Ghee is a form of clarified butter that has its origin in ancient India. Melting butter helps to separate milk solids and liquid fats. When whey and casein protein are removed from butter, it leaves behind a substance that is known as ghee. Ghee encloses very little or no lactose at all, this product is also not dairy-free since technically it is still butterfat.
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Even now, ghee is among the most extensively used foods in the Indian subcontinent. This form of clarified butter also forms a familiar ingredient in many cuisines of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In addition, ghee is also used in a variety of holistic medicine practices as well as spiritual rituals.
Ghee is mainly used for culinary purpose and it is considered to be among the best quality cooking oils that are perfect for cooking in high temperatures. This is because the flash point of ghee is 485° Fahrenheit. Moreover, ghee does not contain casein, which makes this form of clarified butter a better option for people who endure lactose intolerance or those suffering from problems related to the digestive system. As ghee is loaded with vitamins A and D, it offers amazing health benefits. Ghee helps to improve digestion and it is said to be very nourishing for the tissues of our body. Last, but not the least important, ghee also possesses the ability to heal our body tissues.
In the ancient Indian medicine system known as Ayurveda, ghee is considered to be the most favourable oil to nourish our body, mind as well as to heal digestive problems. People, especially in India, have been using ghee for centuries to improve digestion and, at the same time, promote the health of the skin and eyes. It is also said to enhance the energy levels. In addition, this form of clarified butter is also known to help lubricate the joints and alkalize the blood.
Ghee offers several wonderful health benefits because it contains many nutrients and various fatty acids that are beneficial for our health. The numerous health benefits of consuming ghee are attributed to its various constituents that are proven to help us in several ways - from helping to improve digestion to promote weight loss and even provide respite from inflammation.
As far as cooking is concerned, the smoking point of an oil means the temperature at which a particular oil begins to burn and exude smoke. Compared to ghee, the smoke point of butter is relatively low - something around 300° Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the smoke point of ghee is very high - around 485° Fahrenheit. As a result ghee is considered to be ideal for crisping as well as browning foods - remember not burning them.
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Despite the fact that deep frying foods is not said to be among the healthiest methods of cooking, you can also use ghee to deep fry various foods. As far as the flavour of ghee is concerned, this type of clarified butter will not make your foods taste bitter even when you cook them at very high temperatures. Instead foods cooked in ghee will have a somewhat nutty and very rich flavour.
Another benefit of using ghee in culinary is that this oil does not burn or splatter, which makes it a perfect oil for cooking in high temperatures. Before roasting your vegetables, rub them down with ghee and use a dollop of ginger and sauté garlic or add a spoonful of ghee to your hot drinks such as chaider to prepare an energy boost in mid-morning. You can also use ghee in the same manner as you use any other cooking fat/oil. However, you need to use ghee as finishing oil because it helps to bring out the excellent grassy flavour of this clarified butter.
The health benefits offered by ghee are many. This variety of clarified butter is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E, which are essential for supporting the health of our bones as well as the brain. At the same time, they help to perk up the immune system.
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Ghee possesses the unique ability to convert dietary fiber into butyric acid, which is necessary for the nourishment of the good bacteria in the intestinal tract. At the same time, ghee works to enhance appetite, promote better health and support your weight loss programs.
Findings of various studies have revealed that ghee also possesses the ability to lower the cholesterol levels in the intestine as well as the serum. According to a study published in the Times of India, ghee is able to achieve these by promoting increased biliary lipid secretion.
As ghee has a much higher smoke point compared to many other oils used in cooking, it does not break into detrimental free radicals even when used in high heat. Free radicals have the potential to cause harm to our health. Moreover, when an oil smokes it becomes dangerous for those cooking with it because they constantly breathe in the smoke harming their respiratory system.
The ghee that is obtained from cows fed on grass, the butter possesses anti-carcinogenic fatty acids as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). As a result, consuming this type of ghee helps to promote weight loss.
