Health Benefits of Ghee and Why I Love It
I love ghee and it is something that I enjoy incorporating into my diet. As someone who reduces their dairy intake due to food sensitivities, ghee gives me the opportunity of enjoying that amazing buttery taste along with all of its whole body and gut health benefits. Read below to see if ghee is something that you may want to add to your pantry.
What is Ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is traditionally used in Indian cuisine and is an important component of Ayurveda. It is made by heating butter until the milk solids separate from the butterfat. The milk solids are then removed which also removes the lactose, casein and whey from the butter. The end result is called clarified butter.
This is so important because of the rise of food allergies and sensitivities in relation to dairy. It is becoming more prevalent in children today and there is a high correlation between having at least one food sensitivity in those who have ADD/ADHD or Autism. With dairy being one of the top offenders, ghee is a great alternative. However, because there may be trace amounts of lactose, casein or whey left, ghee may not be recommended if someone has severe allergies. That is why buying ghee from an organic and reputable source makes the difference. On top of that, toxins bind to fat molecules so you ideally want to buy ghee that is made from organic grass-fed butter.
What are the Benefits?
Ghee is a great source of fat and an easy way to include fats into any diet. Increasing the amount of fat you eat is so important for cognitive health, especially if you have ADD/ADHD or Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the benefits of ghee.
- Rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
- Contains medium-chain fatty acids and short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid. Butyric acid can help reduce inflammation and repair intestinal mucosa. It is also an important regulator of bacterial microflora composition. (1)
- Source of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) that promotes cardiovascular health by its anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic benefits. Some studies indicate that CLA can also be helpful in regards to weight loss by reducing the percentage of body fat. (2)
- High smoke point at 480°F. This is even higher than regular butter which makes ghee an ideal fat to cook with. When you cook with oils and fats that have a lower smoke point it can lead to free radicals that can result in damage to your DNA.
- It tastes delicious!
Where to Buy
You can find ghee at your local health food store and it is starting to pop up in larger retail grocery stores like Loblaws. You can also buy some online on websites like well.ca. Remember that quality matters. I am currently loving the brand Prasad Ayurveda, they recently gave me their product to review and it is some of the best ghee I have tried. I really like the fact that they are a local company that produces high quality ghee made from 100% certified organic Canadian butter. They source from small family farms where the cows are fed primarily grass and hay. For more info check out their website here.
How to Use
You can use ghee in so many different ways. Here are some ideas below to help get you started.
- It is great to bake with, any recipe that calls for butter, you can swap in some ghee.
- Cook with it because of its high smoke point. This makes it ideal for high heat cooking and baking in the oven.
- You can spread it on a sandwich or yummy baked goods.
- Drizzle melted ghee on your veggies, pancakes, oatmeal, popcorn, pasta, fish…anything really!
- Add it to boiling water when you are cooking grains to add in some extra flavour.
- Makes a nice addition to brain-boosting hot elixirs.
- It is also shelf stable for up to a year but make sure to keep it sterile if you store it in the pantry. You can also store it in the fridge just to be safe.
Although ghee can be a healthy fat source for many, it is still a saturated fat that should be used in moderation. Remember, it is always best to mix up different healthy sources of fat throughout your day. So next time you are shopping you should give ghee a try!