Eating cheese is not a pleasure solely reserved to the French anymore, as the North American crowd, both young and old, are turning to this dairy delicacy in throngs since the 1990s. Popular throughout the world, cheese has both a delicious array of flavors (depending on the type of cheese in question) and a positive number of health benefits. To meet the increasing demands of the market, we see new and more sophisticated cheese varieties introduced that cater to a number of tastes in flavors and forms.
The Health Benefits of Cheese
Cheese also makes a particularly important contribution to our diet: it contains a high concentration of essential nutrients like protein and calcium, as well as phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and B12 and riboflavin. The particular contents of each type of cheese depend on both the composition of the milk used and the manufacturing process.
In addition of making a great contribution to our diet, cheese has a number of other health attributes. Among these, it has been found (although not yet properly explained) that certain types of cheese (like Cheddar, Swiss and Blue Cheese) help reduce the risk of dental caries. Scientists have not yet agreed upon what is the cause of this anti-cariogenic effect, but the ability of milk proteins to neutralize plaque acids has been proposed as a possible explanation. Not only can cheese help you to avoid dental caries, it also helps you since it hampers tooth decay and revitalizes (or, should we say, remineralize) the tooth enamel.
An overwhelming amount of studies and information point to the fact that consuming calcium rich aliments can help us prevent and improve conditions like osteoporosis. The inclusion of cheese in our diets, since it is a calcium-rich food, can therefore reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Even though a lot of people that are unfortunate enough to suffer from lactose intolerance tend to scoff at cheese, they don't need to. Aged cheese in particular, like Cheddar and Swiss cheese, contain little to no lactose. They are an excellent source of calcium and other nutrients found in milk for people that have problems digesting lactose and/or milk's sugar.
Last, but not least, cheese is included (in moderation) on diets and treatments to reduce the risk of hypertension. DASH (which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is one of such diets and it has shown to be successful at reducing not only hypertension but also other risk factors for heart disease.
Cheese not only boast a high nutritional value and has a beneficial role in our health, but it is also delicious. The many varieties and flavors make this a top pick for any luxury hamper on a picnic trip, romantic dinner or lazy snack on a Sunday afternoon.