Though it has been a big part of the human diet for centuries there is still a lot to learn about this dairy product. Many people love the taste and texture but are not so sure of what it is made from or whether it provides any type of nutritional benefit.
If you have ever found yourself wondering things like how long can sour cream sit out or questioning what the vitamin and mineral values of sour cream are, you are not alone!
Let us dive right into the nutrients and benefits of sour cream.
What Is Sour Cream?
Sour cream is made using fermenting cream with live, active cultures from lactic acid bacteria. Other fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut also contain live cultures. Due to the rapid growth of bacteria at room temperature, sour cream should be immediately discarded if left out.
The result is a slightly tart and thick substance that is commonly used to create creamy frosting, quick dips, thicken sauces, and a garnish for soups and potatoes. Because sour cream is used mainly as a type of garnish, it is not generally consumed in the same volume as other dairy products such as milk or yogurt.
Additionally, since other dairy products are made using all milk components — not just the cream — they tend to provide a lot more protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbs than regular sour cream.
Sour cream offers a wide range of nutrients when consumed in low to moderate amounts. A typical vitamin profile per every 100 grams of sour cream can be broken down into the following percentages:
- Vitamin A (retinol): 14% DV
- Riboflavin (B2): 13% DV
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 9% DV
- Vitamin B12: 9% DV
- Choline: 3% DV
- Vitamin E: 3% DV
- Vitamin B6: 2% DV
- Folate: 2% DV
- Thiamin (B1): 2% DV
- Niacin (B3): 1% DV
- Vitamin K: 1% DV
In a 100-gram serving of sour cream, you will be provided with the following minerals:
- Calcium: 8% DV
- Phosphorus: 6% DV
- Selenium: 7% DV
- Potassium: 3% DV
- Magnesium: 2% DV
- Zinc: 3% DV
- Sodium: 1% DV
- Copper: 2% DV
- Manganese: 1% DV
- Iron: 0.4% DV
The total nutritional values of a single cup (100g) of sour cream are as follows:
- Calories: 198 kcal
- Carbohydrate: 4.63 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sugars: 3.41 g
- Fat: 23.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 10.1 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 4.59 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Protein: 2.44 g
The Main Benefits
- Rich In Important Nutrients
Sour cream contains a big range of nutrients. It is particularly high in vitamin A in its most bioavailable form, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin (vitamin B2). This means it is great for all parts of the body but particularly for digestive health.
- It Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Two of the key nutrients in sour cream, vitamins A and E, can help to promote eye health. Vitamin A keeps the eyes moist and helps them to adjust to sudden light changes. So consuming foods rich in this vitamin will do wonders for your eyes. The same applies to vitamin E which slows down the progression of visual issues including age-related macular degeneration and also boosts cellular health.
- May Promote The Absorption Of Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Particular vitamins require sources of fat to be effectively absorbed into your digestive tract. These fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins, A, D, E, and K, which are often found in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. As a result, eating them with a source of fat – like sour cream – can enhance the rate of absorption.
- It Helps To Protect Your Bones And Teeth
Sour cream is rich in phosphorus and calcium which promotes stronger bones and teeth. As calcium works to support the bones, consuming foods like sour cream might work in your favor to prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
As the second most abundant mineral in the human body, phosphorus also supports healthy bone formation, protein synthesis, and energy production.
- Makes An Excellent Dipping Sauce
Sour cream also provides an excellent base for a tasty dipping sauce. Making this dip is simple: the only ingredients you need are garlic, onion, and salt. You then need to add them to the sour cream, an egg yolk (or more), and blend them for a thicker dipping sauce.
Sour cream contains some amazing nutrients and benefits for you to enjoy, but only if it is consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. This is because it can be high in calories and saturated fat.