Bring me some cheese please!
The Case for Cheese
Simply put, dairy products are one of the best dietary sources of calcium in terms of bioavailability--or the ability of your body to intake nutrients from the food.
Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and is important for blood clotting, wound-healing, and maintaining normal blood pressure. Also, pairing calcium-rich foods with sources of vitamin D helps the small intestine to absorb calcium.
Like we said, cheese packs a big nutritional punch. Two ounces of many kinds of cheese can contain 40-50 percent of your daily calcium requirement, and a single serving can provide 20 percent of the average daily requirement of Vitamin D. Cheese contains vitamin A, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, phosphorus, selenium, and sodium. Sheep and goat’s milk cheeses have higher levels of vitamin A, while cow’s milk cheese has more beta-carotene.In fact, a study in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry reports that consuming cheese and other dairy products may prevent dental cavities. Eating cheese raises the mouth’s pH levels, which lowers the chance of developing cavities. Cheese also sticks to tooth enamel for further protection from acid.
If you’re looking to add more calcium in your diet, the National Dairy Council recommends Swiss, Cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Gouda, queso blanco, Mexican blend, and Colby. Half of a cup of part-skim ricotta cheese provides 337 mg of calcium, which is about one-third of the daily-recommended calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50!