The Benefits of Ghee According to Modern Science
Ghee is a healthy fat, which is lactose free, full of short and medium chain fatty acids such as Butyric acid and is a source of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. It contains the antioxidant CLA, and has a high tolerance to heat, both of which prevent the formation of free radicals that damage DNA and can cause cancer. It is free of harmful trans-fatty acids that contribute to obesity and has the ideal ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fats.
Some of the many benefits of ghee proven by modern science are the balancing of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, stimulation of digestive enzymes, weight loss, improvement of absorption of nutrients, lubrication of joints, reduction of inflammation, softening of hardened tissue and extraction of toxins from the body’s cells.
BENEFITS OF GHEE
- Strengthens and balances digestion (agni)
- Carries nutrients and herbs into the bodily tissues and cells.
- Nurtures and builds bodily tissues
- Increases Ojas (the essence of the body, immunity, strength, longevity)
- Lubricates the connective tissues.
- Increases vitality and vigour
- Rejuvenates and heals the body and mind
- Nourishes the brain and benefits the mental development of children
- Promotes healthy cell growth and improves quality of semen.
USES OF GHEE
- A cooking oil to draw out flavour and benefits of spices.
- A nourishing tonic for children, and those with high Vata.
- A nutritive and replenishing tonic for postpartum mothers
- A rejuvenative tonic for the elderly and those with degenerative conditions.
- Mixed with herbs to enhance and carry medicinal qualities deeper into the tissues and cells.
- As a detoxification agent in cleansing regimes to draw out ama or toxins from the tissues.
- Mixed with medicinal fruits and prescribed during pregnancy to strengthen the uterus and nourish the fetus.
- As a moisturizer and massage oil
- As a very mild and safe laxative for children and adults (often combined with milk for this purpose)
DOES GHEE MAKE YOU FAT ? NO
Ghee consists of the short (butyric acid) and medium chain fatty acids which are very easily digested and converted immediately into energy by the liver and therefore are not likely to be stored. Not all saturated fats are the same. It is the long chain fatty acids that are hard to digest and are more prone to become stored in the body thus making one fat.
It is the eating of sugars, not fats, that promotes fat storage.
Only by eating fats can one feel sufficiently satiated while eating and thus limit the quantity of food consumed. The body’s satiation mechanism is triggered by the digestion of fats. Having a healthy fat in the diet will actually help inhibit the fat creating surge of insulin caused by the ingestion of sugars.
Ghee which is the end result of a clarification process of butter (which is low in lactose to begin with), removes the milk solids, resulting in a lactose free product.
HIGH SMOKING POINT
Ghee does not break down at high temperatures like many of the common oils and therefore does not produce free radicals that damage the DNA and can lead to cancer.
CONTAINS BUTYRIC ACID
Butyric acid is a beneficial short chain fatty acid that got its name from Butter (“butyr”ic acid) It has been reported to help with intestinal mucosa that eases inflammatory bowel problems, increase insulin sensitivity, balance good and bad cholesterols, reduce fatty tissue and even reduce hunger.
The intestines already produce butyric acid for many important functions such as boosting immunity, feeding colon cells, feeding the beneficial microbes.
Low levels of butyric acid are found in those who suffer from poor digestion.
Ghee has the highest level of butyric acid of any known source.
Increases killer T cell activity
FREE OF HARMFUL TRANS FATTY ACIDS
Trans fat or trans fatty acid, is a fat that is created artificially through the process of partial hydrogenation of oils in order to increase melting point and shelf life. They have been proven to increase heart disease by raising levels of bad cholesterol. The FDA has even declared that they are not “generally recognized as safe”. Many cities are banning the sale of these artificial fats and many large producers of baked goods are either reducing or eliminating their presence in their products.
Some trans fats are naturally occurring in trace amounts in dairy as well (CLA), though these have been proven to be of a beneficial and chemically different variety.
CONTAINS CLA (CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID)
CLA is a nutrient found in dairy products, especially of those fed primarily with fresh grass. It is an antioxidant and credited to reduce tumors and help combat many types of cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, food induced allergic reactions and many more
MEDIUM AND SHORT CHAIN FATTY ACIDS
The longer the chain, the harder it is for the body to convert it into energy thus creating an accumulation of fat in the body. Shorter chain fatty acids are not prone to break down at high temperatures like long chained ones and therefore do not produce the harmful oxidation effect. Shorter chains also produce energy quickly and increase metabolism.
OMEGA-6 AND OMEGA-3 RATIO 1.5 TO 1
These essential fats are not naturally occurring within the body and therefore must be obtained from outside sources. The proper ratio between the two must be consumed to avoid problems related to inflammation that lead to diabetes and arthritis, strokes, dementia and cancer. A healthy range of Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios is 1:1 to 4:1.
VITAMIN A, D, E AND K
All of these vitamins found in ghee are fat soluble which means they need a good fat to deliver their benefits to the cells of the body. If the body does not need them right away they are store in the fat cells of the body until called upon. Here are some of the benefits of these vitamins
A Also known as retinol is very easily absorbed by the body compared to other forms of Vitamin A (Carotenoids). It is an antioxidant and helps our vision, bone growth, reproduction and immune system.
D which is actually a pro hormone or a precursor to a hormone helps in the development of strong teeth and bones as well as preventing bone loss by increasing the level of calcium absorbed through the small intestines. It also helps to prevent seasonal depression and promotes immunity. The vitamin D found in our ghee and is naturally occurring and not the D2 sometimes added to pasteurized milk.
E is also an antioxidant and helps to protect vitamin A and C, red blood cells and essential fatty acids from destruction. It is beneficial for cardiovascular and circulatory health and encourages clear, healthy skin.
K naturally produces in the gut and regulates blood clotting and helps bone health and protein production for the blood, bones and kidneys.
GHEE & AYURVEDA
Ghee is Ghritam in Sanskrit which comes from the root “ghr” which means “to shine”.
In Ayurveda ghee is known as many things; “the first and most essential of all foods”, “the tongue of the gods”, and “the navel of immortality”. It is a super food that has been cherished by many great civilizations, especially the Vedic culture of India.
“From ghee flows the sustenance of all the worlds.” Mahabharata
GHEE & THE DOSHAS
Ghee in tridoshic when taken in moderation.
Ghee balances, nourishes, soothes and lubricates Vata; and cools, soothes and calms Pitta. It mildly increases the qualities of Kapha and should be taken in small quantities when Kapha is in excess.
“the single most ojas-producing food on earth”. Maya Tiwari
Contraindications: High ama (toxic) conditions, high cholesterol, obesity, dyspepsia and fever.
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon data collected from various external sources. They cannot substitute the opinion or diagnosis of a trained health care professional, nor are they to be considered medical advice. This information and wisdom, compiled from various individuals from the alternative health community, is for the purpose of being shared. We encourage you to speak to a qualified health care professional and do further research.