Buttermilk: Nutritional Values, Benefits & How To Consume

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buttermilk - livayur

Buttermilk or Takra is a popular Indian beverage served throughout the country. It is one of the most important beverages mentioned in Ayurveda, holding significant medicinal value. 

Let’s explore more about buttermilk, its nutritional value, and its benefits in this article. 

Buttermilk or Takra As Mentioned in Ayurveda

Takra, also known as buttermilk, is a traditional beverage that holds significant importance in Ayurveda as both a dietary staple and a medicinal remedy. 

Ayurvedic principles emphasize the consumption of buttermilk as part of a balanced diet, considering it a wholesome food that promotes overall health. Buttermilk is also often referred to as an elixir (Param-Amrutam) as it keeps old age (Jara) and diseases (Vyadhi) at bay. 

Although buttermilk nowadays encompasses a range of dairy drinks, originally, it was the residual liquid left after churning butter from cream. 

Nutritional Value of Buttermilk or Takra

Buttermilk is not only refreshing but also a nutritious beverage. In comparison to a cup of whole milk, which has higher calories and fat, a cup of buttermilk provides a lighter option. 

Buttermilk also contains vitamins, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which are essential for energy production and metabolism.

In terms of minerals, buttermilk is an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and calcium, which promotes strong bones and teeth. Additionally, buttermilk also contains traces of phosphorus, contributing to healthy cells and tissues.

Benefits of Drinking Buttermilk or Takra

Digestive Health

Primary Benefits: Buttermilk helps soothe the stomach after consuming spicy food. When added with spices like ginger, black pepper, and cumin powder, it also helps relieve stomach irritation and expel gas. 

Secondary Benefits: Additionally, buttermilk is also known to treat and prevent several gastrointestinal problems like irregular bowel movements, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, and stomach infections.


Primary Benefits: Buttermilk is known as an effective therapy to prevent dehydration. Rich in electrolytes, it fights against heat and loss of water from the body.

Secondary Benefits: Consequently, it also provides relief from summer-related issues like prickly heat and general uneasiness.

Bone Health

Primary Benefits: Buttermilk is rich in calcium and provides an excellent natural way to consume calcium without fat. Even lactose-intolerant people can take buttermilk for their calcium needs. 

Secondary Benefits: Due to its high calcium content, buttermilk helps support cell communication and muscle contraction and prevents bone disorders like osteoporosis.

Immune System

Primary Benefits: Rich in B complex vitamins and vitamin D, buttermilk helps strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of infections.

Secondary Benefits: Additionally, it also helps overcome weakness and anemia caused by vitamin insufficiency.

Heart Health

Primary Benefits: Buttermilk is a natural remedy for lowering and controlling blood cholesterol.

Secondary Benefits: In addition, it is also known to manage blood pressure levels, further boosting heart health. 


Primary Benefits: Buttermilk helps to neutralize stomach acids, prevent heartburn, and protect against ulcers. It also prevents ulcers from erupting again. 

Secondary Benefits: As a result, it can help people with GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Muscle Health

Primary Benefits: Buttermilk increases protein intake, which is essential for building muscles.

Secondary Benefits: Consequently, it supports tissue repair, maintenance, and overall body health.

How To Make Buttermilk or Takra at Home?

how to make buttermilk

  1. Take a bowl and add plain yogurt to it.
  2. Whisk the yogurt with a spoon or Mathani (traditional wooden churner) until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  3. Slowly add water to the yogurt while continuously whisking it, until the yogurt and water are well combined.
  4. Add salt to taste. You can also add spices like roasted cumin powder, black salt, ginger powder, or chaat masala to give the buttermilk additional flavor. 
  5. Mix everything well and serve. 

Buttermilk Preparation for Specific Health Issues

Ayurveda recommends adding specific spices to buttermilk or Takra to alleviate specific disorders or pacify specific doshas. Some of these recommendations include:

  • If you have Vata disorders, add rock salt to your buttermilk. 
  • In the case of Pitta disorders, combine buttermilk with sugar.
  • People with Kapha disorders should mix Takra with Trikatu (black pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger).
  • If you have malabsorption syndrome, hemorrhoids, or diarrhea, mix buttermilk with Hing or asafoetida, cumin seeds, and rock salt.

The Final Takeaway

Buttermilk or Takra is a lighter alternative to whole milk, providing essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, potassium, and calcium. Its consumption aids in digestion, prevents dehydration, supports the immune system, and even boosts heart health.

As an elixir, buttermilk also promotes overall health and acts as a preventive measure against age-related ailments and diseases.

Incorporate buttermilk into your diet now and enhance your overall health naturally. 


  • Is buttermilk suitable for people with lactose intolerance?

Yes, buttermilk is often well-tolerated by people with lactose intolerance. During the fermentation process, lactose in milk is converted into lactic acid, making it easier to digest for those who are lactose intolerant. However, it’s advisable to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

  • Can you drink buttermilk if you are on a low-calorie or weight-loss diet?

Yes, buttermilk can be a part of a low-calorie or weight-loss diet as it is relatively low in calories compared to whole milk. However, it’s important to consider the overall calorie intake and nutritional balance of your diet. Moderation is key, and it’s recommended to consult with a nutritionist or dietitian for personalized advice.

  • Does buttermilk have probiotic benefits?

Yes, buttermilk can have probiotic benefits. However, not all commercially available buttermilk may contain live cultures, so it’s recommended to check the label or consider making homemade buttermilk for optimal probiotic benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is written from a health and lifestyle perspective. It is for general information and is not meant to substitute any medical advice. Please consult your doctor for appropriate medical consultation.

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