7 Wellness Benefits of Eating Cheese

Cheese really is good for you!

Healthy cheese and fruit platter.

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Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Whether you are a fan of melted cheddar grilled cheese,  mozzarella dripping off pizza, or a brie with crackers, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

But is cheese good for your health? Old-school thinking claims that cheese contains too much saturated fats and salt but now there is evidence that cheese is actually good for you, according to WebMD.

While most cheeses sold in the US are made from cows' milk, cheese can also be made from the milk of goats and sheep. The healthiest cheeses are made from lower fat milk, according to Healthline and some cheeses contain less sodium, including: cottage, ricotta, cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, Swiss, and Monterey jack. Here are seven health benefits of eating cheese.

Cheese is Nutritious

Cheese is a whole food, according to WebMD; this means that it is as close to its natural form and not processed. While the amount of nutrition in cheese varies depending on the type, all-natural cheese – not processed – can be good for your health. Cheese contains important vitamins including Vitamin D, A, B12, and K as well as large amounts of calcium. Cheeses made from 100 percent grass-fed milk contain more nutrients.

Grilled cheese sandwich.

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Could Reduce Blood Pressure

Eating cheese could help lower your blood pressure due to the high calcium content. Cheese also contains  angiotensin-converting enzymes-inhibiting bioactive peptides – that help lower blood pressure – , explained Cleveland Health. Since some cheeses contain large amounts of sodium, anyone with high blood pressure should eat cheese in moderation.

Bagel and low fat cream cheese.

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Helps to Prevent Heart disease and Diabetes

Some cheeses like Brie, blue, and cheddar contain the omega-6 fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid which can help reduce your lipid panel. A 2016 report that was published in Medical Hypotheses analyzed 31 studies that compared how much dairy people ate to whether they developed heart disease. The researchers found that eating two ounces (56.6 grams) of cheese daily was associated with an 18 percent lower risk for cardiovascular disease.

Blue cheese and pear salad.

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Supports Gut Health

Fermented foods like cheese contain probiotic bacteria – the good bacteria – that helps you achieve a  healthy gut microbiome, according to Cleveland Health. The best cheeses to eat for a healthy gut are cottage, provolone, Swiss, parmesan, gouda, and gorgonzola.

Swiss cheese fondue.

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 Could Protect Your Teeth

The calcium in cheese could protect your teeth from cavities. A 2015 Danish study investigated the associations between eating dairy and tooth decay in children and teens over a three year period. The study found that participants who consumed large amounts of dairy products were 69 percent more likely to be cavity-free. Eating cheese, rather than an assortment of dairy, helped to reduce cavities because cheese can raise the pH level in dental plaque and this offers protection against tooth decay, reported Medical News Today.

Homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella.

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Helps Build Strong Bones

The calcium found in cheese helps to build strong bones, according to WebMD. Since cheese is made from milk it is packed full of calcium and vitamins A, D, and K as well as zinc which can support bone health and could aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Fresh ricotta cheese.

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Cheese Proteins Help Build Muscle

Cheese also contains whey protein that helps support strong muscles and is used in many muscle-building powdered supplements. The cheeses that contain the most protein are cottage, feta, and mozzarella which both have three to four grams of protein per 30 gram serving.

Greek salad with feta cheese.

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