Ghee Benefits & Nutrition

Ghee is liquid gold, a treasure trove of flavour and health benefits.


Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a staple ingredient in many South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. If you've never heard of ghee before, let me introduce you to this versatile and flavourful cooking fat that has been used for centuries in traditional cooking and Ayurvedic medicine.


Ghee is essentially butter that has been simmered to separate the milk solids and water from the pure butterfat. This process not only removes impurities but also gives ghee a rich, nutty flavour and a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures without burning. The result is a golden, translucent liquid that is solid at room temperature and has a long shelf life.


One of the key characteristics of ghee is its high concentration of healthy fats, including saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. While saturated fats have been demonized in the past, recent research has shown that not all saturated fats are created equal, and the saturated fats in ghee can actually have some health benefits. Ghee is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and D, as well as antioxidants that can help boost your immune system and protect your cells from damage.


In Ayurvedic medicine and Ayurvedic traditions, ghee is revered and is considered a medicinal food with various healing properties. It is believed to lubricate the joints, improve digestion, and nourish the body and mind. Ghee is often used in Ayurvedic practices like oil pulling, where you swish a tablespoon of ghee in your mouth to improve oral health and detoxify the body. It is also used in traditional Ayurvedic massage, known as Abhyanga, to nourish the skin and promote relaxation.


In Ayurvedic traditions, ghee is considered a highly prized and versatile substance. One of the beliefs in Ayurveda is that ghee has the ability to act as a "yogavahi," which means it can enhance the medicinal properties of herbs and spices and help transport these nutrients to where they are needed in the body.


According to Ayurvedic principles, ghee is thought to have a unique molecular structure that allows it to penetrate the tissues of the body and carry nutrients deep into the cells. This is believed to enhance the bioavailability and effectiveness of the nutrients, ensuring that they reach their intended destination and provide maximum benefit to the body.


Additionally, ghee is considered to have a nourishing and lubricating effect on the body, particularly on the digestive system and the joints. It is believed to help balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) in the body and support overall health and well-being.


From a culinary perspective, ghee is a versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavour of a wide variety of dishes. Its rich, buttery taste adds depth and richness to curries, rice dishes, and baked goods. Ghee can be used for sautéing, frying, roasting, and even as a spread on toast or drizzled over popcorn. Its high smoke point makes it a great choice for cooking methods that require high heat, such as stir-frying and deep-frying.


Moreover, ghee is lactose-free and casein-free, making it a suitable alternative for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have dairy sensitivities. The clarification process removes the milk solids that contain lactose and casein, leaving behind only the pure butterfat. This makes ghee a popular choice for those following a paleo or ketogenic diet, as well as for individuals looking to reduce their intake of dairy products.


In conclusion, ghee is a versatile and flavourful cooking fat with a rich history and a wide range of health benefits. Whether you're looking to add depth to your cooking, boost your immune system, or explore the world of Ayurvedic medicine, ghee is a valuable ingredient to have in your kitchen. So why not give ghee a try and experience the delicious taste and nourishing properties of this ancient superfood?