Dairy is not necessarily a food group evocative of sensuality. And you certainly don’t find a lot of physicians handing out pamphlets on cheese benefits. Yet cheese is a delicacy of European culture. And it is said by some to resemble the scent of a woman. Although most cultures around the world don’t really talk about Gouda or Cheddar in romantic terms, it is embraced in Italian culture as an aphrodisiac–and with good reason.
The many surprising benefits of cheese
If you’re wondering, “but is cheese good for you?” the answer is a yes, but…Cheese contains saturated fat and if your doctor has recommended that you reduce saturated fat consumption, then you should be careful around cheese. In addition cheese has no fiber. And if you’re replacing fiber foods with your cheese consumption, your body will rebel in the form of constipation, (which is decidedly un-sexy).
And as far as the question, “Is cheese healthy,” you’ll see here some good reasons it can positively impact your romantic life but if you’re looking for improving overall health, you should consider what type of cheese you’re eating.
The healthiest types of cheese
If you’re worried about any negative health effects of cheese, you can choose one of the cheeses with the most benefits. For example, most nutrition authorities agree that goat cheese, like chevre, is good for you.
Goat cheese benefits include the fact that goats milk cheeses contain more medium chain fatty acids than are in cow’s milk. This type of fat appears to be rapidly absorbed by the body, rather than getting stored as fat.
Sheep’s milk cheeses like Feta also make the list of the best choices for cheese benefits.
The health benefits of cottage cheese
Of course, if you want to enjoy cow’s milk cheese, cottage cheese benefits might surprise you. This soft, white, fresh cheese is not only high in protein but offers several nutrients. It is high in folate, selenium, calcium and vitamin B12. And it also contains vitamin B6 and a decent amount of zinc. And if you choose a low fat cottage cheese, it has less than one quarter the fat in a serving of ripe brie. So if you’re looking for a low fat source of animal protein, cottage cheese is good for you.
In addition, studies show that the body perceives cottage cheese as filling and helps you stay feeling satisfied for longer than most foods. As such, many nutrition experts recommend cottage cheese for weight loss because it can potentially help you reduce your overall calorie intake.
Is cheese an aphrodisiac?
One of the most interesting advantages of cheese, particularly when it comes to considering whether cheese is an aphrodisiac food, is the fact that it contains phenylethylamine, or PEA. If PEA sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a compound often linked with chocolate’s aphrodisiac effects.
But what most people don’t realize is that cheese can trigger the brain to produce ten times as much PEA as does the aphrodisiac of chocolate. And PEA is believed to be responsible for that hormonal rush during sexual intercourse.
The scents of cheeses can be arousing
One of cheese’s most surprising attributes was brought to light by an Australian researcher and physician, Dr. Max Lake. Dr. Lake performed extensive studies on the connection between sexual arousal and culinary scents.
And with regard to cheese, in his book Scents & Sensuality Dr. Lake commented, “The vaguely sexual odors of certain cheeses may be pleasant to both men and women.” (Although it is now out of print, you can get Dr. Lake’s book from Amazon.)
In addition to the PEA provided by a serving of cheese, Lake surmises that part of this ancient food’s appeal is its lusty scent. In fact, the five-carbon fatty acid that gives most cheeses their flavor is a close relative to a female pheromone.
Cheese improves mouth health
Lastly, one of my personal favorite benefits of cheese both as aphrodisiac and for overall health is its ability to keep your mouth healthy and fresh. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, cheese helps produce saliva. This cuts down on gum disease. And the calcium in cheese helps keep your teeth strong. And let’s face it, a healthy mouth is a kissable mouth.
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