Ghee is known as clarified butter in western culture. It is one of the superfoods for a healthy body, which can be used in any type of cooking methods, from deep-frying to sautéing. It can also be consumed in raw form and is also very common in Indian cuisines, religious rituals, and traditional medicines from ancient times.
There is a myth that we should avoid consuming ghee because of its saturated fat content which can increase the LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, cow ghee contains monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, D, E, K, and also many other favourable combinations of essential nutrients including protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These constituents prevent the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, digestive problems, cancer, blood pressure, obesity, brain disorders, etc.
Protein in Ghee
There are two major types of protein found in cow’s milk: casein and whey protein, out of which two different types of 𝛽-casein proteins namely A1 beta-casein protein and A2 beta-casein protein are produced by different breeds of cow.
A1 ghee - A1 ghee comes from A1 milk which contains A1 𝛽-casein protein. They come from hybrid cows like Holstein Friesian and jersey. A1 ghee is mainly prepared by using industrial methods and contains histidine amino acid which is unable to destroy BCM 7 (beta-casomorphin-7) during processing that can cause various health problems.
A2 ghee - A2 ghee comes from A2 milk which belongs to the Indian desi cow breeds such as gir, tharparkar, and other indigenous breeds of cow. A2 milk produces A2 𝛽-casein protein which is easy to digest and helps to prevent cardiovascular problems, obesity, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
Multiple health benefits of pure cow ghee -
Heart - Even though ghee is rich in saturated fat, it is good for heart health. Since pure cow ghee contains omega 3, 6, 9, fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, it helps to reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke, and blockage while supporting overall heart health.
Digestion - Fat present in ghee consists of butyric acid which is a type of short-chain fatty acid which helps in treating acidity, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. and aids in balancing gut-friendly bacteria and in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Cancer - Ghee has anti-cancerous properties which help in stopping the growth of cancer cells and reduces the amount of enzymes that activate carcinogenic agents. Grass-feed cows produce more amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acids) which is polyunsaturated omega 6 fatty acids which reduces inflammation and fat in the body.
Immune system - Butyrate present in ghee contains antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which is considered as one of the best immunity boosters.
Skin and hair - Pure cow ghee is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals which provide nourishment and moisturization to dry skin and hair while encouraging rejuvenation, preventing unwanted acne, reducing greying of hairs, severe hair fall, and wrinkles.
Diabetes - Pure cow ghee contains essential fatty acids which promote the metabolism of glucose. Adding ghee into meals aids to maintain the glycemic index and slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream which helps in protecting the body from blood glucose spikes.
Pregnancy - During pregnancy, 2-3 tablespoon of pure cow ghee is recommended per day for proper nourishment of the expecting mother and the baby in the womb. Desi cow ghee provides healthy fats and other nutrients beneficial for pregnant women and offers sufficient energy for the proper development of the fetus.
Brain - Cow ghee is considered as a brain tonic because it contains a good amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is an omega 3 fatty acid. DHA helps to boost the functioning of the nervous system and stimulates stamina while improving memory power, learning ability, and eye-vision.
Obesity - Pure cow ghee is best known for reducing weight as it contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which accelerate the weight loss process, enhance lean body mass and reduce fat mass. It can be one of the best choices to add to a weight loss plan because it is very effective for the reduction of belly and thigh fat.
Bones - Pure cow ghee is highly rich in vitamin K2 which helps in the absorption of calcium and ensures lubrication of the joints and supports the formation of stronger bones. People who consume cow’s ghee on a day-to-day basis usually have improved bone density. It also prevents muscle soreness, the risk of arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Final thought -
No doubt ghee provides a lot of health benefits but its excessive consumption can be harmful for our body. So, make sure to maintain the portion size of ghee while consuming it in any form, especially if you are suffering from any kind of liver and heart problems. The ideal portion size of ghee is 3-4 teaspoons per day in addition to the regular cooking oil. And yes, replacing unhealthy refined oil with pure cow ghee is always a good choice!