10 Amazing Benefits of Ghee
In an episode of No Reservations on the travel channel, Anthony Bourdain visited Rajasthan in India and had dinner with the Maharana of Udaipur (prince). He described ghee to Bourdain as liquid gold. Having grown up with ghee personally, I’d have to agree with the Maharana's sentiments.
For generations on end, ghee has provided much flavor to Indian dishes. I can still recall the wafting smell of onions, garlic, spices and ghee that my mom would use to enhance the flavor of Dal (lentils) - turning this simple dish into the rich and decedent centerpiece of many South Asian households.
Over the years I’ve been more conscious about health and started to do more research on ghee and its benefits. Before I get to that…..
What is Ghee?
To understand ghee, we first need to understand butter. Butter is comprised of three main ingredients: butterfat, water and milk solids. When you cook the butter and remove the milk-solids and water, you are left with butterfat- also referred to as clarified butter and this is ghee. In essence it is pure, 100% - unadulterated fat.
10 Great Benefits of Ghee
1. Lactose Free - Since the milk solids have been removed, ghee contains little to no lactose. For those of you who love butter, ghee is a great alternative and it tastes WAY better.
2. Ghee is extremely rich in vitamins A, D and E.
- Vitamin A is great for bone growth, a healthy immune system and eye health.
- We obtain vitamin D from the sun and ghee helps our cells absorb more of it
- Vitamin E is great for protecting against inflammation, fighting against free radicals, and promotes healthy skin, nails and hair.
3. Casein Free - Casein is a protein found in mammals and in many dairy products. Many people are allergic to casein because the body mistakes it as harmful and may cause a whole host of symptoms. Luckily ghee is free of this.
4. Weight Loss - The fats in ghee is much like coconut oil in that it helps burn other fats in our system. According to Ayurvedic practices, it’s essential for proper gallbladder function.
5. Digestion - Ghee helps the body produce more gastric acid which aids in more efficient digestive health. This ties into weight loss as well.
6. High smoke point - Ghee can be cooked in extremely high heat and it will not break down into free-radicals like most oils. Don’t know what a free radical is - click here.
7. An optimistic food - In Ayurveda practices ghee is considered a satvic food which promotes positivity, expansion of awareness in mind, body and spirit.
8. Shelf Life - Ghee hardens in room temperature and liquefies in heat. It has a long shelf life. Many have stored ghee over a year, but I recommend keeping it for no longer than 3-6 months becomes it does come from an animal and can become rancid.
9. Free range and grass fed - If you buy ghee from a South Asian grocer then you can be assured that it’s free range. In India the cow is sacred and throughout history it has been an indispensable part of the culture - from farming, mud brick homes and nutrient needs, the cow was essential. The essence of all this energy is present in ghee.
10. It tastes AMAZING - Even this is an understatement. Ghee is pretty much a concentrated form of butter. Use it in your favorite dishes as a replacement to oil. You will thank me!
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Blogger @Bharat Bazar