Why should I eat Ghee?
From the childhood days, I am listening to the glories of ghee from my nanis and dadis (grandmothers), but I never wanted to eat it as per the latest trend of the food, diet and the weight lose industry. In India, the chapattis are always served with ghee, the elderly will keep on telling you eat ghee, eat ghee and not other oils as it will make you strong but I always replied them just because I eat other oils and not the ghee, it doesn’t mean that I’m not strong enough, after all eating oils is the latest trend. So I never had ghee in my teenage and twenties.
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is considered as the crucial and the vital ingredient in traditional Indian cooking and Ayurveda. It is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern recipes. Ghee in India has always been a sacred, holy and used in the day to day rituals of worship. Modern science now verifies what Ayurvedic science has said about ghee for more than thousands of years that ghee has a host of health and cooking benefits and is believed to promote both physical as well as mental purification because of its ability to cleanse and sustain wellness. Yes ghee is now considered as an essential power food and I started eating it again when I was blessed with a son. As the body of a women goes through a lot of changes after conceiving and delivering a baby, I wanted to be fitter, healthier and stronger again, so I finally listened to my granny, as being in her nineties she is still active and healthy, and started having ghee. Following are the few health benefits that I have found through my three and a half years of eating ghee daily and finally I came to know that ‘why should I eat ghee’:-
1. Lose Weight
If you are fighting with weight lose then you might have cut all the fats from your diet and the foremost would have been the ghee(especially we the Indians). But, are you aware that ghee helps in weight lose. Yes ghee helps to prevent weight gain, and it aids in weight lose. If you wish to shed pounds, replacing rancid, highly processed vegetable oils with homemade ghee may be a good place to start. Well its true and I have experienced it myself. With a new born every mother knows you cant exercise and at the same time want her pre-pregnancy shape back. On including ghee again into my diet slowly and gradually has helped me to regain my pre-pregnancy weight. Today my son is three years old and I weigh 50.8 kilograms, that is 112 pounds and my height is 5.3″ All thanks to this superfood ghee.
2. Good for Gut
My grandfather has always said, ‘Oh, you are the vegetable oil girl! If you want that your body should get all the benefits of what you eat and be strong, start eating ghee!’ Well, now I know why he said so. Ghee, the way it is made at home, is capable for maintaining the variety and strength of the gut(stomach and the intestines) bacteria as the SCFA (Short Chain Fatty Acid) in ghee are now recognised as ‘prebiotic’ – something which creates an environment that promotes the growth of the gut-friendly bacteria. Ghee nourishes the good bacteria that all of us already have in our gut.
3. Appropriate for Lactose Intolerant
Yes, ghee is safe to eat for lactose sensitive people because the milk solids that are there in butter are removed when the butter is clarified – known as ghee. For few people, dairy products tend to give acne, however the homemade desi(the local breed) cow ghee will never give you an acne prone skin.
4. Relieves Constipation
If you wake up feeling constipated or have any digestion issues, just adding an extra teaspoon of ghee on the top of dinner meal will help. Even adding 1-2 tsp of ghee to a cup of hot milk and drinking before going off to sleep is an age old Indian traditional remedy for relieving constipation. I have seen the difference myself as I used to have digestion issues when ghee was not a part of my diet.
5. Relieves Acidity
Unfortunately, many ill health problems are our own callings as we invite them ourselves by our inaccurate lifestyle habits. Today every third person suffers from this problem of acidity or acid reflux. Pure ghee from desi cow works best to cure and prevent it. Yes, ghee aids in ensuring proper digestive health. Mixing 2 tsp of ghee in a glassful of milk and taking it once a day acts as a liner inside the gut and will heal all the harm caused by the acid reflux. On consuming ghee daily, it also helps in minimising stomach acid while simultaneously repairing the gut lining.
6. Protection against Carcinogens
Carcinogens are the substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue. A number of studies prove that having just 2-3 tsp of homemade cow milk ghee daily has a protective effect against carcinogens as it boosts the availability of enzymes responsible for the detoxification of these cancer causing substances because of the presence of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid).
Like all fats, ghee is quite high in calories. It contains full spectrum of short, medium and long chain fatty acids. Ghee or clarified butter is a good source of memory boosting fats omega 3 and omega 9 (the essential fatty acids) along with vitamins A, D, E and K. The homemade ghee made from a desi cow’s milk or butter is one of the highest natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). As ghee is clarified butter – with the milk solids removed – it contains least amount of calcium approximately 1 mg per tablespoon.
As far as its benefits are concerned, ghee is more stable than butter when heated at high temperatures and has a high smoking point.
How to Consume
As per Ayurveda, the best way to consume ghee is to add it to curries, dal (legumes and pulses) and chapattis. One can even use it for sautéing. I personally swap it for butter for spreading or while baking cookies or cake.
As I did not eat ghee for 13 years, I started it again into my diet by adding one teaspoon of ghee on top of my dal for lunch. Gradually it was increased to 3 teaspoon, one each for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I started loving its taste as well. Today I eat 7-8 tablespoon of ghee daily and I am much more energetic, fitter, leaner and stronger than before. When people ask me how am I so fit after a 3 year old, I always tell them how ghee has affected my life but, its hard for them to believe. However, this is the truth. I am not recommending you to consume ghee in this large amount but, yes you can certainly include it to your daily diet slowly and gradually as per your comfort. If you have never eaten ghee in your life before then please start by adding only half a tsp in your daily diet as otherwise you may have diarrhoea or vomiting because your body, may take time to get use to ghee.
My grandmother and mother use to say one amazing benefit of pure ghee, it removes dirt from the brain cells and refreshes the cells of the body thus improving the quality of life.
Let’s eat ghee without hesitation, without regrets and without any doubts and have a healthy life.