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Benefits of Ghee by Radhika Duggal

Ghee traces its roots to the ancient tradition of Ayurveda, one of the world's most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems developed over 3,000 years ago in India. Ghee has been the longtime golden nectar of Ayurvedawhere it was considered sacred, medicinal, cleansing, and nourishing food. Modern science now verifies what Ayurvedic health science has said for thousands of years. Ghee has a host of health and cooking benefits and is good for the mind and spirit. Today, it is the healthy fat everyone’s talking about.

Celebrities all over the world have already started giving their ghee a seal of approval a few years ago. One celebrity also stated publicly that  she makes sure to heat up and down a teaspoon of the beautiful golden elixir every single morning. “Ghee is the first thing I put in my body every morning,” the reality star said.

What Is Ghee?

Ghee, the Hindi word meaning "fat," is clarified butter. As well as being highly nutritious, the deep yellow substance is rich and flavoursome, with a nutty tang and a totally tantalising aroma.

Ghee can be made in two ways

1. By simmering butter

2. By simmering yoghurt

Local, grass-fed organic milk made yoghurt is best is the best type. The process of making Ghee separates the milk solids and leaves the liquid to evaporate. This concentrated residue of pure fats doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but the really amazing fact about pure ghee is that it has a shelf life of over 1 year! Plus, it can easily be digested and used instead of butter or oil, making it extremely versatile. It can be used for making dishes like French toast and quesadillas, while some specialty chefs recommend it for omelettes.

Desi (Indian) ghee has been a favourite in most Indian households. It is an ancient remedy for colds, coughs and dry skin. In the last few years the credibility of saturated fats like desi ghee has been debatable.

Some believe that saturated fats are the bad fats but a growing body of research and most health experts agree that naturally occurring saturated fats such as desi ghee are actually good for your health.

Ghee is an all-natural product that can be stored for months. It is a time-tested food that is extremely versatile in nature.

Here are some amazing health benefits that you can derive by using desi ghee regularly. Ghee boosts digestion: According to an Ayurveda expert, "Ghee is one of the most easily digestible fats used for cooking. It aids in digestion, prevents constipation and helps in the excretion of toxins. Ghee is a natural remedy for balancing the heat element (pitta) of the body.. It helps in healing and repairing of the stomach lining. This benefit can be specifically helpful for people with IBS or Crohn's disease. Having half teaspoon of ghee with moong dal khichdi (pulse and rice porridge) is a great way to detox."

Helps in weight loss: To everyone's shock and surprise, you can eat ghee as part of a weight loss diet! In the book, 'Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight', the author explains that Ghee contains omega-3 fatty acid DHA and omega 6 (CLA). These fats can help in increasing lean body mass while also reducing fat mass. Ghee also helps in mobilising fat cells to be burnt for energy and enhancing metabolism

High smoke point: Desi ghee has a high heat point which means that it doesn't burn easily while other oils may break down and release free radicals when heated at high temperatures. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells and also increase the risk of disease Thus Ghee is a very safe medium to cook.  Moreover, Indian cooking requires a lot of sauteing and therefore, it is better to use desi ghee which won't breakdown easily.

Another key point to bear in mind is that the saturated fats in ghee from Desi Cow milk melts at 37 degrees Celsius and our body temperature is 37.2 degrees which is why it gets totally absorbed by the body.

Balances your hormones: According to a famous Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner "The fat content in our body is mostly saturated fat and only 3% coming from other types. This ratio is absolutely important to know for our health and well-being. This prestigious golden elixir is rich in Vitamin K2 which builds hormones along with Vitamin A, D, E & K." These nutrients can together be beneficial for strengthening your immunity and keeping you disease-free.

Strengthens immunity and helps in bone development:  As kids, we were given a spoonful of desi ghee daily to boost our immunity and make our bones strong. Desi ghee acts as a strong microbial, anti-cancer and antiviral agent. It is a rich source of fat soluble vitamins that help in growth and development of the bones. Ghee is the food you need if you have joint pain, arthritis. It helps in soothing inflammation, lubricates joints and reduces joint stiffness caused by arthritis.

Good for the heart: Vitamin K2 found in desi ghee helps in preventing calcium deposits in the arteries that can lead to blockages and obstruct blood flow. It lowers bad cholesterol levels and increases good cholesterol levels, thus maintaining a healthy balance. Ghee is beneficial for heart health. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, that have been found to be beneficial for brain health and heart health.

Ghee is great for moisturising of skin and hair. If you experience dry skin woes in winter, or if you feel your hair is frizzy, then ghee is the food for you. Topically apply ghee on your skin and hair and magical results will surely follow!

Ghee has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to treat burns and swelling. Butyrate is a kind of fatty acid in ghee, which has been linked to an immune system response linked to inflammation.

In Ayurveda, ghee is considered to be one of the best sources of self-massage. It is cooling and calming in nature. If you experience trouble in sleeping, then you can massage your temples with ghee and it may help in promoting better sleep.

Desi ghee is a better option than commercially processed butter as it has a lower fat content. So, don't be afraid to use it but, a word of caution, like other fatty foods, it can be have health hazards if it's consumed in large quantities. However, in small quantities this liquid gold can do wonders. 

And remember that pure desi ghee is always made of cow's milk. If you're picking up a jar of desi ghee from the supermarket, be sure to read your labels.

The views and references given in the article are only for general information and should not be taken as expert health advice. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist if you have any doubts and questions.

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