You’ve probably heard of some of the wonderful health benefits that come with getting your daily dose of Omega 3’s…but today we’ll also be talking about grass fed ghee and how you can add it to your diet to maximize your intake of these essential fatty acids.
Omega 3’s 101
Before we get into the benefits of this wonderful fatty acid, let’s talk about what exactly are omega 3s?!
Scientifically speaking, omega 3 fatty acids are poly-unsaturated fatty acids that have three double bonds at a particular position in the hydrocarbon chain…basically that just means that omega 3’s are a family of essential fatty acids that play an important role in overall health.
Our bodies do not make these essential fatty acids on our own, so it is necessary to obtain sufficient amounts either through the diet or through supplementation.
When we are talking about fatty acids we can be talking about ALA, EPA and DHA.
ALA is the parent form of EPA & DHA. It is found in plants. EPA and DHA are found (primarily) in animal sources.
Humans can convert ALA to EPA & DHA, but our conversion rates are pretty low… 8-20% for EPA and 0.5-9% for DHA. So, since we would need to eat a lot of ALA to get the EPA & DHA needed for optimal health, getting your omega fatty acids from animal sources is going to be your best option.
The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The consumption of omega 3 fatty acids has been linked to healthy aging throughout life. EPA and DHA are important for several functions in the body such as immune health, eye health, hormone health, mood support, cardiovascular and cognitive function and supporting healthy inflammatory pathways.
The consumption of omega 3 fatty acids has also been shown to play a role in reducing the production of pro-inflammatory markers and enzymes (such as COX and 5-LOX), while also inhibiting the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Omega Fatty Acids and Cancer Research
There is some emerging research in the role of fatty acids and progression of cancer cells. It has been shown that omega fatty acids can normalize several cell processes involved in cancer development and progression.
Brain Function and Omega Fatty Acids
Cognitive function and mood support are also influenced by omega fatty acids. Specifically, DHA is an important component of the brain and neurons. Omega fatty acids have also been shown to play a role in reducing brain inflammation. Brain inflammation has been linked to anxiety, depression and poor attention and concentration.
Grass Fed Ghee 101
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, and has become quite popular over the years in food, beverages (such as your morning café) and as a go-to cooking oil.
How Ghee is Made
Ghee is prepared by heating butter or cream to just over 100°C to remove water content, then filtering out the milk solids, making it a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant. Technically ghee is not dairy free (due to the butterfat) but it is lactose free and whey free since all of the milk solids are removed.
The Benefits of Ghee
According to Ayurveda, ghee has been said to promote longevity and promote overall health. It helps to increase digestive fires (agni) and improve nutrient absorption and assimilation (particularly for fat soluble nutrients and vitamins).
Ayurveda also suggests that ghee can nourish ojas, or the subtle essence of all the body’s tissues (dhatus) and has been used traditionally for allergies, skin and respiratory issues. There has even been some research that supports cognitive benefits of ghee, due to the omega fatty acid content.
Grass fed ghee provides small amounts of several nutrients such as Vitamins D, K2, E and beta-carotene, which can support cellular, metabolic and antioxidant health. Ghee also contains a combination of short, medium and long chain fatty acids, as well as saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, omega 3s and omega 9s.
Grass fed ghee also provides a source of CLA, an essentially fatty acid, which has been shown to support immune, metabolic, cardiovascular, and mitochondrial health.
Since ghee also contains fat-soluble nutrients and omega fatty acids, it can increase the absorption of fat-soluble compounds such as beta-carotene.
Cooking with Ghee
Ghee also has a rather high smoke point (it begins to smoke at 485°F) which makes it ideal for cooking. When you cook with fats with lower smoke points, the fat can begin to oxidize and increase the production of free-radicals (we don’t want this to happen).
Grass fed ghee is a nice way to get some extra credit when it comes to balancing your omega levels, as grass fed products have been shown to have higher levels of omega 3’s as opposed to omega 6’s, helping to support membrane, inflammatory, cellular and hormone health.
Ghee in our MariGold Bars?
That’s right! At MariGold, we only use high quality organic grass fed ghee in our bars and snacks. We take pride in our ingredients and love that we can create products that are lactose free, casein free, high in CLA…and of course incredibly tasty!
Our Macarooned Protein Bar has all the grass fed ghee buttery good taste of a Toasted Coconut Macaroon without any of the guilt! Or if you’re more of a chocolate lover, our Fudge Brownie Fat Bombs combine grass fed ghee with organic chocolate, organic cocoa butter, and grass fed collagen for a smooth, chocolatey keto-friendly snack!