The Importance of Oils In Our Everyday Diet

 The use of good oil in our daily food intake is an important part of overall well-being, and it makes our food delicious!  If you’re in a grocery store and have money for only one quality organic item, make it be your oil.  This is because oil penetrates deep into the body’s tissue.

Good oil in our diet helps to improve absorption and assimilation of food and nutrients. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the whole body inside and out, including the connective tissue and organs, making the body flexible and youthful. Oil intake assists with many ailments, especially constipation, dry skin, stiffness, arthritis, MS and other diseases of the nervous system.

For example, remedying constipation is not only about fiber intake. Though the bulk of fiber is also necessary, but it alone is even more drying. We need the oil intake to soften the stool.

In order to lift and remove deep-set debris, you need to lubricate and soften it first. Think of makeup remover or paint thinner – they are kind of oily.

To loosen and dislodge toxins and have proper circulation and flow throughout the body we must moisten the cell walls to allow the crud to break apart and lift away. Therefore, in Ayurvedic cleansing and detoxification protocols, internal ingestion of ghee and external application of the appropriate oils are used to loosen toxins to be lifted into general circulation and expelled out via excretion.

Ghee (clarified butter) is a highly versatile and great choice of oil for common use.  An ideal cooking oil as it does not burn unless heated excessively. Ghee also has the same levels of EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) as fish or flax oil.  Ghee does not build ‘bad cholesterol’ and like other ‘good fats’ can actually loosen and breaks apart existing ‘bad cholesterol.’  Unfortunately one cannot purchase good quality organic ghee in the stores and so we must make our own. Please refer to the recipe below to find out how easy it is to do so.

Ghee can also serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.)  Due to it’s deeply penetrating quality it is used as a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the tissues of the body. Ghee is also delicious – on, or in, anything, any time!

More on Oils…

*Flax and fish oils are great as well (not to cook with though. And why supplement when you can enjoy?

*Good quality organic animal fat is great, though poor quality is very deadly, holding all of the hormones, toxins and, not to mention, the suffering of the animal.

*Using olive oil with high heat denatures it and makes it unable to assimilate in to the body causing cellulite and weight gain.  Olive oil is better used for baking, salad dressings and at end of cooking like in a tomato based pasta sauce.

*If not ghee, or along with ghee (as ghee can get expensive), having a good quality vegetable oil on hand for regular cooking is a good, like grape seed, sunflower, safflower.  All ok with high heat as well as fairly thermally neutral.

*Regular use of peanut or sesame oil can become heating and aggravating.

*Consistent use of olive or coconut can become cold and stagnating, especially inside cold fat tissue.


Ghee Recipe

1 pound unsalted butter

Put the butter in a heavy, medium-sized pan. Turn the heat on to medium until the butter melts.Turn down the heat until the butter just boils and continue to cook at this heat. Do not cover the pot. The butter will foam and sputter while it cooks. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. The butter will begin to smell like popcorn after a while and turn a lovely golden color.

Keep a close watch on the ghee, as it can easily burn. After a while it will become a clear, golden color. You will have to take a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. Keep stirring, and watch the ghee start to separate from the milk solids, you do not want to burn the milk solids on the bottom, a golden brown color at the bottom is good.When it is clear and has stopped sputtering and making noise, then it needs to be taken off the heat. Let it cool until just warm.

Pour it through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan. The ghee is burned if it has a nutty smell and is slightly brown.

1 pound of butter takes about 20 minutes of cooking time. The more butter you are using, the more time it will take. (The thing with ghee is there is really no telling the time, it is more watching it until it is clear all the way to the bottom of the pot.)

Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered. It does not need refrigeration. The medicinal properties are said to improve with age. Don’t ladle out the ghee with a wet spoon or allow any water to get into the container, as this will create conditions for bacteria to grow and spoil the ghee.

Two pounds of butter will fill a quart jar with ghee.


Article by Elham Ansari, BFA CAP RYT = Ayurvedic Practitioner/Educator


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