Your mother probably always told you to drink your milk. She knew that milk is rich in calcium, a key mineral contributing to the growth and strength of bones and teeth and overall growth and development of young people in particular.
But did Mom tell you to eat your cheese, an even better source of calcium? Cheese can help you maintain good bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Adults need calcium to keep their heart, their muscles and their nervous system healthy. Calcium also plays a role in many other vital physiological activities, including blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood pressure regulation. Calcium also has been linked to prevention of colon cancer, migraines and PMS.
Although calcium is the body's most abundant mineral, our body does not produce enough of it on its own.
Firm cheeses contain more calcium than soft cheeses. On average, a 1-ounce serving of natural mild cheddar cheese has 20% of the adult daily recommended nutritional intake of calcium. The calcium content of cheese depends on the variety and upon the manufacturing process.
But cheese offers many other health benefits as well:
cheese is an excellent source of phosphorous. One portion (30g) of regular cheddar cheese provides 28% of the recommended daily requirement for an adult aged 19-50. Like calcium, phosphorous promotes healthy bones and teeth as well as aids in energy production and normal tissue growth.
In addition to calcium, cheese is a great source of high-quality protein. Casein is the main protein in cheese, and both the method of coagulation of milk and the degree of ripening influence the protein in cheese. Dairy protein has recently been touted for its ability to control weight. Studies also suggest that dairy protein can reduce blood pressure and protect the body against toxins, bacteria and viruses.
cheese is also abundant in essential nutrients like riboflavin and vitamin B12 needed for energy production, vitamin A and zinc to maintain a healthy immune system. cheese is a natural source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a healthy fat that has been shown to fight obesity, cancer, and diabetes in lab animals. Human studies are under way.
So now you can do a role reversal and tell Mom to eat her cheese!