Would the chappatis taste as good as they do if your mom did not load them with ghee or would you be able to finish that boring dal if it was not topped with a ghee tadka? A staple in Indian households, our affair with clarified butter is an age-old phenomenon. Not only do people use it as a key ingredient in cooking, but ghee also has many benefits for skin and overall health which are backed by Ayurveda.
The term “ghee” is a Sanskrit word which translates to “sprinkled” in English. It is a type of clarified butter which is extracted from milk. Since the water and milk solids are removed during preparation, it is more concentrated in fats than any other kind of butter. Earlier, butter often used to get spoiled during warm weather. With the invention of ghee, this problem was solved. Ghee does not have any milk solids, so it does not require refrigeration and can be kept at room temperature for several weeks.
Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, Shilpa Arora notes, “Ghee consists of fat-soluble vitamins, which aids weight loss. Ghee also plays a key role in balancing hormones and maintaining healthy cholesterol. Ghee also has a high heat point, which prevents it from producing free radicals that damage cell function.” Beyond this, ghee also has several skin and hair health benefits. Let’s talk about why having ghee is always a good idea.
How to make ghee at home
To make ghee, one needs to heat the butter to separate the liquid and milk solid portions from the fat. Once the liquid evaporates, cook the milk solids until they turn golden to dark brown. Separate the ghee from the solids and allow it to cool down.
Heath benefits of consuming ghee
Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid which is a polyunsaturated fat that aids fat loss. For anyone who has allergies or sensitivities to dairy components, ghee is a better choice than any other kind of butter.
Cures clogged nose
According to Ayurveda, consuming ghee can help you keep your body warm from within and it also helps cure a clogged nose. The Nyasa treatment for cold is a very effective way in Ayurveda. The process involves pouring a few drops of warm pure cow ghee into the nostrils first thing in the morning. It soothes the infection almost instantly.
Reduce gut inflammation
Clarified butter is a great source of butyric acid. This short-chain fatty acid helps in lowering inflammation levels. It also improves digestive health by producing T-cells that fight several diseases.
Keeps constipation at bay
Doctors suggest that milk and ghee make for an effective remedy for constipation. Mixing one or two teaspoons of ghee in a cup of hot milk and having it before bed helps in treating constipation.
The ultimate skin nourishment
Ghee has several health benefits for the skin. The vital fatty acids act as a nourishing agent and provide you with soft and supple skin. Ghee is suitable for all skin types and also provides hydration to skin cells. Mix two tablespoons of besan or haldi with ghee and water in a bowl. Let the mask sit for 20 minutes. Repeat thrice a week for best results.
Benefits of ghee for hair
Clarified butter is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants. Applying it to your hair can lock moisture into your scalp. It also helps your scalp to feel smoother and less irritated. This results in fewer flakes, less oil, and more vibrant-looking hair.
Ghee strengthens bones
Vitamin K helps in calcium absorption and clarified butter has this vitamin in abundance. It also helps in the prevention of tooth decay. Consuming ghee also prevents atherosclerosis.
Benefits of ghee for weight loss
The linoleic acid in ghee helps fight obesity. It is also loaded with essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and omega 6 (CLA). These healthy fats increase lean body mass and remove excess fat. Ghee provides the body with extra energy by burning fat cells.
Potential adverse effects of ghee
Bad cholesterol levels (LDL) can be triggered as a response to high saturated fat intake. Consuming one or two tablespoons of ghee per day is suitable in such cases. The cholesterol may oxidise due to excess heat. Oxidised cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of several diseases, including heart disease.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.