If you’ve heard of the word ghee, chances are you’re familiar with South Asian cuisine. If not, it’s a type of clarified butter that is not only used in the dishes, but also in medicines and traditional religious rituals in many parts of Southeast Asia.
"Ghee" comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "sprinkled," and it basically means that the milk fat is rendered from the butter to separate the milk solids and water. It’s made by melting butter and skimming the fat off of the top. You’ll be left with a yellow liquid when it’s hot and a creamy looking solid one when the ghee cools down.
Not only is this easy to make, but ghee also has a number of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet:
1. Lactose Friendly
Since it’s made from the milk solids, the impurities have been removed, so people who are lactose intolerant usually have no problems consuming ghee. However, be sure to consult with your physician before trying it.
2. Doesn’t Spoil Easily
Ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and according to Care2, some mixtures can last up to 100 years.
3. Promotes Flexibility
According to Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., ghee helps to lubricate the connective tissue and promote flexibility. This is why many yoga aficionados and practitioners consumer this type of butter.
4. Rich In Vitamins
Ghee is rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are important for promoting bone and brain health, and for boosting the immune system.
5. Healthy Digestive Tract
Ghee converts fiber into butyric acid, which is beneficial to intestinal bacteria. It also helps to increase appetite, fostering better health and weight loss.
6. Lowers Cholesterol
Studies have shown that ghee can reduce cholesterol both in the serum and intestine. According to the Times of India, it does this by triggering an increased secretion of biliary lipids.
7. Higher Smoking Point
Since it cooks at a higher point than almost any other oil, it won’t break into free radicals like other ones. Free radicals can potentially be harmful to one’s health, and when an oil smokes, it can be hazardous to a person's respiratory system if constantly breathed in.
8. Weight Loss
When the ghee is derived from grass-fed cows, the butter contains cancer-fighting fatty acid conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), which aids in weight loss.