The Benefits of Buttermilk

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A jar of fresh buttermilk on a rustic bench next to dried whey.
A jar of fresh buttermilk on a rustic bench next to dried whey. (Image: Fly_dragonfly/iStock/Getty Images)

Buttermilk can help make your baked goods extra flaky and rich, but this isn't the only thing it's good for. It also has some nutritional and health benefits, including potentially lowering your blood pressure and providing vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

Buttermilk Nutrition

A 1-cup serving of whole buttermilk has 152 calories, 8 grams each of fat and protein and 12 grams of carbohydrate. Choose low-fat buttermilk instead to decrease the calories to 98 and the fat to about 2 grams. Low-fat buttermilk provides more than 20 percent of the daily value for calcium, riboflavin and phosphorus, as well as more than 10 percent of the DV for potassium. You need calcium and phosphorus for forming strong bones, potassium for maintaining a healthy blood pressure level and riboflavin for forming red blood cells.

Potential Health Benefits

Buttermilk is a cultured dairy product, which is fermented by a beneficial type of bacteria, or probiotic. During the formation of buttermilk, much of the lactose is broken down, making it easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest. Although results are still preliminary, drinking buttermilk may also help lower your blood pressure, according to a study published in "Nutrition" in January 2014.

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