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4 Health Benefits of Ghee in Coffee – Based on Science

cup of fresh fatty coffee with ghee_marekuliasz_shutterstockYou may have heard of Bulletproof coffee or butter coffee. Frothy, delicious, and strangely moisturizing, butter in coffee is a great way to get some extra calories in the morning or keep to your keto diet. Some even use coconut oil as a vegan alternative.

But what about folks who can’t digest dairy, are allergic to coconuts, or just want a higher quality substitution? Stand back butter, because here comes ghee. Now even those with severe dairy sensitivities can enjoy a cup of your own Bulletproof coffee.divider 5

History: How Did We Get to Ghee in Coffee?

To better understand where the idea of ghee in coffee came from, let’s take a look at the historical context it sprang out of.

The practice of adding butter to caffeinated beverages may have been around since the 7th century! Yak butter tea originated in Tibet and is still a favorite morning drink in the harsh Himalayan mountains.

Tibetans tout its energy boost from the high caloric content, the many digestive benefits, and the hydrating and skin lubricating bonus that helps keep lips and face from chapping in the extreme cold.

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Credit: julie_vdd, Pixabay

Yak butter tea was brought to the wider world in the 13th century by the Chinese, but it wasn’t until 2009 that coffee entered the mix. Upon trying the famed butter tea, David Asprey was inspired to make his own version with coffee. Soon after, he developed the Bulletproof Diet and with it the now world-famous coffee drink, Bulletproof coffee.

And once people started realizing the benefits and deliciousness of butter in coffee, it was just a matter of time until the benefits of ghee were recognized.

Ghee, often confused with clarified butter, is made by simmering fresh milk to make into butter, and then simmering the butter at low heats and skimming away the impurities.

This incredibly pure butter has been used in Indian medicine, cooking, and religious ceremonies for thousands of years. It is traditionally made from cow’s milk, but you can also find sheep’s milk ghee.divider 3

Health Benefits of Ghee in Coffee

Combining ghee with coffee is delicious and has some surprising bonuses. And the consumption of ghee by itself also has many health benefits. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorites!

1. Ghee Can Replace Cream for Those With Dairy Sensitivities

For some folks, it just isn’t a proper cup of coffee without cream. But with such a large number of folks in the world with dairy sensitivities, how can you get that frothy fix if you can’t stomach cream? Ghee may be an excellent solution.

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Many lactose-intolerant people have the most trouble digesting the sugars and/or proteins in milk (lactose and casein). But the refining process of ghee removes all milk solids, leaving only trace amounts of milk sugars and proteins. No dairy? No problem!


2. Ghee Can Help Neutralize Some of the Harshness of Coffee

Some folks have trouble drinking coffee on an empty stomach, and often that is because of the high acidity. But a spoonful of ghee in your morning cuppa’ can help keep your stomach from aching.

Ghee is rich in calcium, which neutralizes the acid that causes digestive upset. It also contains butyrate, a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties and that studies have shown to improve intestinal health.

3. Ghee is Full of Healthy Fats

Not all fat is bad for you. Ghee, which is almost entirely fat, also contains large amounts of healthy fats like omega 3s, 6s, and 9s. These same fatty acids are found in some fish, nuts, and seaweeds and are known to promote healthy metabolism, cardiovascular system, joints, and even better brain functioning.

Ghee may even reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. A study done by the Indian Medical Association found a correlation between a diet rich in ghee and reduced levels of cholesterol.


4. Ghee is Packed With Vitamins

The creamy and dreamy addition to your coffee is also nutrient-dense. Per 100g of ghee you’re looking at about 61% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, 14% of vitamin E, and 11% of vitamin K.

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And the coolest part is that fats are vehicles for nutrients in the body, meaning that those vitamins are more bioavailable and easier for the body to absorb when carried in an oil like ghee.


Disadvantages of Ghee in Coffee

Are there any disadvantages, or bad things about putting ghee in your coffee? Mostly it breaks down into a matter of opinion, but the common downsides people express are:

  • Taste/texture: some people just don’t like the flavor or oily texture ghee creates in a hot beverage.
  • Added fat: if you are trying to cut out as many excess fats as possible, you may not be willing to compromise on ghee’s high-fat content (even if it does have a lot of good fats).
  • Extreme dairy sensitivities: though most people with allergies and intolerances to dairy can handle ghee perfectly well, those with extreme sensitivities to dairy should exercise caution.

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Final Thoughts on Ghee in Coffee

Whether you need an extra boost of healthy fats in your diet or are just looking for a way to spruce up your coffee without adding dairy, ghee has got your back. Added bonus: some ghee products can last up to a year. Take that, milk!

Check out our favorite brands of ghee (4th Heart and Organic Valley) and see how this delicious variation on Bulletproof coffee can put a pep in your step, stop that coffee stomach ache in its tracks, and even hydrate those chapped lips.

RELATED: 24 Healthy Coffee Recipes (With Pictures)


Featured image credit: marekuliasz, Shutterstock

Dan Simms

Dan has been a coffee fanatic since caffeine became a necessity in college, and since then his enthusiasm has only grown. He has come a long way since his days of drinking mass-produced coffee, and he now has a love and appreciation of the entire coffee experience from farm to cup.

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