For decades, the French have been known for their love of cheese. In fact, they are said to consume more than any other country in the world. The Italians are not far behind, and their love of cheese is well-documented.
Cheese making in Italy is an art, and there are more than 500 varieties of cheese produced in the country. Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, and provolone are just a few of the more popular types.
While cheese is often associated with unhealthy diets, there are actually some health benefits to be had from consuming it in moderation.
- Cheese is a good source of calcium.
One of the most important nutrients for our bones is calcium, and cheese is a good source of this mineral. A single ounce of cheddar cheese contains about 20% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. This is important for both children and adults, as calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth.
- Cheese can help reduce the risk of cavities.
The calcium in cheese can also help to protect our teeth from cavities. Studies have shown that children who consume cheese have a lower risk of cavities than those who do not. Moreover, the act of chewing cheese can help to increase saliva flow, which helps to keep the mouth clean and reduces the risk of cavities.
- Cheese is a good source of protein.
Protein is an important nutrient for our bodies, as it helps to build and repair tissues. Cheese is a good source of protein, with a single ounce of cheddar cheese containing about 7 grams of this nutrient. This makes it a great snack for those who are looking to increase their protein intake.
Moreover, the protein in cheese can help to keep you feeling full, making it an excellent choice for those who are trying to lose weight.
- Can help you gain muscle mass.
In addition to being a good source of protein, cheese also contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. This makes it an excellent food for those who are looking to gain muscle mass.
- Cheese can help to prevent osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle. This can be a serious problem for older adults, as it increases the risk of fractures. Cheese can help to prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density. This is due to the calcium and vitamin D content of cheese. Both of these nutrients are essential for strong bones.
- Cheese can help to lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Cheese can help to lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of sodium in the blood. This is due to the fact that cheese contains a compound called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). ACE helps to regulate blood pressure by breaking down a hormone called angiotensin.
With cheese making in Italy being such an art, there are many different types of cheese to choose from. When selecting cheese, opt for those that are lower in fat and sodium, such as mozzarella and ricotta. These types of cheese will still provide you with the health benefits listed above, without the drawbacks of high fat and sodium content.