All About Ghee: The Health Benefits Of Clarified Butter

Ghee has quite literally been used for thousands of years.

Truly an ‘ancient’ health food, it’s definitely not a fad. It became very popular in the cooler, northern parts of India, surviving poorly in the warmer southern regions. Traditionally made from the milk of cows, who are considered sacred, ghee was quickly integrated into the diet and into Ayurvedic healing practices. It benefits the body both inside and out. Much like coconut oil, ghee is a multi-use fat that is healthy in many ways!

The essence of ghee

Ghee is clarified butter, simmered longer than other clarified butters to bring out butter’s inherent nutty flavour.

I know you are probably visualising your waist growing horizontally. But please read on, and you will discover how healthy this clarified butter really is.

Butter comprises three ingredients: butterfat, milk solids, and water. Remove the milk solids and water, and ghee remains: a type of clarified butter. The absence of milk solids gives it a much higher smoke point, higher actually than most high-heat cooking oils, such as grapeseed, canola and coconut oil.

Because it does contain some remnant moisture, it is not ideal to store it for more than six months.

Benefits of ghee

Contains CLA: Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is present at high levels in grass-fed cattle. CLA may help to reduce tumours, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation and actually lower body fat.

Contains butyrate: An essential short-chain fatty acid, Butyric acid acts as a detoxifier, improving colon health and insulin levels.
Builds strong bones: Another fat-soluble vitamin, K2, proper levels of K2 guard against tooth decay, support the proper growth and development of bones.

Supports weight loss: Energy from the medium-chain fatty acids in ghee and coconut oil actually burns other fats in our system.

Improves digestion: The short-chain fatty acids in ghee help support a healthy digestive tract by stimulating the conversion of fibre into more butyric acid, which is essential for detoxifying and eliminating other fats.

Reduces inflammation: The high levels of butyrate in ghee can play a role in reducing inflammation in the digestive tract and throughout the body by helping to create a more alkaline system.

Good for skin: Applied topically, ghee can relieve burning sensations from wounds, scars or sores. It also acts as a natural skin moisturizer if used daily.

Now that you have read of ghee’s abundant benefits, perhaps it is time to integrate some into your diet! Enjoy its benefits by starting the New Year with this healthy alternative.

BMC thanks Dr. Shylesh Subramaya, Ayurvedic Doctor and holistic health advocate, for his advice and contribution in this blog.

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