When lactic acid is added to cream, the natural layer of fat separated from milk, the mixture becomes sour cream. The result is a thick savory cream, much like Greek yogurt, but more tart in flavor.
Sour cream is versatile, used in making dips, sauces, topping food, or as a baking ingredient. In addition to its usefulness and taste, there are also several health benefits of sour cream.
Important Health Benefits of Sour Cream
Sour Cream Provides Nutrients
Generally, sour cream can range from 400-450 calories per cup. A serving of sour cream is usually 2 tablespoons, with about 50 calories per serving. Sour cream is relatively low in calories, but a serving can add much flavor to a dish.
A cup of sour cream contains a diverse mixture of nutrients, particularly minerals. Sour cream has a high amount of calcium and phosphorus, which contribute to bone and teeth health. A regular consumption of these minerals is necessary to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Sour cream also provides vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which are important for maintain eye, skin, and hair health. These vitamins prevent skin dryness, nourish hair, and prevent eye damage.
The B vitamins are incredibly vital, especially B12, which is a vitamin that many people are deficient in. Vitamin B12 is necessary in most bodily functions, like converting protein not muscles, creating enzymes, and healthy brain functioning. People lacking B12 may experience fatigue, anemia, and even depression. Sour cream has 31% of vitamin B12 per cup.
Although a serving won’t give large amounts of these nutrients, sour cream lovers can rest easy knowing that every serving they eat adds up.
Sour Cream is High in Healthy Fats
Other health benefits of sour cream come from the fat content it provides. A cup of sour cream has 45 grams of fat, which is quite high. Per serving, however, that’s about 2-3 grams of fat, which is not much at all. In fact, if you follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet, sour cream is a smart addition to your meals to reach your fat intake goals.
Healthy fats increase satiation and keep a handle on appetite. Most of the fat in sour cream is saturated, which does not have much effect on risk of heart disease. Healthy fats are necessary for brain and heart health, and they can actually reduce cholesterol.
Lighter options of sour cream, which contain less fat and calories.
Sour Cream is Rich in Probiotics
Because sour cream is created with lactic acid, it is essentially a fermented dairy product. Fermented foods have live cultures, which are microorganisms that are good for you. The live cultures in sour cream are usually either Lactobacillus lactus or B. bifidus.
Like kefir and other yogurt, sour cream has probiotic benefits like relieving constipation, improving digestion, and helping maintain a balanced gut.
These health benefits of sour cream can be more reason to enjoy a dollop or two of sour cream in your meals.