Move over coconut oil and avocados, ghee (samneh in Arabic) is the healthy fat everyone’s talking about this year. Actually Kourtney Kardashian already gave ghee a seal of approval in 2016, when she said on her website 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.
However, ghee, popular in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, has been around for thousands of years. What’s more, it’s been the longtime golden nectar of Ayurveda, one of the world's most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems developed over 3,000 years ago in India. After reading up on all the benefits, it’s easy to understand why.
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. Making ghee entails simmering butter (local, grass-fed organic, unsalted butter is the best type), separating the milk solids and leaving the liquid to evaporate. This concentrated residue of pure fats doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but the really amazing fact about ghee is that it has a shelf life of up to 100 years! Plus, it can easily be digested and used instead of butter or oil, making it extremely versatile. Kardashian said she uses it to make dishes like French toast and quesadillas, while Martha Stewart recommends it for omelets.
11 Ways You Benefit From Eating This Powerful Superfood
As well as some beauty returns like hydrated skin and thicker hair, incorporating ghee into your diet provides countless health and wellbeing benefits. Here are the major ways the staple in Indian cuisine can help us lead healthier lives:
Vitamin A; Ghee is packed with vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is efficiently absorbed, making it readily available for the body to use. With its antioxidant properties, it protects cells from oxidative damage, plus vitamin A plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system. It is also great for vision, the reproductive organs and can aid heart health.
Vitamin D: Some of the vitamins found in ghee also boost brain performance. And that especially includes the exceptional form of vitamin D that aids the synapses in the brain to function well, leading to better mental alertness and memory.
Vitamins K + E: Ghee also contains small amounts of vitamin E, another fat-soluble vitamin that can help stave off disease thanks to the bioavailable antioxidants. While it’s not an antioxidant, vitamin K can help maintain healthy bones, as well as provide healthy insulin and glucose management.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid: By being rich in conjugated linoleic acid, it is believed ghee can help protect against cancer. The fatty acid with health-protecting properties also fights plaque and diabetes and has been shown to reduce fat tissue and support bone structure and healthy digestion.
High smoke point: As well as tolerating higher cooking temperatures, a higher smoke point means ghee doesn’t break down into free radicals, the harmful agents that cause all kinds of disease, so easily.
Omega-3: Ghee, when sourced from grass-fed cows, is rich in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. They also help modulate inflammation.
Medium-chain fatty acids: The liver can absorb medium-chain fatty acids directly and they burn immediately, making ghee a healthier source of energy than a lot of other carbohydrates.
Butyric acid: Ghee is loaded with butyric acid, the short-chain fatty acid that has several benefits, including healing the digestive track and keeping it healthy. Butyric acid can also foster immunity by boosting the production of T cells in the gut.
Weight loss: Like olive oil and coconut oil, ghee contains healthy fats that help you burn fat and shed some kilos. It is believed ghee can increase metabolism.
Increased flexibility: Long a favourite of yoga practitioners, this wonder food helps lubricate joints and connective tissues, so it’s great in advancing flexibility and loosening up those tight hamstrings.
Promotes positivity: Ghee is the crowning jewel in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world. As one of the satvic foods, it is considered to promote good health, positivity, calm energy and personal growth.
Nutrient absorption: The substance revered in Indian culture allows the intestinal wall to absorb vital nutrients better. Since a lot of us have some sort of nutritional deficiency, it’s an important plus.
Why Is Ghee Perfect For People With Lactose Intolerance?
Since the discarded milk solids contain all the lactose found in butter, ghee usually doesn’t bother people who are lactose intolerant. It’s a healthy and great lactose and casein-free option for people sensitive to dairy.
A Note Of Caution:
Although it is lower in cholesterol than ordinary butter, ghee has the same high saturated fat content. It is also high in calories. Like other fatty foods, it can be dangerous to your health if it's consumed in large quantities. However, in small quantities this liquid gold can do wonders.