To put it plainly, Ghee is clarified butter. Made from the milk of (preferable grass fed) cows or buffalo, it is made by heating the butter and then removing the water and milk fats. It has a rich, nutty flavor, as well as a high smoke point for those who choose to cook with it. According to Dr. Axe, " Ghee has been used for thousands of years, quite literally. It’s truly an “ancient” health food and definitely not a fad. The first known use of butter was back in 2000 BC. It became very popular in the cooler northern parts of India, but didn’t survive well in the southern warmer regions. It’s believed that the southerners are responsible for clarifying butter, in order to keep it from spoiling. Ghee quickly was integrated into the diet, into ceremonial practice and into Ayurvedic healing practices. It’s believed to promote both mental purification and physical purification through its ability to cleanse and support wellness. Ghee benefits the body both inside and out, and is actually used topically to treat burns and rashes as well as to moisturize the skin and scalp. Much like coconut oil, it’s a multi-use fat that is healthy in many ways!"
Ghee boasts a bevy of health benefits and can be easily incorporated into your diet. My favorite is to add it to my Golden Milk and Maca Root Lattes. The nutty flavor of the Ghee accentuates these warm, satisfying drinks and boosts their benefits. But, there is so much more to learn about Ghee, and i thought it wise to skip over some of the Americanized articles about it, and head over to India, where Ghee has been an intricate part of the diet for centuries. Here's what i found over at The Health Site:
Ghee or clarified butter that was an essential part of the Indian cuisine has lost its sheen these days. Many ‘health-conscious’ people dismiss adding ghee to food as they believe it is an unhealthy practice. But in reality ghee is packed with myriad health benefits. Don’t believe it? Here’s how adding a dollop of ghee is good for your health.
Acts as Brain Tonic
According to nutritionist Neha Chandna, Ghee is good for the nerves and brain. It contains high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which is ideal for overall health. Apart from this, decreased intake of these acids is associated with increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Hence, make it a habit to include ghee in your diet regularly as it can help your brain function better.
Although ghee is high in saturated fats, it is ideal for cooking Indian food because it has a high smoke point (i.e., it does not burn very easily). This means, it generates less free radicals when heated, which are known to increase your risk of cancer. It is also rich in antioxidants that in turn protect you from free radical damage.
‘Ghee helps in the secretion of stomach acids that aid digestion,’ says Neha. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in her series Indian Food Wisdom and the Art of Eating Right highlights the fact that certain foods such as khichdi, puran poli, etc. need to have ghee to help us digest them better. You can also try these yoga poses to improve digestion.
Ghee is a good beauty enhancer as well. If you have chapped lips, apply a drop of ghee on them before you sleep. In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a moisturising agent by mixing it with water and stirring it. The process is repeated several times before ghee can be used. And once made, you can store it for up to six months to use it regularly. Here are 5 beuty benefits of ghee you should try out!
Melts Stubborn Fat
If you have problem areas where fat gets accumulated quickly, consider adding ghee to your diet. ‘Ghee has essential amino acids that help mobilise the fat and allow the fat cells to shrink in size,’ explains Rujuta.
Apart from the above benefits, ghee is good for people suffering from joint pain. It also improves your memory and vision power. As ghee has powerful antiviral and antifungal properties, it strengthens the immune system.
How Much is Too Much?
Ghee is considered to be unhealthy because people do not know how much is too much. Though it has several benefits, eating unhealthy amounts will only lead to problems. ‘Learn to draw the line at two teaspoons of ghee per day. ‘Also, remember that it is rich in saturated fat and eating too much can increase your cholesterollevels, affecting the heart,’ says Neha.
Who should avoid it?
Now that you know the various benefits of ghee, don’t shy away from spreading a spoonful on your rotis or adding a dollop of it on your dal-chawal.
New York Times best selling author, keynote speaker and workshop leader, founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.