Cottage Cheese: 11 Health Benefits for Your Entire Body

cottage cheese health benefits

Cottage cheese is a healthy, white, creamy kind of cheese that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to benefit your entire body. It’s also a low-fat, low-carbohydrate and high protein food source, making it the perfect choice to add to any meal, or even to have as a meal on its own.

Derived from boiled and curdled milk, cottage cheese comes in a variety of consistencies, flavors, and fat percentages and can be used in salads, sandwiches, wraps, and in any meal.

Athletes, sprinters, bodybuilders, and sports enthusiasts often rely on cottage cheese for its excellent concentration of protein. It offers both slow and fast-releasing protein in the form of whey and casein, which is known to create a leaner and stronger physique while maintaining energy and performance.

11 Health benefits of Cottage Cheese:

1. Protein for Muscles

Cottage cheese qualifies as a complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids, which makes it an excellent source of low-fat muscle-food. Just half a cup of cottage cheese contains 12 grams of pure amino acids, which equates to approximately 23% of the total recommended daily amount of protein for adults.

Being a derivative of cow’s milk means that it contains a high amount of casein, which is a slow-digesting form of protein which is great for repairing and building stiff and tired muscles. The other form of protein, known as whey, absorbs quickly into the body to feed and energize muscle tissue.

2. Calcium and Phosphorus for Bones

Calcium intake is important for maintaining healthy teeth and bones and cottage cheese contains 9% of the recommended daily amount per half-cup serving. Eating calcium-rich foods like cottage cheese helps to prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, fractures, joint pain, and tooth decay.

Half a cup of cottage cheese meets 24% of the daily required amount of phosphorus, which is an important mineral for maintaining the right pH in the body to keep bones from becoming brittle.

3. Vitamin B-12 for Energy

Vitamin B-12 has many functions in the body, the most critical being the absorption of iron into the blood for energy. Cottage cheese is the best source of Vitamin B-12 according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, meeting 60% of the daily recommended amount per cup. A B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, nerve problems, heart palpitations, and digestive disorders.

4. Magnesium for the Heart

Magnesium is an important mineral which helps to keep a steady heartbeat, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, which keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. Research has shown that 50-80% of Americans are magnesium-deficient, which studies have shown to be more associated with heart disease than high levels of cholesterol.

Dr. Andrea Rosenhoff, the director of Research and Science Information Outreach for the Center for Magnesium Education & Research in Hawaii, led the study and concluded: “Common risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome are all associated with low nutritional magnesium status or low magnesium dietary intakes. Many studies have shown that correcting or preventing a nutritional magnesium deficit can and will correct or prevent cardiovascular disease events, including death.”

5. Potassium for the Brain

Cottage cheese contains 218 mg of potassium per one cup serving, which meets 6% of the daily recommended amount for adults. Potassium maintains fluid balance in the body, which is important for optimizing neural activity in the brain. Research has shown that regular intake of potassium significantly reduces the risk of developing headaches, migraines, psychiatric disorders, and age-related dementia.

6. Minerals for Metabolism

Riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, and folate are some of the best minerals for boosting the metabolism, and cottage cheese contains all of them. These minerals work together to convert carbohydrates into energy, to form amino acids from fats and proteins, and to increase mineral absorption.

Cottage cheese also contains 2% of the daily required amount of zinc per 100 grams, which is important for keeping the immune system strong, increasing metabolic energy, and ensuring that the digestive system functions properly.

7. Probiotics for Digestion

Probiotics are beneficial bacterial cultures that help to keep the digestive system balanced and healthy. A deficiency of probiotic bacteria in the gut can cause digestive disorders, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, and more.

Note: It’s important to buy cottage cheese with ‘live and active cultures’ listed on the label to get this health benefit, which can be found at most health food stores and many supermarkets.

8. Vitamin D for Cells cottage cheese blueberries

Vitamin D, also known as “the sunshine Vitamin”, is important for keeping cells healthy and disease-free. A 16-year study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health found that Vitamin D reduced the risk of developing breast cancer, particularly in pre-menopausal women. It also helps to increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals, which results in optimally nourished cells.

9. Vitamin A for Eyes

100 grams of cottage cheese offers 3% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, which helps to protect the cornea of the eye and prevents the loss of vision. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, which reduces the risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and helps to naturally slow the aging of eye tissue.

10. Healthy Fats for Weight Loss

Despite the healthy vitamins, minerals, and metabolism-boosting antioxidants that cottage cheese contains, it’s also saturated with healthy fats that controls appetite, keeps cholesterol levels in check, balances hormones, and promotes natural weight loss.

Depending on whether you buy low-fat or creamed cottage cheese, it contains only 3-7% fat per 100 grams and only 40-100 calories per half-cup serving, which makes it the perfect addition to any meal.

11. Antioxidants for Anti-Aging

Cottage cheese contains powerful antioxidants, such as selenium, which helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Studies have shown that selenium helps to neutralize free radicals and other types of skin-damaging compounds before wrinkles are formed. DNA-damage ca be caused by environmental pollution, chemicals, UV exposure from the sun, and stress, and the compounds in cottage cheese are the perfect antidote to it.

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