Finding low-acid drinks that won't aggravate your acid reflux symptoms might be tricky as most of them are quite acidic. After all, no one wants to enjoy a drink just to experience uncomfortable symptoms right after.
To know which foods are safe for acid reflux, it's important to understand their pH levels and their effect on your body. It's best to start with some of the most common foods, such as buttermilk. So, is buttermilk acidic?
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Is Buttermilk Acidic?
Buttermilk is fermented dairy milk, which means that it has acid-forming properties. Unfortunately, it also has a low pH, so it's more likely to irritate your stomach and cause excess gastric acid production.
On the bright side, since buttermilk is naturally fermented, it contains an abundance of minerals and healthy gut bacteria. As a result, it may protect your digestive system from inflammation, thus decreasing the severity of your acid reflux symptoms.
What is the pH level of buttermilk?
The pH of buttermilk ranges between 4.41-4.83, but this isn't the most important thing to consider when checking the acidity of any foo. In fact, buttermilk is also acid-forming as it contains lactic acid that's a byproduct of the production of buttermilk.
This drink is thicker than regular milk because the lower pH level causes curdling, making buttermilk fuller. These properties mean that buttermilk is more likely to stay in your stomach longer, leading to acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
Luckily, consuming buttermilk is not all bad as it contains many essential nutrients and minerals that help you stay healthy and may decrease the frequency of your symptoms.
Is buttermilk healthy?
Buttermilk is slightly lower in calories than some other types of milk available on the market. It contains around 98 calories per cup, most of which come from protein and carbohydrates. Protein helps you stay full after a meal, which reduces the risk of overeating.
This is beneficial for people with acid reflux since eating too much food in one sitting forces your stomach to produce more stomach acid, leading to heartburn and other symptoms, because of that, drinking buttermilk may help you ease these symptoms.
A cup of buttermilk contains approximately 22% of your daily recommended need for riboflavin. This vitamin is needed for growth and overall good health, especially during the developmental years.
It also helps your body break down carbohydrates, fats, and protein to produce energy and keep your organs working.
Because of that, it's one of the essential micronutrients that is present in many dairy food products, including milk, yogurt, creams, and, of course, buttermilk,
An occasional cup of buttermilk also provides you with a good amount of phosphorus. It helps your muscles contract, aids in muscle recovery after working out and promotes healthy nerve conduction. It's present in fatty fish, such as salmon, and other fat-rich foods, including buttermilk.
Because of the important functions that phosphorus contributes to, it's important to consume foods rich in this mineral with every meal while still maintaining a balanced diet.
Buttermilk is also a wonderful source of calcium, just like more dairy products. This mineral contributes to building and maintaining strong bones and boosting your immune system, especially during winter.
Other research also suggests that, along with vitamin D, calcium may benefit your heart by preventing cardiovascular conditions and heart attack. With that, it can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall wellbeing, so drinking buttermilk can help you reach your daily need for this mineral.
Some research also indicates that consuming buttermilk may lower your blood pressure, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. Genetic factors often cause high blood pressure but consuming a diet high in sodium is also a culprit.
While buttermilk does contain some sodium (so you shouldn't drink it excessively), it also contains compounds that help protect your cardiovascular system, thus reducing the risk of stroke and other potentially life-threatening conditions.
Can you drink buttermilk on acid reflux?
Buttermilk has acid-forming properties and a low pH level, so that it might worsen the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD in some people. Its acidity can also cause gastric acid to reflux up your esophagus, causing heartburn, which is one of the most common acid reflux symptoms.
Buttermilk is also high in sodium — a mineral that increases your risk of stroke and can irritate your stomach, leading to inflammation. As a result, it's best to limit your consumption of buttermilk, especially if your acid reflux is frequent.
Some people can also be allergic to milk, in which case they shouldn't consume buttermilk at all. Doing so can cause serious digestive system issues, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and many more.
Drinking buttermilk if you are lactose intolerant is also dangerous. It will not only worsen your acid reflux symptoms but may also increase the risk of permanent stomach damage, ulcers, and even stomach cancer.
Is buttermilk better for acid reflux than cow milk?
Cow milk has a slightly higher pH level than buttermilk, so it might be easier to digest for some people with acid reflux and GERD symptoms. If you experience severe symptoms, you may want to consider trying different types of milk, such as almond milk or coconut milk, as those milk types are alkaline-forming and can help neutralize your stomach acid.
While it might be possible to consume buttermilk and not worsen your acid reflux symptoms, make sure to start slowly and watch how your body is reacting.,
Buttermilk is a fermented milky drink, which means that it may aggravate your acid reflux and GERD symptoms. It also contains quite some sodium, which can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of stroke and other serious issues.
Buttermilk isn't all bad as it contains many essential minerals and vitamins that contribute to good health and disease prevention. Because of that, an occasional glass of buttermilk can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet.