8 reasons to keep on indulging your cheese habit

Marie Claire Dorking
Good news cheese fans! Cheese can be good for you [Photo: Getty]
Good news cheese fans! Cheese can be good for you [Photo: Getty]

Cheese gets a bit of a bad rap, particularly when it comes to health, nutrition and weight loss. But that doesn’t stop us craving it in all its creamy delicious-ness. Well, now science has given us a very good reason to totally indulge our cheese habit.

According to research published in the journal, Nature Medicine, mature cheese could actually help extend your lifespan, and, wait for it, even slow down the ageing process. Reason to crack open the camembert if ever we heard one.

The study revealed that people who eat foods, including cheese, that are rich in the chemical spermidine are more likely to have a long life. But the good cheese news doesn’t stop there because people who eat mature cheese are also less likely to suffer from heart failure and blood pressure. Winning.

This latest cheese revelation got us thinking, that while cheese might not be an obvious choice to add to the healthy food list, there are some pretty awesome reasons why you should totally keep up the cheese fest.

It makes you feel good

Not only is there nothing like chowing down on a plate of the cheese stuff, but cheese contains an amino acid called tyrosine that, when broken down, can help to improve our mood and make us feel happy and content. Some studies have even revealed that it could actually help to manage depression, stress and anxiety. But that’s not all, researchers from the University of Michigan revealed that cheese contains casein, a chemical that triggers the same part of the brain as addictive drugs. Once eaten, the casein can trigger a feeling of euphoria in the brain. It could also explain why we’d find it hard to kick our cheese habit.

Who doesn't love a good cheese board? [Photo: Getty]
Who doesn’t love a good cheese board? [Photo: Getty]

It’s packed full of vitamins

“Cheese is a great source of several essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus and calcium,” says Katharina Kaiser, Nutrition Specialist at Freeletics. “When it comes to the latter, most people are not meeting the recommended daily calcium intake, which is particularly important for having healthy bones. Thus, it’s recommended to snack on a slice of cheese every now and then to boost calcium intake and support bone health.”

It’s a brilliant source of protein

Just a single serving of hard cheese could give you around 8 grams of protein, with all the right amino acids that can help give bones, muscles, skin and blood a boost.

It’s great for your teeth

It’s no surprise that as a dairy product cheese is rich in calcium, so it helps strengthen your teeth and bones. But did you realise it could help whiten your pearlys too? “Cheese helps keep your teeth strong as it is high in calcium and protein that protects tooth enamel, the lactic acid also helps prevent tooth decay,” says a tooth whitening expert from BlanX. “Chewing hard cheese also helps stimulate saliva which helps clean the teeth.”

It’s full of good bacteria

Milk, which cheese is made from obvs, is packed full of natural bacteria, that can help to reduce and prevent high blood pressure, cholesterol and boost our immune system. It can also help with digestion too. See, that after dinner cheese board is always a good idea!

Mmm cheese! [Photo: Getty]
Mmm cheese! [Photo: Getty]

It’s full of fat

And not all fat is bad, remember? The fats found in cheese, despite being rather on the calorific side are actually pretty good for you. Not only do they give you energy, they can also give your hair and skin a boost and protect our organs. Some experts have even likened the fats found in cheese to the omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, which as we all know are super-healthy.

It’s good for your heart

Just ask science. A Danish study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that cheese could be linked to lowering cholesterol, which can only be a good thing for your heart health.

Ok so though we’ve given some totally brilliant reasons to keep indulging, it goes without saying that cheese does have it’s downsides, including containing a high quantity of saturated fats and sodium. But, as long as you keep your cheese fest on the down-low as part of a balanced diet, it should be totally fine to go on in.

Cheese on toast anyone?

Love cheese? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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