein casein, calcium and electrolytes.

In India, traditional buttermilk is called as Chaas, which is a Hindi word.

Though it is commonly known as Chaas in India, very few people know that it is also called as Takra if Ayurveda.

Types of Buttermilk

There are primary two types of buttermilk –

  1. Traditional Buttermilk
  2. Cultured Buttermilk

Traditional buttermilk is what we consume in India while cultured buttermilk usually available in dairy section og grocery stores.

Two of them can not be interchanged and traditional buttermilk is used as drinking beverage while other is often used in cooking.

In this article, we will be discussing the information about traditional buttermilk.

How safe buttermilk is?

As buttermilk is low on fats and majorly consist water, milk protein, calcium and electrolytes, it becomes a healthy drink to have.

When compared to artificially made sport drinks, traditional buttermilk is a healthier option.

For a pregnant lady, buttermilk can help to quench the thirst as well as add some nutritional benefits.

To meet the requirement of fetus, pregnancy demands extra proteins and calcium supplement. In such a scenario, it is recommended that pregnant woman should have dairy products on daily basis. [01, 02]

Milk, yogurt, and traditional buttermilk  can be the great choice for pregnant woman to meet the calcium requirement.

If you are not allergic to the milk products then you can consume the buttermilk during pregnancy but the thumb rule is that, you have it with breakfast or lunch.

Drinking buttermilk during dinner is not advised as it may trigger the regurgitation.

Benefits of Buttermilk During Pregnancy

Pregnancy demand nutrition rich diet to cope with the needs of growing fetus in the womb.

In such situations, while having the nutrition rich diet, drinking a glass of buttermilk occasionally can have added benefits.

Here are few useful benefits of drinking buttermilk during pregnancy –

  • Hydration – Buttermilk can add abundance of water to your system and keeps you hydrated.
  • Provide Calcium – Buttermilk is one of the calcium rich beverages and may help to fulfill the daily value of calcium during pregnancy.
  • Aids Digestion – It is rich in the lactic acid which works against bacteria & aids digestion of dairy products. Also, added condiments like ginger, cumin powder, mint, and coriander can reduce stomach irritation and work as carminative. [03]
  • Rich in Vitamins – Buttermilk is a rich source of water soluble vitamins.  It contains Vitamin D and B complex vitamins which helps to boost immunity.
  • Probiotics – The traditional buttermilk found in India is a fermented dairy drink that has probiotic benefits. It helps to maintain the gut flora.

Nutritional Value of Buttermilk

A glass of buttermilk is loaded with lot of nutrition.

As discussed earlier, it is a good source of milk protein, vitamins (B-complex), calcium and minerals.

As per the paper published by NIN (National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad) in 2017, the nutrient composition of undiluted buttermilk was similar to that of whole milk excluding its fat content.  [04]

Which means, buttermilk brings all the goodness of milk leaving the fats apart!

Isn’t it a great news?

So, it’s time to grab a glass full of traditional buttermilk. Have it in moderation if you are pregnant as it also contains electrolytes like sodium, which may trigger blood pressure to elevate.

Traditional Buttermilk Nutritional Value [source]
Energy 15 Kcals
Moisture 97 Gm
Pretein 1 Gm
Fats 1 Gm
Calcium 30 mg
Phosphrus 30 mg

How much buttermilk should I drink daily during pregnancy?

Moderation is key.

Drinking a glass or two occasionally will not harm.

Due to rich sodium content, it is advised that pregnant woman should not drink buttermilk on daily basis but they can have it occasionally.

If you want to drink it on daily basis, you should first consult your OB-Gyn. They will advise you the right quantity to have it on daily basis after analysing your blood pressure and electrolytes.

Overall

Having a glass of buttermilk after every few days may help to maintain the calcium requirement during the pregnancy while keeping you hydrated.

It will add the goodness of milk to your diet while reducing the fats significantly.