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Ghee comprises a wide variety of fats, including medium-chain fatty acids that are extremely beneficial for our body. Our live is capable of processing the medium-chain fatty acids and burn them in the form of energy, thereby preventing them from going into the adipose tissue or aiding weight gain. Ghee can supply the much-needed energy boost to athletes and people with high-energy and active lifestyles, thereby helping them to continue through the day without feeling fatigued.
Many people relate butter with fat, which are believed to be detrimental for the health of our heart. But ghee encloses a variety of healthy fats that can actually boost the health of our heart. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to lower the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol in the body and, at the same time, help to maintain a healthy balance of energy that will help to regulate your fat intake.
As mentioned earlier, ghee contains butyric acid - one of the short-chain fatty acids that are most beneficial to our body. It is also essential for our body. Findings of studies undertaken recently have shown that butyric acid actually works to reduce inflammation in our body, especially in our gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Now, doctors recommend intake of butyric acid in the form of dietary supplements for people suffering from ulcerative colitis. In addition to this, traditional medicines have been using ghee enemas since long to treat various kinds of inflammation.
Ghee contains considerable amounts of vitamin A, thereby making this clarified butter excellent for protecting the health of our eyes. Antioxidants and carotenoids present in ghee play a vital role in getting rid of and also combating free radicals, which assault out macular cells. In this way, intake of ghee helps to prevent macular degeneration as well as cataract development.
Among the most important benefits of consuming ghee is that this clarified butter does not contain lactose or casein protein. Many people have allergic reactions to milk, which may occur due to their sensitivity to casein protein in milk. Some people may be oversensitive to lactose. People who are lactose intolerant suffer from allergic reactions like swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, and/or throat. They may also endure hives or congestion.
People who are hypersensitive to lactose usually find it very difficult to digest the milk sugar lactose and their allergic reactions to casein protein may be much less. Even the symptoms related to lactose intolerance are less dangerous compared to that of casein allergy. Some of the symptoms related to lactose intolerance are flatulence, bloating, vomiting, nausea, and cramps. Most people who are oversensitive to either lactose or casein protein, however, do not have any difficulty in digesting ghee. This is mainly because lactose as well as casein protein is removed from ghee by means of skimming and straining.
Ghee is also loaded with conjugated linoleic acid (also known as CLA). Basically, conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that offers several health benefits. Findings of some studies have shown that CLA may be very effectual in decreasing body fat, assuaging inflammation, lowering high blood pressure and also preventing development of various forms of cancer.
While purchasing ghee from the stores, you should always bear in mind that ghee produced from milk of cows fed on grass contains higher levels of this vital fatty acid and, hence, is more beneficial to our overall health. Therefore, whenever possible you ought to opt for ghee derived from grass-fed cows. Even while making ghee at home, you should opt for milk of grass-fed cows.
Butyric acid or butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that has a vital role in promoting the health of the gut. Findings of a number of studies suggest that butyric acid may even aid in improving the levels of insulin in the body. At the same time, this short-chain fatty acid combats inflammation and alleviates the problems associated with health conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It is, therefore, needless to say that people suffering from diabetes and the other conditions would benefit by consuming ghee regularly.
When you consume considerable amount of dietary fiber, the gut flora is also capable of making this important fatty acid. Butyric acid is considered to be the main source of energy for the cells in our colon and, hence, it is vital for boosting a healthy micro-biome in the gut. It is worth mentioning here that healthy gut micro-biome plays a vital role in promoting our health and preventing the risks of developing various diseases.
Perhaps, butyric acid is the central constituent of ghee. This short-chain fatty acid has been associated with stimulating production of T-cells, which are considered to be the heavy-hitting cells in our immune system. This means that consuming sufficient amounts of ghee can help to boost your immune system, besides the various other health benefits it offers.
In Ayurvedic medicine, consumption of ghee is recommended to reduce joint stiffness and also lubricate the joints. Moreover, in Ayurveda, ghee is used as a natural remedy for arthritis. Some Ayurvedic massage methods also use ghee as a massage medium. This variety of clarified butter is also used to keep the lips and skin hydrated.