Cheese hardly conjures up thoughts of healthy eating, but boy, is it delicious! As cheese enthusiasts ourselves, we often try to find healthy-ish recipes that will incorporate the gooey goodness into as many meals as possible. Now that our days of being able to eat mac ‘n cheese several times a week with no concern for our health are long gone, we’re highlighting some of the positives that cheese has to offer.
We spoke with the good folks at The Cheeses of Europe – a national campaign co-financed by the French Dairy Inter-Branch Organization (CNIEL) and the European Union – for their expert knowledge on all things cheese! The CNIEL’s mission is to create awareness about the variety of French cheeses available in the U.S. market while highlighting the infinite ways that American consumers can incorporate French cheeses into their diets, recipes, and lifestyles – taking home cooking from good to magnifique!
As if we needed any more reasons to celebrate our love of cheese, we’ve rounded up six health benefits that will have you smiling your cheesiest grin of all!
1. Protein and calcium
Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium. Since protein curbs hunger and keeps you feeling satisfied after meals and snacks, consuming cheese with your meal could help keep hunger at bay. As part of a well-rounded nutrition plan, the protein in cheese can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates eaten at the same meal or snack and therefore help balance your blood-sugar levels. Additionally, the calcium in cheese can help keep your teeth and bones strong and guard against osteoporosis.
2. Zinc and biotin
Cheese contains additional nutrients like zinc and biotin. Zinc has several functions in the body: it aids in tissue growth and repair, prevents and treats macular degeneration, protects your skin, and helps keep your nails strong. Additionally, both zinc and biotin are important for hair health.
3. Cardiovascular benefits
Cambridge Studies show marked cardiovascular benefits associated with the consumption of cheese, including improved circulation and decreased inflammation in cheese-lovers.
4. Energy booster
Cheese is a great source of energy. Of course, we’re not saying that you’ll be ready to run a 5k after downing a bowl of creamy mac ‘n cheese at your favorite steakhouse, but incorporating some cheese into your meal could help give you an energy boost.
5. Digestive benefits
Bacteria found in cheese add diversity to our intestinal flora for added digestion benefits.
6. Stress reducer
A common bedtime stress buster is the time-honored glass of warm milk. The vitamin B12 in cheese helps reduce stress, too. After all, think of all your favorite ‘comfort foods’ – most probably have some sort of cheese as an ingredient!
The health benefits of cheese are good to keep in mind, especially when you’re planning your next meal for the entire cheese-loving family.