Cheese is one of the most delicious, healthy and favorite dairy products. There are more than one thousand kinds of cheese and hundreds of recipes for its preparation. They are a traditional ingredient for salads, sandwiches and a variety of hot dishes. There exist many different types of cheese: melted, rennet, soft, hard, processed, blue, spice and along with other additives, it can be produced from the milk of different animals: goat, cow, sheep, buffalo are a few examples.
Cheese is tasty, nutritious and very beneficial to the body. It contains a huge number of necessary substances that a human body can almost completely absorb. Cheese contains more protein than meat or fish. Additionally, it contains the essential amino acids:
Furthermore, cheese is rich in vitamins А, В1, В2, В12, С, D, Е, РР and minerals:
Cheese has a different energy value, at an average 72–400 kcal per 100 g, depending on the content of fat and protein. For example, cheese tofu is only 72 kcal per 100 g of product. However, researchers underline that excessive use of tofu may cause memory impairment.
Cheese contains 30 % of fat; it is more than in many other protein-fatty products (for example, milk has only 3.5 % fat). If we eat 100 grams of cheese, we may satisfy about 1/3 of the daily needs of the body in fat.
Cheese has a beneficial effect on the digestive glands increasing the appetite. The protein, contained in the cheese, is an integral part of the vital body fluids in the human body (blood, lymphs), as well as an essential component of immune bodies, hormones and enzymes.
Cheese is recommended as a universal and indispensable food source of protein (its use completely covers the body’s need for animal proteins), calcium and potassium. High content of calcium and vitamin B make cheese especially useful for the bones of children, elderly people, patients suffering from Osteoporosis, pregnant and lactating women, as well as people working with great physical impact. Eating certain varieties of cheese (cheddar, swiss, blue, etc) immediately after a meal or as a snack has been proven to prevent tooth decay [1, 2].
Cheese is rich in calcium that can keep your teeth healthy and strong. According to some studies, this unique product is also a supplier of linoleic acid which helps to prevent cancer. Regular consumption of cheese helps to improve the condition of skin, hair and nails, and a high content of vitamin A has a beneficial effect on eyesight.
Speaking about the benefits of cheese, one should say that the beneficial properties largely depend on the variety and type of product. For instance, blue cheese is an excellent food for cheese who are lactose intolerance, because blue cheese has very little lactose. However, blue cheese is not recommended for expectant mothers and children because it contains bacteria.
Meanwhile some kinds of cheese should be taken with caution by patients with the following diseases:
- ulcers of the digestive tract;
- colitis and gastritis with high acidity;
- acute or chronic pyelonephritis;
- arterial hypertension;
- kidney and cardiac edema.
Cheese includes high quality proteins, amino acids, high-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Cheese is a high-calorie product, thus may be harmful for the obese or for those who are trying to lose weight, as it contains a large amount of fat. One should not overuse smoked cheese and cheeses that are too salty (such as brinsen cheese). Technology of smoking “kills” all useful properties of cheese and too-salty cheese “knocks” the functions of the body, causing retention of excess fluid in the body that leads to swelling and overweight. That is why nutritionists recommend choosing low-fat varieties of cheese.
1. 7 Health Benefits of Cheese. http://www.doctorsolve.com/blog/2010/01/7-health-benefits-of-cheese.html (accessed May 14, 2015).
2. Cheese — a nutritional powerhouse that can help protect your heart, brain and bones. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/17/heart-healthy-cheese.aspx (accessed May 14, 2015).