By: Gillian B
I LOVE ghee! It is the ultimate delight for vegetarians and those with dairy intolerances. Here’s what you need to know:
What is it?
Ghee is clarified butter, which means that it has been cooked down so the dairy solids and the milk fat separate. The foam on top — which contains the allergens — is skimmed off, leaving pure, golden milk fat.
Why is it so amazing?
1) Ghee is versatile in the kitchen and in Ayurvedic Medicine.
- Ghee has a high smoke point (250 °C / 482 °F). You can cook with ghee at higher temperatures and it will not break down into free radicals like many other oils.
- Ghee does not spoil easily, so it does not need refrigeration. It is said that some ghee mixtures can last up to 100 years, but it’s so delicious, I am sure it won’t last that long in your house!
- Get full flavor by cooking your spices in ghee. Frying your kitchen spices in ghee before adding them to your dishes is sure to take the flavor factor up a notch!
- Ghee is the ultimate carrier for medicine through the body. Many of the medicinal properties of herbs and spices can be absorbed and transported to targeted areas of the body with ghee. This is exactly why Ayurveda uses ghee in thousands of different herbal preparations such as ghee cleanses and enemas!
2) Ghee has all the taste of butter, without all of the allergens.
Ghee is made from butter but the milk solids and impurities have been removed so most people who are lactose or casein intolerant have no issues with ghee.
3) Ghee is rich in the oil soluble vitamins A and E.
4) Ghee is rich in K2, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) –
an antioxidant with anti-viral properties if it is sourced from grass fed cows.
5) Ghee is Nutritionally Rich Like Coconut Oil
Like coconut oil, ghee is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed directly to the liver (similar to carbs) and burned as energy. This makes it incredible for energy production and weight management.
6) Helps You Burn Fat
The energy from ghee’s medium chain fatty acids can be used to burn other fats in the system and help you lose weight.
7) Ghee Encourages a Healthy Digestive Tract and Boosts the Immune System
Ghee (unlike other oils) is rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid found naturally in the body. Beneficial intestinal bacteria convert fiber into butyric acid and then use that for energy and intestinal wall support. A healthy body therefore makes its own form of “ghee” but you can aid the process greatly by just consuming it. Research shows that people with unhealthy digestive tracts do not produce butyric acid.
Research shows that adequate production of butyric acid supports the production of killer T-cells in the gut, which thus creates a strong immune system.
8) Ghee is a Healthy Fat that Lowers Bad (LDL) Cholesterol
Research shows that ghee safely increases blood lipids without raising LDL cholesterol. This means that it does more than simply lower total cholesterol. It raises the good kind (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL).
9) Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
Researchers are using butyrate both in the form of oral supplements and enemas to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. (Ayurvedic physicians have been using ghee enemas for centuries to decrease inflammation.)
Ghee also reduces inflammation and prevents heart disease. One study found that men who consumed two tablespoons of ghee a day lowered their risk for heart disease by 23 percent!
10) Encourages Strong a Appetite and Better Digestion.
Ghee stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, thus aiding in the digestive process. Better digestion equals better health and balanced weight.
Although ghee isn’t quite “mainstream” yet, it isn’t hard to find. Most health food stores have it in the refrigerated section. (Pick up organic ghee made from butter that’s from grass-fed cows.) If for some reason you can’t find it nearby, you can always order it online or make your own at home!