Butter Is Not A Villain: These Incredible Health Benefits Will Reveal Why

A long, long time ago in 8000 B.C on a verdant hill in ancient Africa, a dusty traveller was weaving his weary way through, with his pack of animals. Thirsty, he stops for a drink and reaches out for the sheepskin bag of warm milk he has tied to the back of his pack animal. As he tilts the bag to pour creamy milk down his throat to quench his thirst, he’s baffled to find that the sheep’s milk has curdled. The rocky terrain and the constant movement had churned the milk into luscious butter and hey, it tasted like manna.

As with most accidents that led to great discoveries, the invention of butter was a happy gastronomic accident; as Elaine Khosrova author of Butter: A Rich History explains. The utilitarian nature of butter was quickly realized and used by our ancestors all over the world.

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The silkiness of butter was used by people in ancient Rome to soften skin and make it glow. The shimmering substance was massaged into hair by Romans and Greeks to make it shine. Egyptians used it for its healing properties – in poultices to fight off skin infections and to treat burns. Though the Egyptians also valued butter as a cure for eye problems, we’d advise you to think twice before smearing your eye with butter. The pleasure derived from the golden substance was reflected in its use in traditions as well. A pot of rich, creamy butter was given to newlyweds according to English customs, for fertility and prosperity. For all its properties, it isn’t surprising that butter is intimately linked to divinity. During the Tang dynasty, clarified butter represented the ultimate development of the Buddha spirit. In our own Indian mythology, our Gods couldn’t resist dunking their face in pots of stolen, creamy butter and we are but mere mortals.

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However, more recently the ubiquitous accompaniment which has embellished lots of drab meals has been painted in a darker light. With the spike in heart diseases all over the world, saturated fat and cholesterol in food were portrayed as the villains responsible for coronary heart disease. Fat was drastically cut down and butter shunted aside for margarine. Margarine manufacturers vociferously advocated the gooey, plasticized substance in place of butter as the healthier alternative when in fact margarine is responsible for far more damage. Margarine is a processed food, derived chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils. Margarine aka processed polyunsaturated oils are more harmful to your health compared to any saturated fat.

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It is preferable to use raw organic butter yes, the same butter we lick off spoons when our mothers whisk up a creamy white storm from fresh milk. On this note, let’s take a gander at the wondrous ways in which the delicious food affects us.

Butter Bats Away Diseases

Butter owes its golden hue to a natural pigment called carotene which is great for humans. Carotene converts either into antioxidants or vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A is what endows you with glowing skin and eyes – case in point being Nigella Lawson with her generous servings of butter. Vitamin A is fat soluble and as such helps parts of your body with fat-soluble membranes like eyes, skin, throat, mouth, urinary and digestive tracts. It boosts cell regrowth and repair; warding off infectious diseases. Vitamin A also boosts production of lymphocytes that battle viruses and other disease causing agents. High amounts of vitamin A, thus, stand as a line of defense against respiratory diseases as well as auto-immune diseases such as AIDS.

Help Your Heart with Buttery Goodness

Wait for it, butter is actually good for your heart. The velvety spread contains HDL cholesterol also known as ‘good’ cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce omega-6 fatty acid (‘bad’ cholesterol) which are responsible for those pesky blocks in arteries and thereby reduce chances of heart attacks and strokes. Butter’s name when it comes to heart disease is tainted as it contains both types of cholesterol. However, organic butter has higher amounts of good cholesterol than what is found in processed butter and margarine. So, go organic.

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Say Toodles to Thyroid Issues

Those suffering from hypothyroidism or other thyroid related diseases may be deficient in vitamin A. That’s where butter comes in; rich as it is in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps the thyroid gland function effectively and regulates the hormones secreted into the body. Since butter is enriched with the goodness of vitamin A, be sure to slather the silky treat in moderation on your pancakes.

Butter Improves Your Sexy Time

‘Tis no secret that butter pleasures our sense organs but the seductive substance also helps you have a sexy time. The fat soluble vitamins present in butter helps take nutrients from water soluble vitamins. Studies have found that the fat soluble vitamins can help make you a sexy beast in bed. Vitamin A and D present in butter help in brain and nervous system development as well as sexual development. In case of deficiency of vitamin A, which butter also contains, men and women can suffer from conditions where sexual characteristics don’t develop properly. So set aside those pricey oysters and pick up a dab of butter.

Lose Those Love Handles with a Spot of Butter

If anybody gives you grief for adding that extra blob of butter on your paratha, stop their blathering. Butter does not make you fat. Fatty acids present in butter don’t even need to be broken down by our gut. They get absorbed directly from the small intestine into the liver and are converted into quick energy. Polyunsaturated oils and carbs are responsible for your love handles. Butter actually helps manage your weight as butter contains nutrients that makes our body feel sated. This effectively reduces cravings for other food.

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Butter Boosts Bone Health 

In addition to being delicious, butter is also rich in essential minerals like manganese, zinc, copper and selenium. These minerals help maintain bone health via bone repair and growth. These minerals are essential to keep osteoporosis and arthritis at bay.

Image Source: Harvard Public Health

Psst… butter also contains a mysterious vitamin Activator X which increases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. This helps the body optimally use nutrients that pass through our system. This vitamin is mostly found in organic butter made from grass-fed cows.

All said and done, anything should be used in moderation. These cool health benefits doesn’t mean you get to slather everything in sight with butter. Butter still is fatty and contains some bad cholesterol so take a trip to a nutritionist to evaluate your overall health and how much of the buttery treat is good for you.

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