Right since childhood, our parents urge us to consume ghee or clarified butter. Using it as a ‘topping’ on our everyday meals, or even using it to prepare Indian sweets, ghee has been an accompaniment for almost every kind of food.
Our ancestors said that GHEE benefits every part of the human body.
RIght from our bones to our skin, our sense organs, our heart, our brain, our digestive system, our immune system our respiratory system…each and every part of our body benefits from GHEE.
Ayurvedic practitioners advice every age-group to consume ghee and benefit from its many virtues. In fact, the West has also woken up to the miracles of this golden beauty!
So, what is it that makes this pride in our culture such an important part of our diet?
5 ways how Ghee benefits every part of the human body:
1 Easy to digest:
I have never known about Lactose Intolerance because I have never experienced it, ever, but, I have heard that Ghee can be had by those who are Lactose Intolerant! Why? Because of its method of preparation.
Butter is heated and the milk solids and impurities get separated, leaving behind a golden liquid that has no effect on those sensitive to Lactose, thus making it safe for them to consume.
2 Helps in digestion:
The first advice, when one complains of constipation or indigestion in my family, has been to drink a cup of warm milk with ghee before going to bed.
Ghee, I have learned, is a source of ‘Butyrate’, a fatty acid necessary to support a healthy digestive system. It provides energy to the colon cells and helps support healthy microbes in the gastrointestinal tract to enhance digestion and elimination.
It is gentle on our system and effectively helps clear the intestines. So, say, “NO” to artificial laxatives and reach for the warm cup of milk with a spoonful of ghee.
If your gut is in good health, you are bound to be in excellent health! Easy elimination of waste keeps our intestinal tract in good shape and us in a happy mood!
3 Strengthens our bones:
I believe our ancestors were far healthier than we are in today’s age. They consumed ghee on a daily basis, which supplied them with all the necessary vitamins their bones required to keep them stronger even in their old age.
Ghee has Vitamin K, a vital nutrient responsible for maintaining bone health. Believe me, I used to give my arthritic pet dog a spoonful of ghee every day to help him get some relief from his painful joints!
To put it simply, ghee provides the lubrication our joints require to work smoothly! Easier to comprehend, isn’t it?
4 Helps in healthy weight loss:
Oh yes! Ghee does that, you know?
Contrary to popular beliefs, ghee does help lose weight in a healthy way!
Every time we grimace at our mother’s suggestion to apply some ghee to our chapatis, fearing we might put on the kilos, we are actually doing more harm than good to our bodies.
The friendly triglycerides found in ghee actually help decrease weight as opposed to those bad ones found in vanaspati and other oils (which we consume along with the junk food we eat to avoid lunch!).
So, the next time you measure your ‘vital stats’ and find it more or less than the ideal, bring the ghee jar to the table and have a spoonful. Every day. That will help you cut the inches off your tummy, your hips and your thighs.
Oh, and do include a workout, too!
5 Keeps skin healthy and glowing:
Every winter, when my skin dries, I waste money on buying those useless Vaseline jars that do nothing but give me temporary relief. What does work, though, in combatting the dryness, is my trusted ghee. In spite of knowing this, I wonder why I buy that Vaseline jar!
Applying ghee to chapped lips, or dry skin will give you a smooth, well moisturized skin.
Consuming ghee along with a cup of warm milk also helps keep your skin well-nourished and keeps dryness at bay.
SOME MORE BENEFITS OF EATING GHEE:
1 Ghee helps soothe burns or wounds.
My granny used to regale us with stories of kings and their brave soldiers who would heal their wounds during the war by applying ghee. “They didn’t have all these fancy medicines you people get these days. For them, ghee was the panacea for every ailment!” she would add, proudly.
2 Ghee is also known to be good for eye-sight, for lustrous hair, skin, and nails, and for memory, too!
3 Ghee is loaded with energy: The reason why my mum applied ghee to chapatis or made laddoos with ghee is this. Nursing moms are also encouraged to eat dink (edible gum) laddoos that are made with desi ghee for the energy they supply.
So, this is how ghee benefits every part of the human body.
How do you prepare ghee at home?
Ayurveda practitioners, as well as dieticians, prescribe cow milk and cow ghee.
Cow ghee contains important nutrients that benefit every part of the human body.
It is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial in nature.
But, being high in saturated fats, it’s adviced that you consume it in moderation if you are battling excess weight and heart issues.
Collect the cream daily from the milk you boil and store it in the fridge till you have enough for preparing the ghee. Maybe, it might take a week’s time to collect enough cream for the ghee.
Once you have enough cream, bring it out of the fridge, add some curd, or dahi, to it and leave it at room temperature for five to six hours.
I churn it with a wooden ravi that we get especially to churn the cream, but, you could use a blender.
Add a cup of cold water to the cream, put it all in the blender and run it for a few minutes till you see the butter surfacing to the top and the thin buttermilk at the bottom.
Separate the butter from the buttermilk gently with your hand. Gather the butter slowly into a ball and transfer it to another bowl.
The thin buttermilk that remains can go back into the fridge to be had after meals. And, the butter goes into a thick-bottomed pan (if you want to prepare ghee right then) to be placed on the stove and boiled till the milk solids separate and settle to the bottom.
Stand by the stove as the butter melts and heats. It needs all your attention and love to give you what you seek from it!
Once the milk solids settle to the bottom, let the ghee turn nice and golden and the milk solids, brown.
Switch off the stove and allow it to cool.
Strain the ghee into a jar and once cool, close it with a lid.
The ‘burnt’ milk solids (which we call ‘berI’) can be eaten as is or with sugar or with chapati, or added to rice and dal.
The ghee need not be stored in the fridge. It stays well at room temperature for a couple of months. Though, if you fall in love with ghee and eat it every day, I doubt it will last a month. Kids, generally, love it. So, beware, they might love playing the naughty Lord Krishna and wipe clean the jar in days!
Ghee is an essential fat that our body requires, not just for the joints but for all the other organs. Just a spoonful of ghee a day is enough to make a difference, provided consumed on a regular basis.
Do away with transfats like vanaspati and dalda–those are the unhealthy fats. Bring in, instead, the goodness of homemade ghee and you will do a world of good to your overall health.
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