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  • 2/16/2013

What are the main health benefits of eating cheese?


Although milk, yogurt, and cheese offer significant amounts of calcium and other key nutrients, most people eat only half the recommended daily servings from this group. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy per day can help protect younger people from broken bones and older people from osteoporosis.

To meet daily calcium requirements, most people should have two to three cups of milk or servings of dairy foods each day. Teens have the highest calcium requirements and should get about four cups daily.

The health benefits of cheese include the following:

Cheese is great for your teeth. Cheese is a food that is rich in calcium. Calcium is something that you need if you are going to have good, strong, healthy teeth. Cheese has been shown to reduce plaque and to stimulate saliva which helps to keep the mouth clean. If you dread going to the dentist because you don't want to hear that your teeth are getting bad then you might want to think about how cheese can help you out! (Of course, you do still have to brush and floss!!)

Bone Health: Apart from having very high calcium content, cheese is also rich in vitamin-B, which is very good for children, women (particularly pregnant and lactating) and elderly people (well, for adults too), for formation and strengthening of bones and cartilages. The vitamin-B here aids proper absorption and distribution of calcium.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is mainly a deficiency disease which is caused due to deficiency of calcium (non-absorption) of calcium, resulting in fall in the bone density. This is particularly seen in women who undergone menopause, elderly people and children who suffer from malnutrition. This can be treated with a protein, calcium and vitamin rich diet (calcium alone will not help much, because the problem is with its absorption and utilization for bone formation). And these three are found in abundance in cheese. So, cheese can be ideal part of the diet of those suffering from osteoporosis.

Weight Gain - Be careful if you are trying to lose weight – cheese contains a lot of natural fats which may cause weight gain. There are cheeses which have a low-fat content that can be very healthy for you to eat and perfect for keeping your weight balanced. However, if you are trying to gain weight, whether its muscle weight, fat, or bone density, cheese is the healthy way to go. Cheese is full of protein, fat, calcium, and vitamins and minerals that keep muscles and bones strong and healthy. The vitamins and minerals are better for a balanced metabolism.

Cheese might prevent cancer. There are a lot of studies going on through which people are trying to determine how to prevent cancer. One thing that seems to be true is that CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) may be a product that prevents cancer. Cheese contains CLA. Also, cheese may specifically help to prevent colon cancer due to its high calcium content.

Cheese may be good for your skin. Cheese is a product that contains B vitamins. B vitamins are good for maintaining supple, healthy, glowing skin. You won't automatically get good skin because you eat cheese but it's one benefit to consider when including cheese in your diet.

Cheese is good for people who suffer from migraine headaches. Getting enough calcium has been shown to reduce the problems that people have with migraines. Cheese, as has been noted here, is a terrific source of that calcium.

Cheese can boost your immune system. Eating certain types of cheese has been found to actually have a positive effect on the immune system. This prevents many forms of illness and disease.

Hypertension: Sodium and cholesterol are the two elements mainly considered harmful in hypertension and hypertensive people are advised to avoid them. Here, cheese should be viewed critically. The fat content of the cheese depends very much on the quality of the milk viz. full fat or full cream, low fat or fat free. In general, high fat cheeses are more popular as they are tastier. But, keeping in view the public demand, low fat cheeses are also being introduced to the market. So, you need to be choosy while picking them. Then, the sodium! Although, the sodium content of cheeses varies according to the amount of salt added to the milk prior to cheese formation, still it is never that low to be recommended for hypertensive people, as salt is an inevitable part of cheese. So, in general, cheese cannot be recommended for hypertensive people. Although, a low sodium and low fat cheese is helpful in reducing Homocysteine, an agent which is often related with heart diseases, still, it does not make it recommendable for hypertensive people. Another thing in cheese that can help hypertensive people is the vitamin-B content.

Other Benefits: It contains a lot of vitamin-B which develops in it during fermentation. This vitamin-B is very good for maintaining many functions in the body and also for protection against diseases like Beriberi. It also enhances blood formation, strengthens liver, facilitates absorption of nutrients in the body etc.






Other links:

Foods that help you stay young (Part1)

Foods that help you stay young (Part2)


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