Next time you’re at the shops, skip the butter and drop a jar of ghee into your trolley instead. Here are 3 reasons why you should be making the most of this nutritious food.
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is made by removing the milk solids from butter, creating a creamy product that packs a pretty nutritious punch. It was originally developed in India by heating butter until the milk solids separated and the water evaporated, thereby creating a product with a longer shelf life – ideal for a hot climate.
Although ghee contains high levels of fat, these are actually healthy fats, including omega 3. It’s been considered one of the most healing foods in Aryuvedic medicine – and for good reason. Adding this food to a balanced diet can provide a range of health benefits, from boosting memory to aiding digestion – read on to found out how this unassuming dairy product could improve your health.
The benefits of ghee.
Reduces inflammation and disease risk.
Due to its essential fatty acid content, ghee boasts exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. It contains greater amounts of omega 3 than other dairy products like butter and yoghurt. Studies have also shown that these fats can reduce inflammation, thereby improving our gut health and reducing the risk for autoimmune conditions and metabolic diseases. Ghee also contains a range of other healthy fats which keep us fuller for longer, including medium chain triglycerides, which have been found to decrease appetite and curb sugar cravings. Sounds pretty good to us!
Ghee also packs a good dose of linoleic acid, a healthy fat which researchers say may help with the fat-loss process. Butyric acid is another benefit that comes with eating ghee, this is because research shows it fights inflammation and improves digestive health.
High in vitamin A.
Ghee provides 13% of our daily vitamin A needs in just one serve. With 30% of children under 5 deficient in this vitamin – which is one off the major causes of blindness – it’s pretty important to get your fill of this nutrient. Take a look at some of the other benefits that come with eating vitamin A-rich foods:
- Eye health.
- Strong immune system.
- Reproductive health.
- Lung and heart health.
- Healthy growth and development.
High smoking point for cooking.
For all its healthful benefits, olive oil tends to have a lower smoke point than what we’d prefer, as does butter. This is where ghee comes in – it has a smoke point of around 250 degrees (Celsius) – that’s 100 degrees higher than butter. This makes it the perfect option to bake or fry with, but it’s so versatile that you can use it to boost the flavour and nutrition of any recipe, from curries, soups and roasts to cakes and muffins. You can even just spread some onto your toast!
Easier to digest.
Lactose intolerant people – a whopping 65% of the world’s population – will be pleased to know that ghee, unlike butter, is free of this allergenic type of milk sugar. It’s also free from casein, which many people are allergic to and experience digestive discomfort from. Cheese and butter are some of the big casein offenders. Ghee is therefore a lot easier on the stomach.
Make the most of your ghee with this hearty, comforting recipe from I Quit Sugar for Life –and if you’re looking for more nutritious recipes, check the eBook out HERE.
- 2–3 tablespoons ghee.
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds.
- ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger.
- ⅔ cup yellow split peas (mung dal), rinsed, soaked overnight and drained.
- 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed well and drained.
- 5 cups water.
- 1 teaspoon rock salt.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
- ½ lime.
- In a saucepan, warm the ghee and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and ginger, and sauté for 1–2 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Add split peas and rice and sauté for a few minutes, stirring.
- Add the water, salt and ground spices to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and cook until the peas and rice are tender (30–45 minutes).
- Serve with a squeeze of lime.
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