If your idea of heaven is eating a bit of cheese every day, good news! You may be helping your heart, boosting your immune system, and providing these other benefits. Read on…
Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, LD, RD
Cheese is good for oral health
When it comes to sweetening your breath, cheese stinks. But it can strengthen your teeth. Cheese is packed with calcium, which builds bone. If it’s vitamin C you seek, keep looking — cheese has none.
Eating cheese every day may be good for your heart
Some studies suggest eating about 1.5 ounces of cheese a day lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. Just don’t overdo it. And go with a low-fat type. Regular cheese can have a lot of saturated fat.
A bit of cheese at bedtime may help you sleep better
Cheese contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body relax and feel sleepy.
Gouda gives you a probiotic boost
This aged cheese has live cultures like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. These are the good bacteria that usually live in your gut. They can boost your immune system and overall health.
A strong or bad smell does not means the cheese is spoiled
With cheese, stinkier is sometimes better. If you have a local specialty shop that offers cheese, ask them what’s normal and what’s off when it comes to the smellier types. If not, many grocery stores have well-stocked cheese coolers these days. Check with yours.
How much dairy – including cheese – should you eat in a day?
3 cups is actually the amount of dairy the average healthy person should have each day. So plan your meals and snacks with that in mind.
Pregnant women should steer clear of feta
Most low-fat cheeses may be a good part of a mom-to-be’s diet. But stick to the hard variety. Soft cheeses like feta, brie, and blue cheese are unpasteurized. That means they come with a higher risk of food-borne illness.
Eating cheese won’t clean your kids teeth
Cheese can’t take the place of a good brush, but its calcium can help your choppers. And chewing it tells your mouth to make more saliva. This prevents acids from attacking your teeth, which cuts back on cavities and gum disease. It also has casein, which helps replace the enamel, or hard outer covering, of your teeth.
Are You a Cheese Whiz? Medically reviewed by Christine Mikstas, LD, RD