Another season is on its way, yet again… time is flying this year and we must remember to step back and take time to reflect upon the changes going on within our bodies and externally as well. As the Summer Solstice approaches, I thought it appropriate to share this blog about ghee and how wonderful it is to support our bodies in transitioning seasons. My very favorite way to do this is with an Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse. This week I am going to share information on a key ingredient in this cleanse called Ghee.
Ghee is basically liquid gold
According to the system of Ayurvedic Medicine, ghee is a sattvic superfood that enhances digestion and heals the body from the inside out. It is what we know as clarified butter. This means butter is heated for up to 50 minutes or until it separates into three layers. The bottom, heavy layer, in which all of the milk solids sink down to the bottom of the pot and create this bottom layer. Then the middle layer – this is the good stuff – this is essentially the ghee. Then we have the top layer, in which a white/yellow foam forms. The process of making ghee includes skimming the foamy layer off the top and filtering or straining the rest of the liquid through many layers of cheesecloth in order to get the middle layer on its own.
Here are 5 reasons to use Ghee:
- It is packed with nutrients: Not only is ghee a huge source of butyric acid, it also contains significant amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, and various other long, medium and short chain fatty acids.
- It is the perfect cooking oil: It can withstand heats up to 480° F. And not only that, it tastes fantastic. It is rich, nutty, buttery and delicious.
- It contains butyric acid: Butyric acid is a saturated short chain fatty acid that supports the overall health and healing of the small and large intestines. It is known to benefit those with chronic digestive issues by decreasing digestive inflammation and enhancing the gut wall integrity. Not only will it decrease inflammation in the gut, it can decrease overall inflammation, potentially allowing for increased joint mobility and connective tissue flexibility.
- It can be used for Oleation: Oleation is an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which ghee is taken for a series of morning during an Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse and it used to pull fat soluble toxins out of fat cells. This means ghee is a wonderful tool in the detoxification process. When it is used in this cleanse, ghee triggers fat metabolism.
- Last but not least, according to Ayurveda, ghee is a spiritual oil: As it comes from cows, and cows are a sacred animal according to this traditional system, ghee is a pure, sattvic (nourishing and balancing) oil that can help with many conditions. It is said to purify the mind, bring in mental clarity and help one reach deeper states of consciousness. So to all the yogis out there trying to find more depth and relaxation in savasana, this could be a very beneficial addition to your day.
Read our blog – Why The Pure Desi Cow Milk Ghee Is Costlier Than Normal Ghee?
Nutritional Value of Ghee
Ghee may be composed primarily of fats, but it also contains significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D. Although some people think of fat as an unhealthy element to the diet, the body needs fat to function. Omega-3s (monounsaturated fats) are healthy forms of fat that can be found in ghee, in addition to other fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid & butyric acid, both of which have positive health benefits in the body.
Health Benefits of Ghee
Let’s take a closer look at this ancient ghee substitute to see what it really contributes to human health.
The wide range of fats that compose ghee includes medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which are very useful for the body and can be processed by the liver and burnt as energy, not passing into the fatty tissue or contributing to weight gain. For athletes or other people with active, high-energy lifestyles, ghee can provide the necessary burst of energy that you might need to get through a challenging day.
Since ghee is dairy-free (having had all of the dairy residue simmered off), lactose intolerant individuals or those who cannot consume butter are free to enjoy the flavorful treat of “butter” in the form of ghee without worrying about the gastrointestinal problems that normally follow.
Butyric acid is the most important element in ghee, has also been linked to the stimulation of T-cell production, which are the heavy-hitting cells of the immune system. In other words, ghee can supercharge your immune system in addition to all of its other health benefits.
Although some people associate butter with fat and a decline in heart health, the rich variety of fats in ghee can provide a healthy boost to the heart. Omega-3 fatty acids can aid decrease your levels of unhealthy cholesterol and provide an energetic balance to your fat intake.
Important levels of vitamin A in ghee make it ideal for protecting eye health. Carotenoids are antioxidants that specialize in eliminating & neutralizing the free radicals that attack the macular cells, thereby preventing macular degeneration and the development of cataracts.
Ghee possesses butyric acid, which is one of the most beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that the body needs. Butyric acid has been shown, in recent research, to actually reduce inflammation in parts of the body, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract, and is now a recommended dietary addition for some people with ulcerative colitis. Furthermore, ghee enemas have long been used in traditional medicine for treating swelling of all kinds.