Superfood of the Week: Cheese

 How can a food that is associated with pizza, nachos and mozzarella sticks possible be a super food of the week? Cheese has gotten a really bad rap, and honestly, its not the cheese’s fault. What makes cheese so unhealthy is when it is  deep fried or covered in grease! Cheese has endless health benefits that are often overlooked due to the plethora of unhealthy dishes that use it’s flavor and consistency to compliment them. We all need to stop associating cheese with ONLY unhealthy foods and rid that negative connotation that goes along with it. Give cheese a chance, you’ll be surprised at how healthy this creamy dairy product really is!

Bone and Dental Health

As you all know [or should] cheese is a part of the dairy family. Which means that cheese, along with it’s cousins milk and yogurt, is very high in calcium. You need calcium to maintain strong and healthy bones. A diet rich in calcium also helps to prevent osteoporosis, which weakens your bones. Along with calcium, cheese also contains Vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining your bones and cartilage. Why? Vitamin D allows the calcium to be absorbed by your body properly.

The calcium found in cheese not only helps strengthen your bones, it also works to strengthen your teeth! The added vitamin D helps to prevent cavities, tooth decay and gum disease! Another added bonus of cheese is it is relatively low in most sugar and lactose, which is easier on sensitive teeth and gums. [You need a good set of chompers to eat, obviously!]

Smaller waist

A study that was recently completed found that those who consumed the most dairy [cheese, yogurt, milk] were less likely to have enlarged waists than those who did not. There is also increasing evidence that proves that people who followed a diet rich in dairy are more likely to regulate a health weight and lose weight than those who forgo dairy products.

Building muscle

Dairy foods like cheese are naturally high in protein, the nutrient that works to help you build lean muscle and burn more fat. For example, just 1 cup of cottage cheese contains up to 26 grams of protein, which is 65% of your daily protein intake! Along with building muscle and burning fat, protein  also helps to strengthen your muscle cartilage and tissue, which will help to prevent tears and muscle damage.

So friends, grab a wedge of your favorite cheese and dig in! Just be weary. Not all cheese is created equal. A piece of pizza with mozzarella is not interchangeable with just a few bites of fresh mozzarella!  Visit my Eat Skinny Be Skinny recipe on healthy fresh pizza for a great way to healthily eat cheese and still enjoy your favorite pie!

~ by therealnutritionist on April 24, 2010.

One Response to “Superfood of the Week: Cheese”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Regina Maye, claire gallam. claire gallam said: What's the superfood of the week? […]

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