Chaas, a traditional Indian beverage, holds a special place in the hearts of many. With its refreshing and cooling properties, chaas has become an integral part of Indian cuisine, particularly during scorching summers. It offers numerous health benefits, especially for digestion. Here is a recipe for you to try:
Chaas, also known as buttermilk, is a popular curd-based drink in the Indian subcontinent. It is called by different names in various regional languages. It can be traced back to ancient times, when households would churn yoghurt to extract butter. Chaas is made by churning yoghurt and cold water together using a hand-held instrument called a madhani.
The liquid left behind after removing the butter was called chaas. Today, chaas is prepared by blending yoghurt with water and seasoning it with spices for a delightful and refreshing drink. Additionally, it can be sweetened, referred to as meethi chaas. This refreshing beverage is a beloved choice for quenching thirst and providing a cooling sensation, particularly during hot weather.
Chaas plays a significant role in Indian cuisine for several reasons. Its cooling properties make it a popular choice during the hot summer months. The soothing effect of chaas helps combat dehydration and provides instant relief from the scorching heat. Indians have recognised the cooling benefits of chaas for centuries, often consuming it after meals to aid digestion.
Its tangy and refreshing flavour acts as a palate cleanser, making it an ideal accompaniment to spicy meals. Chaas is also served during festive and celebratory occasions, symbolising hospitality and offering a refreshing break from rich and heavy dishes. Chaas offers several health benefits, particularly for digestion. Let's explore its nutritional profile and the positive impact it can have on your well-being:
Cooling and Hydration
Chaas consists primarily of water, making it an excellent source of hydration. Staying properly hydrated is vital for maintaining overall health and aiding digestion. Additionally, the cooling effect of chaas helps regulate body temperature and provides relief from heat-related discomfort.
Low in Calories, High in Nutrition
One of the advantages of chaas is its low-calorie content. It is a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks and other beverages, making it suitable for weight management. Despite being low in calories, chaas is packed with essential nutrients. It is rich in vitamins, including B-complex vitamins (such as riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B12), vitamin D, and vitamin E. It also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are necessary for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerve function. Chaas is a natural source of electrolytes, aiding in the maintenance of proper fluid balance and supporting nerve and muscle function.
Probiotic and Digestive Aid
Chaas is a natural probiotic, thanks to the presence of beneficial bacteria in yoghurt. Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. These probiotics help improve gut health by maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora. They aid in digestion by breaking down food more efficiently, promoting better nutrient absorption.
The presence of probiotics in chaas can also alleviate common digestive issues like bloating, indigestion, and constipation. Moreover, the fermentation process reduces the lactose content in chaas, which is often considered easier to digest compared to milk, making it suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
The active cultures present in chaas help enhance digestion by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This can improve overall digestion and alleviate digestive discomfort. Chaas can aid in maintaining regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and promoting a healthy digestive system. The cooling properties of chaas also help soothe the digestive system, providing relief from acidity, heartburn, and other digestive disturbances.
Here is a recipe for chaas:
Note: The recipe can be adjusted according to personal preferences. Some variations include adding grated ginger for a hint of spiciness, chopped mint leaves for a refreshing twist, or a dash of lemon juice for a tangy flavour.
So, the next time you crave a rejuvenating drink, reach for a glass of homemade chaas and savour the cool, tangy, and digestive benefits it has to offer!