When we think of superfoods, we are regaled by mental images of crunchy kale, tart goji berries, and succulent avocados.
We rarely consider butter. However, organic grass-fed butter truly embodies the characteristics of a superfood, and, while it may seem counterintuitive, deserves a starring role on your household menu.
It is a crying shame that for years, Americans have been taught to fear butter and avoid it like the plague, in favor of imposter margarine – which, by the way, contain dangerous trans fats and other unhealthy additives.
Luckily, public opinion of organic butter and other healthy saturated fats is changing, now that more and more research is discovering that they are not linked to heart disease after all.
The dietary cholesterol found in butter actually functions as a potent antioxidant, which can help to reduce disease-promoting inflammation throughout the body. Butter also contains vitamins A, D, E and K2, as well as the minerals iodine, lecithin and selenium.
These nutrients, along with the short and medium-chain fatty acids found in butter, can help improve digestion, boost immune system function, and may actually protect against heart disease.
Additionally, the iodine found in butter is highly absorbable, and essential for proper thyroid function.
But wait: not all butter is created equal. While organic, grass-fed butter is a nourishing superfood, conventionally manufactured butter is made using milk from cows fed genetically modified grains.
Not only does this pose the risk of genetically modified material ending up in your butter, thereby entering your body, it also compromises the nutrition of the butter itself. This is because grains are not a natural diet for cows, and when they are not allowed to dine on grasses, their milk becomes nutritionally depleted.
So, now that we’ve got the butter facts straight, here are three ways that you can get more of the golden goodness into your diet.
Put it in your coffee
Pouring a freshly-brewed cup of organic coffee in the blender and whipping it up with some unsalted grass-fed butter can make a wonderful concoction that will provide you with tons of energy throughout your day.
You will get the vitamins and minerals that butter contains along with your morning caffeine, and the healthy fats will keep you satiated and help to stop cravings in their tracks.
Plus, you’ll add the many nutrients in butter to the benefits of coffee itself – and there are many!
Add it to your oatmeal
To add some oomph to your breakfast, melt a square of butter over your oatmeal. Organic, steel-cut oats are a wonderful source of fiber, which not only keeps you feeling full, but is very important for health. Adding the benefits of butter means your body will be pampered from the inside by not only fiber but healthy fat – perfect sustenance for a busy day.
Additionally, oatmeal and butter is a perfect, gluten-free breakfast cereal alternative. Just make sure you are buying organic, steel-cut oats or raw oat groats, with no additives, which may contain gluten and other preservatives you don’t want in your bowl.
Note: while non-contaminated oats are considered gluten-free, there is a protein in oats, called Avenin, which causes a negative reaction in approximately 5% of people with celiac disease.
Drizzle over fresh, organic veggies
Research has found that butter can actually unlock many of the nutrients found in your favorite veggies, making them more available to your body. This is because many vitamins and minerals are fat-soluble, and eating them without fat may not allow your body to absorb their full benefits.
A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health tested the cardioprotective effects of fruits and vegetables with and without high-fat dairy products such as butter. The researchers concluded:
“Daily intake of fruit and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease when combined with a high dairy fat consumption … but not when combined with low dairy fat consumption.”
Organic butter has been a celebrated staple in many cultures since ancient times, and for very good reason. Isn’t it time you joined the club.