Is buttermilk good for acid reflux?

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Since buttermilk helps digest food, it should offer relief from acid reflux symptoms, or prevent symptoms to develop.

Buttermilk is used in many recipes, it is a popular ingredient in cakes, salad dressings, etc.


Health benefits of buttermilk

Buttermilk offers several health benefits, such as:

  • Improves oral health. If you take fermented dairy products, like buttermilk, you will benefit from the anti-inflammatory effect, that protects the cells in the skin that line the mouth.
  • May reduce blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, the proteins and potassium content of buttermilk can help to reduce blood pressure.
  • Helps with bone growth, slows down bone loss, as it contains phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D.
  • Great for your guts and digestion. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which makes lactose easier to digest. (see more below)
  • and many more
A great video about the effects of regular buttermilk consumption. Duration: 3:52

Is buttermilk high in fats?

According to Live Science, a cup of buttermilk contains about 2.2 grams of fat, while milk contains about 8 grams.

Actually, about 90% of buttermilk is water, the rest is lactose, protein, and fat.

This relatively low-fat content is great news for people suffering from acid reflux or GERD, as it means it is easier to digest buttermilk than milk.

How does buttermilk help acid reflux?

Every time you consume hard-to-digest fatty foods, red meat, fried foods, or spicy foods, you make your body vulnerable to acid reflux and heartburn.

Many people find that buttermilk is a good remedy for their acid reflux symptoms. Buttermilk is a dairy product, and it occurs naturally as a probiotic, meaning that it works well in helping digestion.

Probiotics contain bacteria that ensure that there is no bloating or gas build-up. When these two are dealt with, it is unlikely to suffer from acid reflux.

The daily consumption of buttermilk or similar supplements – like yogurt – can be perfect for preventing acid reflux.

A glass of cold buttermilk is a perfect antidote for acidity. This is because buttermilk contains lactic acid. Lactic acid works by neutralizing the acidic environment in the stomach.

Also, this lactic acid is responsible for soothing the stomach because it coats its lining, thus reducing the symptoms of acid reflux and any irritation resulting from it.

Substitutes if you have lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a situation where your body is incapable of breaking the lactose in milk. However, this should not prevent you from enjoying your favorite meals or foods. There are various foods you can take as substitutes.

Milk is a good source of calcium which is a good nutrient for the body. There are many dairy products to choose from that have lactose removed.

You might also choose from a wide variety of plant-based alternatives, like:

  • soy milk
  • almond milk
  • rice milk
  • coconut milk

However, make sure to check the contents of plant-based milks, as it might be very different from cow milk.

Final thoughts

To sum up, the probiotics in buttermilk facilitate digestion and neutralize acidity, therefore buttermilk is considered to be an effective and natural heartburn remedy.

Buttermilk can be used to relieve after-eating symptoms like heartburn or chest pain, but it is also effective in preventing the symptoms to develop.

In case you suffer from acid reflux, you might try to drink a glass of buttermilk after meals to see if it helps with your symptoms.

If you have lactose intolerance then buttermilk should be substituted with a plant-based alternative or lactose-free dairy products.

Frequently asked questions

Is buttermilk acidic or alkaline?

Buttermilk is slightly acidic, it has a pH of 4.4-4.8, however, it is an alkaline-forming food, so it should be safe for people with acid reflux.

How much buttermilk should you drink?

A cup of buttermilk a day is safe for most people. If you plan to drink more, you might want to consult with your doctor.

When consumed in large quantities, buttermilk might cause issues:

  • the high sodium content of buttermilk can increase blood pressure and cause heart, kidney problems
  • too much buttermilk might upset your stomach, causing diarrhea or gas.