Chennai: With temperatures soaring, distribution of buttermilk in various public places by welfare associations, city traffic police and residents has become the best choice to beat the heat.
Old-times refer to it as sathvic food while dieticians, linking it to Ayurveda, believe that daily intake of buttermilk will help keep summer ailments away. Fighting the most common stomach problem of acidity, buttermilk or chaas soothes the stomach after a spicy meal, improves digestion, boosts calcium intake, washes down fats, lowers cholesterol and reduces blood pressure.
“It is an age-old remedy to beat the heat. In South India, we consume it not only in summer, but drinking buttermilk on a daily basis after a meal helps fight infection and poor health,” said 72-year-old M. Bhavani.
A welfare association in AGS Colony in Velachery distributes buttermilk daily in the locality. The buttermilk is laced with curry leaves, coriander, salt and asafetida owing to its health benefits during summer, said Vittal, member of the association. “We buy milk and churn it into curd at our homes, after collecting the buttermilk from various households; we distribute it to the public. More than 500 people including students, auto-rickshaw drivers and pedestrians are served buttermilk daily,” he said.
Dieticians recommend daily intake of buttermilk especially during summer as it contains with a cooling effect on the digestive tract. “Buttermilk is healthy as it quickly cools down the body temperature. Especially for women, drinking buttermilk relieves from hot flushes that occur in pre-installed and post- menopausal stage aiding and alleviates the feeling of puffiness. It is a curd-based drink, loaded with probiotics that reduces the risk of cancer,” says dietician Harini Parthiban.
Agreeing with Dr Harini, clinical dietician Dr Dharini Krishnan says that consumption of oily food during summer can be easily washed down with buttermilk. “Buttermilk has no fat content, which is good for heart and also provides for the calcium needs of the body. Therefore, a complete package of all essential macronutrients, buttermilk detoxifies the body and keeps an individual healthy,” said Dr Krishnan.