Ghee has been an integral part of Indian cuisine since time immemorial. Adding a dollop of ghee on top of parathas, adding ghee tadka to curries and making sweets with pure desi ghee, it is an essence of Indian dishes. Ayurveda claims ghee to be beneficial for the whole body. Even most Ayurveda recipes use ghee as one of its popular components. One of the components of Chyawanprash is ghee. The health benefits of ghee are many, but only if taken in moderate amounts.
Why is ghee good for health?
Ghee is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, butyric acid and antioxidants that increase the production of killer T cells. These cells boost the body’s resistance to fight against antigens, diseases, infections, allergens and foreign particles that enter the body messing up with the immune system. It also fights free radicals and improves the strength of the immune system.
If you want to lose weight, add a spoonful of ghee to you chapattis and dal. Since ghee is all healthy fats, it has been recognized as a superfood. Even health experts recommend eating some healthy fat to burn the unwanted fat and lose weight. It is a proven fact that ghee induces fat metabolism and helps to shed accumulated reserves of fat from the body. If you are looking to make some muscles, ghee should be an integral part of your diet as it fuels the body and helps to replenish and rebuild muscle lost during weight training.
Improves gut health
The fatty acid in ghee is primarily butyric acid that is made by healthy gut bacteria. It helps in digestion as it can stimulate secretion of stomach acids that fastens the digestive process. Cooking oils and butter are tough to metabolize as it moves slowly down the digestive system, but ghee is easily digestible.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Ghee is said to increase the count of HDL while lower LDL levels. Although it is not recommended for people with cardiovascular conditions, it can help in reducing cholesterol levels in intestine and the serum. Desi ghee (from cow milk) is much low in fats as compared to butter or oils, so it is a healthy option to include in your diet if you exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. But if you already have high cholesterol, it is better you steer clear of ghee and also control fat sources from your diet.
Strengthens bones in kids
Desi ghee is good for bones. Giving a spoonful of ghee to your children not only improves their immunity but the fat-soluble vitamins in them help to develop and strengthen bones. It is also a strong microbial, anti-viral and anti-cancer agent.
Myth: Ghee is harmful to health!
Actually, desi ghee is a better option that health experts and nutritionists pick over commercially prepared butter. Celeb nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says that desi ghee is “the fat that makes you thin” in her book 'Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight'.
Kareena Kapoor Khan along with Rujuta Diwekar also focused on the importance of having ghee in pregnancy.
(Read more on Kareena Kapoor’s pregnancy diet secrets)
Don’t over-indulge in ghee. Always have it in moderation because although it is a healthy fat, it is saturated fat after all. If you are healthy and active, you can have 2 tablespoons of ghee daily. You can spread it on parathas and chapattis, sauté vegetables, add as tadka to curries or add it to steamed rice.
The next time you visit your go-to supermarket to pick a jar of ghee, ensure that the label says “ghee from cow’s milk”.