Once Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan had said it’s not salads and juices but a spoon of ghee and rice that keep her fit!
In a nutrition documentary film titled “Indian Food Wisdom & The Art Of Eating Right”, Kareena was quoted as saying: “I begin with a banana milk shake followed by a cup of coffee. Then, it’s aloo parathas with one spoon of ghee for breakfast. For dinner, I prefer dal-rice with a spoon of ghee.”
However surprising it may sound, but, given the number of amazing health benefits it has, we have more reasons to make ghee (clarified butter) a part of our daily diet than to avoid it.
Here are the Top 10 benefits of ghee:
1. An instant energy booster:
Ghee has a whole range of short, medium and long chain fatty acids – unsaturated and saturated. It has Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids, besides vitamins A, D, E and K.
It is one of the highest natural sources of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). These fatty acids can be burnt as energy after being processed by liver.
Contrary to the myth that ghee makes you fat, the clarified butter does not pass through the adipose tissue that leads to weight gain.
2. It is non-allergic:
Ghee is free from casein, the protein in milk that causes allergies in some people. Also it is lactose-free and hence even lactose intolerant people can enjoy it.
3. Protects the heart:
The Omega-3 fatty acid present in ghee helps reduce the bad cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
4. It reduces inflammation:
Short-chain fatty acid – butyric acid, which is abundant in ghee – is known to reduce inflammation of body parts, especially the gastrointestinal tract.
5. It is rich in anti-oxidants and has anti-cancer elements:
The Vitamin A and carotenoids-rich ghee helps eliminate free radicals in the body.
Also, research has shown that the combination of conjugated linoleic acid, butyric acid and Vitamin A found in ghee produces a powerful anti-cancer substance.
6. Keeps eyes healthy:
Ghee, being rich in Vitamin A, is known to keep eyes healthy.
7. Helps you produce beautiful babies:
Research has shown that Vitamin K2 (found in ghee) is crucial is facial and dental formation of the foetus. Hence, pregnant mothers, who had high levels of Vit K2 are likely to give birth to babies with symmetrical faces.
8. Is a natural moisturizer:
In Ayurveda, ghee is considered as a natural moisturizer that can not only make your skin glow but also hydrate dry, chapped lips.
9. Strengthens the immune system:
Ghee can gift you a stronger immune system, thanks to the butyric acid present in it that stimulates the production of T-cells, which plays a central role in cell-mediated immunity.
10. Lubricates tissues and increases flexibility:
Ghee is known to lubricate joints and connective tissues. It also promotes flexibility of the muscles.
(Sources: The Ayurvedic Institute at Albuquerque in New Mexico, Yoga Journal, American Society for Microbiology, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Care2, The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, The Weston A. Price Foundation, Empowered Sustenance, The Health Site, Organic Facts, Medical Daily)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.