Ghee is considered sacred and used in religious rituals as well as in the diet, especially in India. Revered in Ayurveda for its purity, it stands out as the best choice for cooking oil. This golden elixir, cherished for its health benefits and rich flavour, is one of the most beloved winter essentials. It is used in various dishes like Dal, Khichdi, and Saag. Known to be a warming food, ghee not only enhances immunity but also delivers essential nutrients. Let’s find out why incorporating ghee in winter diet is beneficial and how to consume it.
Health Shots got in touch with Reenu Dubey, a consultant dietician, who says, “Ghee is known for its rich, nutty flavour and a plethora of health benefits. Hence, ghee is a must-have in the winter season.”
9 reasons why you must have ghee in winter
1. Packed with healthy fats
Ghee is a rich source of healthy saturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. These fats play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health, providing a sustainable energy source, and supporting vital bodily functions. So, make sure you are consuming ghee in the winter season.
2. Contains anti-inflammatory properties
Winter can exacerbate inflammatory conditions, such as joint pain or respiratory issues. The anti-inflammatory properties of ghee may provide relief and contribute to overall joint and respiratory health during the colder months.
3. Promotes digestion
Ghee has long been used in Ayurveda for its digestive benefits. Dubey says, “It contains butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that supports the health of the digestive tract. Consuming ghee in moderate amounts can aid in maintaining a healthy gut lining, reducing inflammation, and promoting optimal digestion.”
4. Keeps you warm
According to Ayurveda, ghee is considered a heating food, which means it has a warming effect on the body. During winter, ghee can help your body warm when its cold outside. “his is particularly beneficial for individuals who tend to feel excessively cold or those living in colder weather,” adds the expert.
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5. Enhances nutrient absorption
The healthy fats in ghee play a crucial role in enhancing the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are essential for various bodily functions, including immune system support, bone health, and skin. Incorporating ghee into your winter diet can contribute to better absorption of these vital nutrients.
6. High smoke point
Ghee boasts a high smoke point, making it an ideal choice for cooking at higher temperatures. Unlike many cooking oils that can break down and release harmful free radicals when exposed to heat, ghee remains stable. This stability makes it a safer option for various cooking methods, including sauteing and frying.
7. Reduces the risk of dry skin
Winter often brings dry and harsh weather, leading to skin dehydration. Ghee contains essential fatty acids that moisturize the skin from within, reducing the risk of dryness and promoting a healthy complexion. Additionally, you can also apply ghee on your lips to avoid dryness and cracks, which are common during the winter.
8. Good for weight loss
Contrary to common misconceptions about fats and weight gain, the healthy fats in ghee can actually support weight loss when consumed in moderation. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been linked to fat loss and improved body composition.
9. Boosts immunity
Ghee contains essential nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats, that support immune function. Dubey says, “Vitamin A, in particular, is crucial for maintaining the health of mucous membranes and preventing infections.” Hence, ghee can help your immune system function optimally and reduce the risk of seasonal illnesses.
7 ways to include ghee in your daily diet
1. Add ghee to coffee or tea: Add a teaspoon of ghee to your morning coffee or tea. This not only imparts a rich, creamy flavor but also provides a dose of healthy fats to kickstart your metabolism.
2. Apply it to chapatis: One of the major ways is to brush the roti with ghee, but don’t overdo it.
3. Add it to soup and dal: Ghee can enhance the flavor of soups and dal. One spoonful must be added to enjoy the taste and keep yourself healthy.
4. Add it to your khichdi: Mix a spoonful of ghee into your khichdi. This will not only enhance the taste but also make it more healthy.
5. Use ghee to cook vegetables: Since ghee has a high smoke point, instead of using refined oil, use ghee to cook vegetables.
6. Ghee with turmeric milk: Grind raw turmeric and one teaspoon of ghee to add to a cup of milk. It is known to have provided multiple health benefits.
7. Vegetable saag: During winter, consuming saag is common. And adding a spoonful of ghee during the cooking process enhances flavour and nutrients.
Follow these ways and enjoy the goddess of ghee this winter!