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Traditional Usage of Ghee – Benefits & More

Health-benefits-of-traditional-usage-of-Ghee

Indian wisdom of healthy foods was being carried forward over the years from generation to generation. Ghee is one such food. From the past few years, that jar of ghee on our kitchen shelves came with a huge dollop of guilt. Now, it’s making a comeback as a super food even in the West as clarified butter. Modern science now verifies the hidden knowledge behind the use of ghee which our ancestors and Ayurvedic health science had explored it thousands of years ago. Ghee is not only a high functioning fat it also has got a delicious taste, distinctive fragrance along with various health benefits.

Ghee has been used in Indian culture for many years in meal preparation as well as in holistic remedies. It is used in combination with dal rice, delicious spread on rotis, sabji, hot steamed rice or khichadi, parathas, dosas, dal bhati etc. It is also used in preparation of sweets like halvas, laddus, burfis and so many other sweet recipes. As a cooking medium, it has the highest smoke point. It imparts amazing flavours by stimulating appetite and results in better absorption of pro-health compounds in spices. Apart from taste enhancement, these are the scientific health benefits behind using ghee.

For healthy motherhood

In different parts of India, the food for pregnant and lactating mothers is prepared in ghee. It provides essential calories and nutrition needed throughout the pregnancy and lactation period. Also helps to strengthen the bones and to induce breast milk. It is used during pregnancy to support brain development in the growing foetus and during lactation to support weight loss.

Make “smart babies”

After stopping breastfeeding, toddlers usually start losing weight. This is because they do not get the regular dose of essential fat from breast milk. Hence, in Indian tradition, ghee is added to child’s weaning food. It not only helps to maintain baby’s body weight but also makes food digest easily. Ghee is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Hence it promotes healthy development of baby’s skin, bone and brain. It also Boosts immunity and keeps the baby free from diseases.

Reduces the Glycemic Index of carbohydrate rich dish

In Indian food culture, sweets are incomplete without using ghee. It delays and protracts carbohydrate absorption. It ensures that there is a slow, steady rise in blood sugar and better energy levels for a long period of time. Prevents over eating and increases satiety of a meal.

Increases digestion

In India, ghee is used as a cooking medium for preparation of spicy food items as it stimulates the secretion of stomach acids to promote digestion. It also helps to remove toxins and promotes elimination of the same. Both of these help in increasing one’s overall digestive capacity.

Enhances the absorption of nutrients

It increases the ability of the intestinal wall to absorb vital nutrients.

Heals the intestinal wall

The fatty acid present in the ghee nourishes, heals and reduces inflammation of the gut wall.  This is an anti-inflammatory property. This makes it ideal for disorders like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Act as Prebiotic (supports the growth of positive bacteria)

The SCFA (Short Chain Fatty Acid) in ghee act as prebiotic by creating an environment for the growth of gut friendly bacteria.

Remember excess of anything is bad! General recommendation would be 1 to 2 tsp per day and can vary between individuals. In Sanskrit ghee is called as “GHRITA” means sprinkled. That is how it should be used- just sprinkle over foods! Consider adding ghee as a healthy alternative to butter to your diet. Reap the benefits and enhance the taste of your food.

 

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Asha

Consultant, Nutrition