Ready to discuss something that the mere suggestion of may make many raw foodists and vegans angry? Cheese Louise. Are we going there? Seems so. Warning: this article is NOT about using nutritional yeast to mimic cheese flavor. Promise.
Cheese has gotten a really bad reputation throughout the years. Criticized from all sides, it has been treated as the worst of the worst when it comes to food choices. It’s time to take a step back and give cheese another look – and taste – because this delicious treat that so many love – and try to avoid – can actually be very good for you!
Packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins, cheese can be a friend to your body. It is loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, B-6, B-12, A, D, E and K, as well as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Additionally, cheese is a terrific source of other vital nutrients such as calcium, potassium and iron. (1)
Let’s review some reasons cheese should be eaten with gusto, and celebrated!
Cheese is a fantastic source of protein, some say
Protein is one of the most vital macronutrients that your body needs. There is no getting around it – for optimal health – you need protein. Current recommended daily intake is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men, or roughly 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories. (2)
Rather than focus on the problems associated with a lack of protein, let’s explore the many ways it helps your body reach and stay in a state of optimal health: (3)
- Builds muscles and bones
- Boosts immunity
- Balances pH
- Transports vital nutrients
- Makes critical enzymes
Protein is present in every single cell in your body! And, your body uses it to keep itself running smoothly and in optimum health.
Cheese provides your body with calcium, which is a critical component of good health (4)
Calcium is extremely important for overall health. Almost every cell in our body uses calcium in some way. Cheese is one of the top sources of calcium available, and nearly every cell in your body requires calcium to function appropriately, including your nervous system, muscles, heart and bones.
You probably already know that calcium is essential for bone health. Your bones store calcium not only for its own benefit but to provide other health benefits to your body. Over time, your body requires more calcium for optimal functioning – and cheese is an ideal (not to mention tasty) source for this.
While all cheeses have excellent levels of calcium, some of the highest include: (5)
Another exciting bonus of indulging in cheese? It can make you happy! And not just because it tastes so delightful. It actually has an amino acid called tyrosine that, when broken down in our bodies, sends out mood-soothing chemicals that lead to feelings of contentment. Additionally, the fats in cheese (that some people wish to avoid) can also nudge your brain into producing dopamine – also known as the “feel good chemical.” (6)
So take heart, cheese aficionados – there is no need to fear cheese – if you love it, then give yourself permission to enjoy it!
Perhaps food is only good for us if we believe it is
OK, before you sound off in the comments about pus and antibitoics in dairy, cruelty to animals, and so on (I feel you!), let’s consider something else for a brief moment. We hear lots of chatter about good vs. bad right? And we can easily find studies and information supporting BOTH sides for the same darn thing! Agreed? That stands to reason, that it is perhaps more our belief than anything that determines the reality of things. I don’t know, but it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you agree that nutritional yeast is NOT a realistic replacement for your love of cheese.
Check out this article if this last paragraph speaks to you in any way, shape or form: Food is not your enemy – make friends with it and reap the positive benefits
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!