As one of the healthiest cheeses when consumed in moderation, blue cheese has made a good reputation for its pungent aroma and flavor. The cheese contains a high amount of calories and fat and provides essential minerals and vitamins.
If you have already given it a try, you must remember its taste for a long later. Like cottage cheese or Feta cheese, blue cheese is easy to combine with other ingredients in cooking. Not just that, blue cheese has done wonder to our health. Keep reading to know more!
What is blue cheese?
Blue cheese is not actually blue in color, it just contains blue molds appear in the veins of the cheese. These molds are resulted from the presence of specially cultivated bacteria that start aging, giving it a characteristic blue shade and distinct smell.
Facts of blue cheese
An ounce of blue cheese packs with 100 calories, 8.1 grams of fat (5.3g of saturated, 0.2g of polyunsaturated and 2.2g of monounsaturated), 325mg of sodium, 6.1g of protein and 148mg of calcium – 12% of daily calcium intake. It also contains multiple vitamins, like Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and minerals like calcium, phosphorus.
Also known as blue vein cheese, blue cheese is made of milk from cow, goat or sheep by adding mold Penicillium. Generally, there are six standard steps to follow to make blue cheese, including acidification, coagulation, curds and whey, salting, shaping and ripening.
The mold and type of bacteria that presents in blue cheese attribute to its taste, mild, salty, strong or sharp. This distinct cheese is commonly served with pears, crackers, fruit bread and currently used as a dressing and topping.
Types of blue cheeses
Blue cheese is various in types of which time to age ranges from weeks to months. Some popular are Roquefort, Danablu (also known as Danish blue), Gorgonzola, Blue Stilton and Cabrales.
Benefits of blue cheese
Blue cheese offers some health benefits because it provides a high amount of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
1. Reduce the risks of heart disease
Adding a proper amount of blue cheese in your diet may help in reduce the risks of heart disease. The sodium found in blue cheese serves as an electrolyte, supports the heart and nerve function, lowers the cholesterol levels, as well as prevents blood clotting in arteries or veins. It also contains Vitamin B12 that help nourish red blood cells.
2. Boost the immunity
The second main health benefit of blue cheese is to improve immune system, studies show. It provides essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, potassium and zinc. These vitamins and minerals help prevent diseases, thereby, boost the immune system.
3. Enhance bone health
Blue cheese is good for the bone due to the supplement of calcium, a vital nutrient for bone health. By maintaining proper calcium balance in the body, the cheese helps to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis and bone related issues. Eating an ounce of blue cheese and you will consume 148mg of calcium, making up 12% of your daily need. It’s worth trying, right?
4. Reduce inflammation
Eating blue cheese and you will receive some anti-inflammatory properties for your body. They help in preventing rheumatoid arthritis and reducing cardiovascular diseases.
5. Build muscles
Blue cheese is a delicious way to get your protein, which is essential in the development of muscles and body tissue. An ounce of this cheese provides up to 6.1 grams of protein, so, why don’t you add it in your diet from now on?
6. Prevent dental problems
Aside from aiding in bone health, the calcium in blue cheese can help maintain dental health. The protein and calcium work together in preventing tooth decay, and fighting cavities and gum diseases. The phosphate presents in the cheese also helps in restoring the tooth mineral content.
Aside from benefits, blue cheese can also do harm for health with excessive intake in a long run. It is mainly resulted from its active components: calories, fat content and sodium.
High in fats
Blue cheese rich in saturated fat that is harmful for your cholesterol levels. The saturated fat found in an ounce of blue cheese makes up almost one-quarter of the fat allowance in a 2,000-calorie diet. So, consumed with excessive amount in the long term, it may threaten your cardiovascular health.
High in calories
Proving 100 calories per ounce is also a big drawback of blue cheese. It means that if you eat too much, it will definitely go straight to your waistline. So, make sure that you watch your consumption, just a proper amount.
High in sodium
Our body needs some sodium to function. The point is that too much of them, like a high amount found in blue cheese (325mg per ounce) may do harm to the body. It may increase the risk of kidney damage, some types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, be careful with its intake!
Blue cheese is not only flavored but also beneficial to your health when consumed properly. To fully enjoy its benefits as well as avoid potential side effects, you should choose type that can satisfy your taste and consult your nutrition expert when you are on a diet.