Cheese is a high-fat, high-protein dairy product made by coagulating or curdling milk, stirring and heating the curd (a soft, white substance formed when milk sours), draining off the whey (the watery part of milk), collecting and pressing the curd, and in some cases ripening it. All cheese is made from milk, but different manufacturing and aging processes are used to produce the array of cheeses available today.
Cheese contains calcium and Vitamin D, which are both key in the maintenance of strong and healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin D builds up bone density and helps in the prevention of osteoporosis and also helps maintain the bones and cartilage because it allows calcium to be absorbed properly by the body. Calcium and Vitamin D also help prevent cavities and wearing down of tooth enamel. In addition, since cheese contains a little lactose or milk sugar, it does not negatively affect teeth as much as other dairy products.
For those with blood-pressure problems, low-sodium cheeses like goat cheese and mozzarella are available and good for you. For the underweight and nutritionally imbalanced, cheese offers a high concentration of essential nutrients including fat, high quality proteins and calcium, and can help one not only to put on weight but also keep the body strong and healthy. There are also other elements in cheese such as phosphorous, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. Zinc aids in tissue growth and repair, prevents and treats macular degeneration, protects the skin, and helps keep the nails strong. Both zinc and biotin are also important for hair health. For those trying to lose weight, look for cheeses that are fat-reduced or fat-free to take advantage of the nutritional benefits. Cheese may be used in appetizers, sauces and dips, soups, salads, pastries and savory dishes.