Generations grew up gorging on Ghee-the clarified Butter, and had plenty of it on the occasions and without out the one as part of daily food habit. Then, we were asked to shun it.
This traditional flavor earned the bad name for increasing the ‘killer’ cholesterol-the major cause of heart diseases. Now nutritionist vouch this humble ‘Desi Ghee’ as a super food and an essential part of the daily diet. Ghee has traveled a long journey from being derided as a cause of cholesterol to a must have-although in regulations, for good health.
Ghee is much more than a super food
Dr. Hem Raj Gautam, ex-District Ayurvedic Officer (DAO), Himachal Pradesh, says , “ghee is much more than just a super food, it’s a way of living, and its benefits are countless”.
However, the good old ghee has endured the challenge and has stood out, despite millions of households changing their cooking habits. Many families have shifted back to using ghee for everyday cooking, after realising its benefits.
Nutritionists call it a ‘super food’ and according to ‘Ghee’ is considered healthier than other edible oils, used for cooking or topping over the food.
Ghee is believed to be a supreme source of nutrients, has therapeutic values, and can be consumed and also applied on the body and scalp. Due to the plethora of benefits, ghee is considered ‘sacred’ in India and has been used for cooking delicacies for centuries.
Past few decades medical fraternity derided ghee for being the cause of cholesterol and other health issues and instead advocated for refined oils. Aggressive marketing and rigorous PR exercise by the refined oil companies influenced the consumers to avoid ghee.
Benefits of Desi Ghee
Ayurveda claims that consumption of ghee offers a wide range of benefits, including clarity of mind and sound digestion. According to Charaka Samhita, one of the classical texts of Ayurveda, “the intake of ghee is prescribed for those whose bodily constitution is dominated by Vata and Pitta.” It is also mentioned that “those who desire good eyesight, longevity, strength, good complexion, strong memory, intelligence, better digestion, wisdom, proper functioning of sense organs, and those afflicted with injuries due to burns” should definitely include her in their daily diet.
Some of the major benefits of ghee are as follows:
Improves the digestive system: Ghee helps in the secretion of acids in the stomach that help break down food. It also helps remove toxins and promotes elimination, and strengthens the digestive system. Ghee increases the capability of the intestinal walls to absorb nutrients. This quality also enhances the healing power of the herbs that are ingested.
Source of fatty acids: Ghee is the main source of fatty acids. It is vital for the health of the intestinal walls, reducing the chances of inflammation. It is ideal for conditions such as leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. This fatty acid also helps in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Lubricates the body: Whether applied externally or taken internally, ghee nourishes and lubricates tissues in the body. It reduces dry skin, dry colon, inflammation, and stiff joints. It makes the body lustrous, strong, and flexible.
Nourishes the brain and nervous system: Ghee increases your memory and intellect. It is beneficial for mental and emotional balance. Including ghee in daily diet, promotes strong memory and smooth functioning of the nervous system.
Possesses anti-inflammatory properties: Ghee helps control allergies, arthritis, and auto-immune conditions, as it has anti-inflammatory agents. In the pre-modernisation era, people used to apply ghee as an antiseptic on the burned areas of the body.
Ghee benefits the eyes: In Ayurveda, ghee, along with Triphala and honey, is used to improve the health of the eyes. In the rural parts of the country, people make homemade “kajal” by mixing ghee in it so when applied, it may promote better and improved eyesight.