Ghee is clarified butter, but not too many of us have much ‘clarity’ on the health benefits of ghee. As Indians, we are programmed to like ghee, in much the same way as many of us are taught that milk is a complete food! Well one of these two ‘facts’ will be verified today. If you remember, I had once said that when in doubt, look to what your grandmother considered ‘food’, and Indian food doesn’t get more ancient than ghee. In fact in some folktales and teachings from the Vedas actually extol the excellence of this traditional Indian staple. The sad part is that, as ‘modern’, ‘sophisticated people, we only believe something is good for us, when we read about it in a Western medical article, or watch it on the news. Well here’s the good news, even the West accepts that ghee is actually pretty awesome. So here are a few facts about ghee that will actually leave you shocked.
1. Ghee is quick to be absorbed and utilised!
The MCTS (medium chain triglycerides) present in ghee are utilised very quickly by your body as energy, and are only stored as ‘fat’ or in reserve, if you over consume in terms of calorific value.
2. It’s high smoking point makes it an excellent cooking agent
The high smoking point of ghee means that it doesn’t oxidise easily and release free radicals, which are very harmful to your health. Most oils with a high smoking point like canola and soybean oil on the other hand are normally hydrogenated to add to their stability and therefore are quite bad for you.
3. Ghee is great for those with lactose intolerance
While most may argue that ghee is a milk product, it is made by simmering off the dairy component of milk. What remains is a delicious mix of fat soluble vitamins and MCT which are great for you. In fact people who cannot normally consume butter, for fear of the gas apocalypse it would cause, can in fact stomach ghee… and live to tell of its deliciousness!
4. Ghee will put that twinkle in your eyes
It is a little known fact that people who suffer from eye problems also suffer from a lack of the fat soluble vitamin A. Ghee is a great source of this vitamin and consuming it can even help in improving one’s eyesight!
5. Ghee is rich in Omega 3
If you have ever watched a cooking oil commercial, you know that heart health is vital and Omega 3 is a key component of it. Well unlike most cooking oils and veggies, ghee is a rich source of Omega 3. So this type of fat or triglyceride actually reduces bad cholesterol and gives your heart a vital boost.
6. Ghee helps in digestion
Ghee stimulates appetite, it also causes the secretion of gastric acid, which aids faster digestion and absorption, thus making it one of the more desirable foods on the nutritional scale!
7. Ghee for improved immunity
Ghee contains butyric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (triglyceride) that is responsible for a number of important functions in the body, Most importantly it is responsible for the maintenance of gut health, and the functioning of the digestive tract. Butyric acid is also responsible for the creation and functioning of T-cells which are like the Marines of the body. T-cells are the first line of defence against most bacterial, viral and other infections.
8. Ghee for stronger bones
Vitamin K2 is one of the most important determinants of bone density and strength. It helps absorb calcium and other trace minerals which are the he building blocks of bones. Ghee is an ample source of this wonder vitamin and so is important for stronger bones.
A word to the wise:
Before you go out and decide to switch from oil to ghee as a cooking fat, or ghee to butter as a ‘healthier’ option, there are a few things you need to know. For starters, ghee is a fat rich nutrition source, and while the MCTs, Omega 3, Vitamin A, D, E & K are all encouraging factors, you need to know that too much of a good thing, is sometimes bad. So for starters consult with your doctor, nutrition coach and/or trainer about whether this is the right switch for you!
Do feel free to leave me a shoutout on Social Media, or get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to be of some help to you. Until next time, a healthier, fuller and more enjoyable life is in your grasp, and all it takes is a little determination, and a dedicated nutrition coach to motivate you to get there!