What is Ghee and Why is it Good For You?

Author: Dr Aushi Patel

What is Ghee?

Ghee is a special clarified butter that originated in ancient India thousands of years ago.  It is made by heating unsalted butter until it separates into its components which are lactose (sugar), casein (milk protein), and fat. The sugar, milk protein and other impurities are filtered out leaving the purified golden ghee fat.

Revered as a powerful and sacred food in Ayurveda (the ancient medical system of India) it is believed that ghee has the healing powers of butter without the impurities. It also has a high smoke point – this is the point when fats break down and become smoke which can be potentially carcinogenic. Ghee is now emerging as a super healthy fat and is becoming popular as a cooking oil in modern kitchens around the world.

In addition to its delicious flavour, here are a few of the surprising health benefits you can enjoy from adding some ghee to your diet.

Ghee

Why is it good for you?

Vitamins

Ghee contains the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These nutrients are essential to a wide range of body functions from the brain to the immune system. In addition, ghee aids in the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from other foods.

Antioxidants

Ghee is a rich source of antioxidants particularly vitamin E. Antioxidants as “scavengers” in the body, neutralising free radicals which cause cell and tissue damage and ultimately lead to disease.

Heart Healthy Fats

While ghee has a high concentration of fat, it’s high in monounsaturated Omega-3s. These are the same fatty acids found in foods like salmon that have been discovered to promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Ayurvedic medicine has regularly used ghee to treat burns and swelling. It contains large quantities of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been linked to an immune system response that soothes inflammation. The substance also has anti-viral properties and contributes to a healthy digestive system by helping heal and repair the stomach lining. This can be particularly valuable for individuals with intestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease and leaky gut syndrome.

If this interests you why not make your own ghee at home?

3 simple steps for making golden ghee:

1.     Place 1kg of unsalted cultured butter (preferably grass fed and organic) into a heavy based medium sized pot. Place this over a low to medium heat depending on your stove. The main thing is to ensure the ghee doesn’t burn.

2.      Once the butter has melted turn the heat to low and let it cook on a very light boil for approximately 15-20 minutes. This is a good time to take a nice deep breath and enjoy the delicious aroma of the ghee and it’s rich golden colour!

3.     As the butter continues to boil lightly you will see white curds on the surface and popping of the golden liquid. When the curds turn a tan colour and the “popping” slows down turn the heat off and allow the ghee to cool for about 15minutes until it is just warm. Strain the ghee into a clean glass jar using a cheesecloth. Discard the curds collected in the cloth and at the bottom of the pan.

Ghee and Aushi

In Ayurvedic tradition ghee is traditionally made under a full moon as a way of honouring the fullness in our own lives. It is believed that the moon represents the Mother and all the nurturing energies she gives.

Whether it’s plain or flavoured with herbs and spices, ghee can be used in nearly every application that calls for butter, as an oil for stir-frying or drizzled over vegetables. Just remember that ghee is fat, and only a certain amount of total fat is necessary in the diet. If you use ghee, reduce your total fat intake proportionately.

Our team at Anokhi Dental are here to answer any questions you may have about your dental care.  You can call us on (02) 9264 5195 email info@anokhidental.com.au or ask us any questions at your next appointment.

Anokhi Dental is a holistic dental practice located in the heart of Sydney CBD.

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