gheeGhee or clarified butter which was an essential part of the Indian cuisine has lost its sheen these days due to the advent of other substitutes. Many ‘health-conscious’ people dismiss adding ghee to food as an unhealthy practice and shy away from it completely. But truth be told, ghee is good for our body. Don’t believe this fact? See its various health benefits.

Brain tonic: Ghee is good for your brain and having it regularly can help it function better. According to nutritionist Neha Chandna, ‘Ghee is good for the nerves and brain. It has a good ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids which is ideal for overall health.’

Prevents cancer: Ghee is high in saturated fats but it is ideal for cooking Indian food as it has a high smoke point which means it does not burn very easily. This means, it generates less free radicals which are responsible for causing cancer. It is also rich in antioxidants which again protect from free radical damage.

Aids digestion: ‘Ghee helps in the secretion of stomach acids which aid digestion,’ says Neha. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in her series Indian Food Wisdom and the Art of Eating Right, highlights the fact that certain foods such as khichdi, puran poli, etc need to have ghee to help us digest them better.

Beauty benefits: Ghee is a good beauty enhancer as well. Have chapped lips, apply a drop of ghee on them before you sleep. Eating it also adds a glow in your skin. In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a moisturising agent by mixing it with water and stirring it. The process is repeated several times before ghee can be used on the skin but once made, you can store it for up to six months.

Melts stubborn fat: If you have problem areas where fat gets accumulated quickly, you should consider adding ghee to your diet. Says Rujuta, ‘Ghee has essential amino acids which help mobilise the fat and allow the fat cells to shrink in size.’

Other benefits: Apart from the above benefits, ghee is good for people with joint pain, it improves memory, vision, and strengthens the immune system as it has antiviral and antifungal properties.

How much is too much?

The reason ghee’s got a bad reputation is because people do not know how much is too much. Though it has several benefits, eating unhealthy amounts will only lead to problems. Learn to draw the line at 2 teaspoons of ghee per day advises Neha. ‘Remember, it is saturated fat, eating too much of ghee can increase cholesterol levels, affecting the heart,’ she says.

Who should avoid it?

Though it has huge health benefits, people with heart problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity should avoid or reduce the intake of ghee to prevent aggravation of their problem.

Now that you know its various benefits, don’t shy away from spreading a spoonful on your rotis or adding a dollop of it on your rice. 

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