Health Benefits of Eating Cheese

Health Benefits of Eating Cheese

Cheese has been an important part of American and European cultures for centuries. Cheese comes in more than three hundred varieties that are available in many different forms, including chunked, sliced, cubed, shredded, grated, and crumbled. One of the primary benefits of cheese is, in fact, its versatility, since it can be eaten alone or added as a condiment or flavoring to various other foods.
But even more important than its versatility is the many healthy attributes of cheese. Cheese sometimes gets a bad rap by those who are dieting or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is mostly due to cheese’s high caloric content. However, to focus solely on caloric content is to ignore the many known healthy attributes of cheese.
Cheese contains many nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus, and zinc along with a plethora of vitamins, such as A, B-6, B-12, C, D, E, K, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. While most of these vitamins need no introduction, it is important to note that several of the vitamins in cheese are essential in maintaining many vital bodily functions: the vitamin Bs enhance blood formation, strengthen the liver, facilitate the absorption of nutrients in the body and protect against Beriberi, a disease that affects the cardiovascular and nervous systems and may lead to psychiatric disorders. Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone mineralization through the regulation of calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, and vitamin K helps in blood coagulation and the prevention of hemorrhaging.
Cheese, like all dairy products, is rich in calcium. The high calcium content in cheese promotes strong bones and teeth and may help relieve PMS symptoms and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. The protein promotes strong muscles. Cheese also contains other vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and iron. Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid and sphingolipids which help prevent certain forms of cancer. But, despite being a dairy product, cheese has a very low lactose content, an important consideration for those who are lactose intolerant. The lactose content is directly proportionate to the age of the cheese: the older the cheese the lower the lactose content.
Since cheese does have a high caloric content, you can reduce caloric intake by choosing reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses to take advantage of their nutritional benefits while minimizing calorie consumption. The downside of this approach is sacrificing some taste while minimizing the calories. As with everything, moderation of consumption is key if you’re counting calories.
Cheese had been a part of European and American cultures for many centuries primarily due to its health benefits. Few foods on the market provide as many healthy benefits as cheese.

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