When we think of Janmashtami we think of butter – the food that Lord Krishna loved so much that he wouldn’t stop short of stealing it. While the diet and weight loss industry has shunned it into oblivion, making it the most feared food for dieters the world over, our ancestors used to use it abundantly in the form of white butter and ghee.
According to Rujuta Diwekar, renowned dietician to the stars, white butter and ghee are foods that do immense good for our bodies. Here is a list of benefits the yummy treat has.
According to Rujuta, ‘Rich in anti ageing Vitamin A and enzymes, makhan or white butter enhances not just taste of food but life itself. The food of Gods!’
And she is not wrong! According to Ayurveda butter or makhan is one food that everyone should have every day. So much so that ancient literature asks people to take a loan, but have a spoon of butter or ghee everyday. And not without good reason!
1. Provides ‘healthy’ calories: Butter as we all know has a high calorie value. However, according to Rujuta, the foods that have high amounts of calories are also those that are much more beneficial to the body. Every 100 grams has about 750 calories. Learn how to track the number of calories you eat here.
2. Helps you lose weight: Yes, we are serious. White butter contains lecithin, a substance that helps in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents. This makes you break down and use fats more efficiently, helping you actually lose weight. It also satiates any cravings you might have while you are dieting, therefore helping the weight loss process along. Here is a sample weight loss diet by our expert.
3. Helps treat minor infections: It has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that make it a great way to boost one’s immune system and treat minor illnesses like an upset tummy or a cold and flu. Rujuta says, ‘Have you wondered why when you are ill, your mother used to give you homemade daal khichdi with a dollop of white butter or ghee? It’s because of it is great antibacterial properties.’
4. Boosts your immune system: Butter is made up of a unique molecular structure of saturated fat. This structure helps it retain a whole load of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A and D. All these constituents boost one’s immune system. Here are some natural way to boost your immune system.
5. Makes you smarter and sharper: The molecular structure of butter helps it pass through the layers of tissue that are otherwise impermeable, like that of the brain. It helps the transportation of nutrients to the brain and takes away wastes from it making the brain function optimally. Here are some tips and tricks to give your brain some exercise.
6. Makes your skin glow: Butter is packed with the essential mineral selenium, a potent antioxidant along with vitamin E which helps to smoothen out the skin and keeps it healthy and elastic. This gives that healthy glow to one’s skin. Read about home remedies to make your skin glow naturally.
7. Helps fight cancer: It is packed with CLA or conjugated linoleic acid along with short chain and medium chain fatty acids that have anti-cancer properties.
8. Treats a number of ailments: In ayurveda a number of practitioners prescribe the use of white butter as a remedy for ailments such as ear problems, insomnia, bed wetting, sexual weakness, and even for mental illnesses. It is especially advised to mother-to-be during their fourth month of pregnancy since it helps nourish the growing child and eases labour.
9. Lubricates the joints: Due to its structure, it helps in the production of compounds that lubricate joints. It is especially great for people suffering from arthritis since it increases the lubrication between joints helping in reducing the pain associated with the condition. Read more about joint pain here.
10. Helps develop the brain and nervous system in children: Since butter contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) that plays an important role in brain function and the maintenance of healthy cellular structure, it is very good for the proper development of a child’s brain. Apart from that it has a unique highly absorbable form of vitamin D that is essential for the proper functioning of the synapses (portion between two nerves that helps the relay of information to and from the brain). Since children’s brains are still forming giving it the right and most essential nourishment is of utmost importance.
Finally, Rujuta says that one should not use white butter or ghee sold in the market. ‘Make it at home, just like your grandmother and great grandmother used to do. It is wholesome and more healthy that way.’
So, the next time you decide to shun white butter think again. It might just be the best thing that happened to you.
Rujuta Diwekar’s quotes on the topic are from her latest DVD Indian Food Wisdom.