An excellent source of energy-dense saturated fats, vitamins, a special compound called butyrate and a creamy, delectable taste; butter is a superfood! Sadly – due in part to corrupt research and financially-fuelled misinformation – butter has received a bad rap for decades. No, butter does not make you fat, nor will it give you heart disease. Eaten the right way, butter will actually do the opposite! I wrote in a previous article about the benefits of coconut oil; but I must admit that butter comes out trumps in this battle of fats. Here’s why…
Perhaps the most pertinent benefit of butter that not only affects you as an athlete, but as a functioning human being, comes from a compound named butyrate. Butyrate is an exceedingly valuable fuel for the good bacteria that reside in your gut and provide you with vitamins, hormones, neurotransmitters and even components of your immune system. The scientific evidence – now being published on a daily basis – that alerts us how important these bacteria are for overall health and wellbeing is simply astounding. I urge you to give “gut health” or “microbiome” a quick google search and have a read yourself. The positive influence that butter can have on your gut health and therefore your nervous system, energy levels, sleep patterns, body weight and even your mood is truly fascinating.
Another tick-in-the-box for butter is that it is a well-tolerated dairy product. When butter is derived from cream, the commonly allergenic dairy protein – casein – is almost completely removed. This is why butter is often tolerated by many individuals who don’t generally take well to milk or cream. Ghee is an even cleaner source of buttery benefits.
A great way to increase your dietary intake of butter is to cook your vegetables in it. Add a liberal amount to the frypan (on medium heat) along with some kale, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, garlic or onions. Butter will increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in your vegetables, literally allowing you to get more nutrition from your food!
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