Buttermilk During Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know

5 min read

Buttermilk During Pregnancy

Buttermilk is a delicious and nutritious drink that can refresh your summer days instantly. Buttermilk is an excellent way to stay hydrated. But is it safe to drink buttermilk during pregnancy?

Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance during pregnancy as you keep making a lot of trips to the washroom. Along with this, ensuring proper nutrition is equally important. This article covers various key aspects related to the safety, nutritional value, and the best time to consume buttermilk during pregnancy.

In This Article

Buttermilk/Chaas: The Basics

Buttermilk is a simple refreshing drink prepared by mixing whisked curd (Dahi) with chilled water. Curd is prepared by fermenting milk with the addition of starter culture. In Indian homes, the curd from the previous batch acts as a starter for the current one. The fermentation process results in the development of bacteria known as Lactobacillus acidophillus, which in turn, results in the formation of curd.

To prepare chaas/lassi/buttermilk, the resultant curd is blended with water. You can choose to add additional ingredients for topping or for extra flavors, such as pista, almond, or chocolate syrup.

Buttermilk contains water, calcium, milk protein casein, fat, and electrolytes and is an excellent way of keeping yourself hydrated.

There are two types of buttermilk:

  1. Traditional Buttermilk: It is made from curd and water and used as a drinking beverage.
  2. Cultured Buttermilk: It is what you can see in the dairy section of a supermarket mainly used in cooking.

Here our focus is on Traditional Buttermilk.

Is it Safe to Drink Buttermilk During Pregnancy?

Buttermilk has been an integral part of the traditional Indian diet and is known to be an excellent coolant for your body. Buttermilk during pregnancy is safe and helps meet some of your nutritional requirements.

If you do not have lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk products, you can consume buttermilk during pregnancy. To keep your body hydrated in the hot summer while staying away from artificial fruit juices on the market, buttermilk is one of the best choices.

Always ensure that you drink buttermilk from pasteurized milk. Pasteurized buttermilk is devoid of any harmful bacteria. You can also have a low-fat or decreased-fat pasteurized milk pouch from the market to make low-fat buttermilk at home.

Keep in mind that a bit of extra fat is not bad. In fact, good fats are recommended during pregnancy and help in the healthy growth and development of your baby. The milk protein and calcium in buttermilk make your baby’s bones strong.

But you need to be careful about when you take the buttermilk. Having buttermilk at or after dinner may cause acid reflux and aspiration while sleeping and induce chronic cough and pulmonary issues.

Having pasteurized buttermilk during breakfast or lunch is completely safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

[Read : Is Greek Yogurt Safe During Pregnancy?]

Nutrition Facts of Buttermilk

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Data Central results, the nutritional contents of 240 ml buttermilk are:

Nutrients Quantity
Carbohydrates 12 g
Protein 8g
Calcium 22% of the Daily Value (DV)
Fat 3g
Vitamin B12 22% of the DV
Riboflavin 29% of the DV
Pantothenic acid 13% of the DV
Sodium 16% of the DV
Calorie 98

The calorie content of buttermilk varies depending on the fat content present in the milk. You can control your calorie intake by choosing the appropriate milk to make curd.

Riboflavin is an essential nutrient that converts food into energy. According to the FDA the daily value of Riboflavin should be 1.7 mg. And you can get 0.4 g of Riboflavin from one cup of low-fat buttermilk.

[Read : Drinking Milk During Pregnancy]

6 Amazing Health Benefits of Buttermilk During Pregnancy

pregnant women drinking buttermilk

The high nutritional value of buttermilk ensures many health and wellness benefits for a pregnant woman. Here are the top 6 buttermilk benefits during your pregnancy:

1. Gets Easily Digested

Buttermilk gets digested easily due to its diluted state and lowered protein and fat contents. Drinking buttermilk during pregnancy ensures that you stay hydrated, get your probiotic and nutrient supply, and stay hydrated.

Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria breaks down and digests lactose into lactic acid. Thus buttermilk becomes suitable for mild lactose-intolerant people.

If you are sensitive to even the smallest amounts of lactose, you can always look for lactose-free buttermilk as a safe substitute for regular buttermilk.

2. Protects Your Gut Health

The Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria in buttermilk is healthy and acts as a probiotic. This good bacteria helps digest food quickly. The slowing down of digestion due to hormonal imbalances during pregnancy can get a boost from buttermilk.

Often after diarrhoea or stomach illness or having antibiotics the count of good bacteria in our gut decreases. Probiotics help to repopulate good bacteria in your intestine. So for better digestion and clear stool during pregnancy you need buttermilk.

3. Ensures a Steady Supply of Calcium

Calcium is one of the key nutrients in buttermilk. Having 250 ml of buttermilk in a day fulfills nearly 22% of your body’s calcium requirement.

If you want the growing baby inside you to get strong bones and teeth, switching to buttermilk is a good idea. In addition, calcium also helps in the proper development of their blood signaling system.

4. Reduces Blood Pressure

Hypertension or increased blood pressure is a common condition during pregnancy, partly due to hormonal imbalances.

Research studies show that buttermilk can reduce your blood pressure to a certain extent due to the presence of certain enzymes which regulate fluid volume in your body.

5. Keeps You Hydrated

If you are a working woman and are pregnant, especially during summer, buttermilk is the apt summer refreshment for you. Carrying homemade buttermilk and sipping it through the day keeps you hydrated, making it a far better option than aerated and sugary drinks.

6. Reduces Unhealthy Fats

The saturated fat you get from buttermilk helps clear the unsaturated fat layer settled in your body. It also helps to reduce fat deposits.

To sum up, buttermilk has many benefits for pregnant women. You can substitute the intake of a glass of water with a glass or two of buttermilk.

[Read : Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy]

How Much Buttermilk is Safe to Consume During Pregnancy?

There is nothing unsafe about buttermilk if you are not lactose intolerant. It is good to have buttermilk every day.

But remember to have it during breakfast or lunch or in between meals. Avoid this beverage during or post dinner. Having 200 ml or a glass full of buttermilk is sufficient for your daily requirements during pregnancy.

FAQ’s

1. Is Buttermilk Pasteurized?

Buttermilk made from pasteurized milk results in pasteurized buttermilk. Milk directly taken from the animal and set into curd isn’t pasteurized and maybe unsafe for consumption during pregnancy.

2. Can You Drink Buttermilk Directly?

The traditional buttermilk or chaas is prepared to drink raw and direct. The cultured buttermilk is slightly thick and hard to digest if you drink it raw. You can thus use it for cooking.

3. Is it Good to Drink Buttermilk at Night During Pregnancy?

No, you should avoid having buttermilk at night during pregnancy or at any time. It can cause gas, reflux, chronic cough or aspiration, and even pulmonary issues. It is best to drink buttermilk during the daytime.

The Bottom Line

Buttermilk during pregnancy promotes your baby’s strong bones and teeth, aids in better digestion, and hydration, and ensures an energetic pregnancy period. The good fats in buttermilk also improve your baby’s healthy birth weight.

For this reason, adding buttermilk to your routine is a safe and a healthy option.

Read Also: Sweet Lime or Mosambi Juice During Pregnancy

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