Wellness: Cheese is loaded with health benefits, here are all the reasons why it should be on your plate
I don’t want to have cheese, it will make me fat! Cheese is really bad for you and your body!’ Cheese has always been labelled as a bad food that is too fattening or unhealthy. But now we know how essential fats actually improve our health, body functioning, hormones and can help with neurological disorders, etc. So, is cheese really bad for you? Well, that’s a yes but only and only if we overdo it. It’s always better to enjoy everything in moderation rather than going all out and relishing such treats on a daily basis, that too in large quantities. If we are looking at adding cheeses to our routine then we have to be very mindful regarding the same and enjoy it once a week in moderation.
Cheese is loaded with plenty of health benefits; it’s an excellent food especially for kids because it is a good source of calcium, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin B12. In fact, the ample amount of vitamin B12 in cheese makes it a vital component of diets, especially for vegetarians. We all know that B12 works well in the production of RBCs, proteins and helps with DNA repair, plus it promotes many nervous health functions as well. Cheese also imparts high levels of energy and that makes it ideal for kids when they require more energy due to their increased activity during
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is found in cheese and what exactly is it? It is an Omega 6 fat that helps in building muscle mass by reducing the fat content in body. It strengthens the immune system, improves energy levels, helps in balancing sugar levels and improving heart health. Cheese is fermented and we all know that we get probiotics from fermented foods and that helps in improving gut health.
It’s not only about energy and calories, munching on cheese also promotes saliva production, which helps in neutralizing harmful acids in the mouth and washes them away. The most important thing is that cheese contains plenty of calcium and phosphorus — so giving it to your kid replaces the minerals lost from their tooth enamel, essentially strengthening the teeth. An active toddler can have a single organic cheese slice or cube every alternate day.
Talking about cheeses (and there are many varieties that you can try adding to your diet), one of the most common forms is our very own paneer or cottage cheese (stick to organic A2 paneer to get maximum benefits). Cottage cheese is a mixture of cheese curds and whey, formed by curdling cow’s milk, then draining and pressing it. Compared to other cheeses, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and can be had almost two to three times a week. Homemade paneer is awesome, but if you are planning to stick to outside brands then procuring organic A2 paneer is important to make sure you digest it well without causing any gut issues.
We have seen the benefits of cheese and paneer, but we have to be mindful when adding them to our meals. Eat them in moderation and in case of lactose intolerance, autoimmune conditions or stomach issues, it’s always better that we stay away from food that contains casein (dairy protein) that can increase digestion issues by irritating the stomach lining.
The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.
Pic courtesy: Erik Dungan on Unsplash