Ghee: The Ultimate Ayurvedic Super-food
What Ayurvedic health science has been saying for thousands of years, modern science has now re-established again. Yes, it is a verified fact that ghee is great for your mind and spirit, and has a host of health and cooking benefits.
Throughout history, ghee has been highly regarded for its many benefits. The ancient Vedas call ghee the ‘first and the most essential of all foods’. Ghee is the essence of milk that comes from the holy cows. Perhaps this is the reason behind its positive and subtle effects on our health.
What exactly is ghee?
When people talk of dairy allergies, casein, milk proteins and whey are the main culprits. Ghee is nothing but butter that is free from these problematic proteins. It is also devoid of the milk sugar – lactose. When butter is simmered into a concentrate and the residue is removed, what we get is ghee. It is a pure combination of fats, without any milk residue. You can use it for months, and even years, without refrigerating.
Nutritional value of ghee
Primary constituent of ghee is fat. Ghee sourced from grass fed cows is rich in linoleic acid, giving it anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in ghee are good for your overall well-being. Ghee is also packed with butyric acid which is wonderful for healing the gut. When you experience sensitivities and allergies to food, it’s pretty likely that your gut needs some ghee. Ghee also has significant levels of vitamin A, E and D.
Ghee as a herbal energizer
Ghee helps absorb and transport many of the medicinal properties of herbs and spices to targeted areas of the body. Perhaps this is the reason why Ayurveda uses it in thousands of herbal preparations. You too can fry your kitchen spices in ghee before adding them to your dishes.
Ghee for your mind and spirit
Ancient cultures have always maintained that the mind and body are one. This is exactly what modern research has now revealed that negative emotions are chemical in nature. These chemicals are stored in the form of fats. Ghee can replace and pull out these toxins so that they are cleansed out of the system. According to Ayurveda, ghee is a satvic food – one that promotes growth, positivity and expansion of consciousness.
Strengthen your digestion and immunity with ghee
Ghee has butyric acid which is great for intestinal wall support. It also supports the production of killer T cells in the gut, thus promoting a strong immune system. Ayurvedic physicians have been using ghee for centuries to treat bowel inflammatory diseases. Ghee also stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, aiding the digestive process. So consume ghee for a better digestive system, which equates to better health.
Ghee for energy and weight management
If you have an active lifestyle or you are an athlete, you can use ghee as a consistent energy source. Ghee is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed directly by the liver and burned as energy. The energy from these medium chain fatty acids can be used to burn other fats in the system and lose weight.
Use ghee as a natural moisturizer
Ghee is a great beauty enhancer too. If you are suffering from chapped lips, smear a drop of ghee on them before going to bed. Ayurveda uses ghee as a moisturizing agent by mixing it with water and stirring it. The process is repeated several times, and the potion can be stored for up to six months and used regularly.
How much is too much?
Ghee is often blamed for various health problems such as increasing levels of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. People are rapidly switching to so-called ‘healthier’ vegetable fats. But the actual problem lies in people not knowing how much ghee to consume. Eating unhealthy amount of ghee will obviously lead to problems. You may think of fats as unhealthy elements in your diet, but your body does need them to function. You just need to learn to draw the line at 2 tablespoons of ghee per day.
Who all should avoid it?
No doubt ghee has numerous health benefits, but people with certain health problems like cardiac diseases, high blood cholesterol, obesity and diabetes should avoid or limit its intake to prevent further complications. For the rest of you, we recommend that you eat it every day.
So, enjoy this wonderful nectar called ghee. Now that you know what a super-food it is, don’t shy away from spreading a spoonful on your chapatis or adding dollop of it in your bowl of daal.