Parmesan cheese, but more correctly Parmigiano Reggiano, is a special type of hard cheese produced in the Northern provinces of Italy. It is considered a natural cheese, as it is produced from unpasteurized milk, natural whey and rennet, and only using salt for its preservation.
It is subsequently allowed to age for 14 to 30 months or even more, helping to instill a unique flavor profile to it. It is important to know that true Parmesan cheese is only produced in Italy, even though there are hundreds of knockoff products that claim to be Parmesan manufactured in other parts of the world.
But what makes this type of cheese so special? Aside from its diverse nutritional spectrum, consumption of Parmesan cheese can help you benefit from its ability to improve your health.
Wonder what it can do for you? Let’s check it out now.
Nutrition (Per 100g)
Calories – 392
Total Carbohydrate – 3.2g
Total Fat – 26g 40% RDI
Protein – 36g 72% RDI
Vitamin A – 400IU 8% RDI
Vitamin D – 28IU 7% RDI
Vitamin K – 1.7mcg 2% RDI
Riboflavin – 0.3mg 20% RDI
Vitamin B6 – 0.1mg 5% RDI
Folate – 7mcg 2% RDI
Vitamin B1 – 21mcg 20% RDI
Pantothenic Acid – 0.5mg 5% RDI
Calcium – 1184mg 118% RDI
Iron – 0.8mg 5% RDI
Magnesium – 44mg 11% RDI
Phosphorus – 700mg 69% RDI
Potassium – 92mg 3% RDI
Sodium – 1600mg 67% RDI
Zinc – 2.7mg 18% RDI
Selenium – 22.5mcg 32% RDI
10 Amazing Benefits of Parmesan Cheese
1. Promotes Restful Sleep
Parmesan cheese is a rich source of many amino acids, including tryptophan, which is necessary for production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps to boost your mood, and is generally associated with an improved sense of well-being.
Melatonin, on the other hand is most closely associated with sleep, with levels of it increasing as night falls and as you get closer to feeling sleepy. Melatonin helps you achieve restful sleep, which is why many natural supplements marketed as sleep remedies include it as their primary ingredient.
2. Supports The Health Of Teeth And Bone
Parmesan cheese is an extremely rich source of calcium, with just a small 100g serving supplying over 1000 mg of this mineral.
This is a massive amount, which most people fail to get over the course of the entire day. Added to the fact that Parmesan cheese contains vitamin D as well, what you a have is a food that can safeguard you from debilitating bone diseases later in life.
3. Supports Muscle Growth
Parmesan cheese, like many other cheese varieties, are rich sources of protein, lending a hand to the process of muscle protein synthesis. The importance of protein cannot be overstated, whether you are attempting to build muscle or not, since virtually every cell in your body is reliant on it for repair and regeneration during normal maintenance.
4. Helps Prevent Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the eyes characterized by excessive inflammatory breakdown to structures within the eye known as the macula. While this process of breakdown is more common as we age, younger persons are also afflicted too.
Parmesan cheese surprisingly contains a significant amount of vitamin A, best known for its ability to help improve eye health. Vitamin A is an antioxidant vitamin that helps to buffer the effects of oxidative stress on the eyes, but also other cells as well.
Combining Vitamin A with other nutrients such as zinc can help to significantly reduce the speed at which macular degeneration occurs, or prevent you from developing it at all.
5. Perfect Food For Recovery Following Illness
Parmesan cheese, different from many other popular cheese varieties, is a great food to consume after a prolonged period of illness or even hospitalization. This is owing to the fact that Parmesan cheese is actually much gentler on your stomach than other cheese varieties.
During the aging process, many of the proteins found in cheese are broken down into simple short chain amino acids. This makes it very digestible and gentle on the digestive tract. Protein at this interval is also very important for your recovery, so once given the go-ahead by your physician be sure to have a little with your chicken noodle soup.
6. Supports Digestive Health
Many of the persons that develop digestive disorders do so as a result of poor probiotic health. The digestive tract is home to billions of beneficial probiotic bacteria, which if not sufficiently provided for, may have their numbers significantly reduced, opening you up to the risk of infection.
Supporting: the size of their bacteria colonies by consumption of Parmesan cheese which is loaded with good probiotic bacteria itself, will go a far away in safeguarding your health.
7. Improves Immunity
The immune boosting properties of Parmesan cheese are attributed to the exact same probiotic bacteria which help to support digestive health. Unknown to many people, a significant portion of your immune system is actually comprised of these exact probiotic bacteria, which acts as an important first line defense against pathogens we come into contact with daily.
Many fermented dairy products are great sources of probiotic bacteria, so feel free to mix it up if you like.
8. Improves Energy Levels
Parmesan cheese is a rich source of many B vitamins, including choline which is important for the metabolism of micronutrients, especially fats and carbohydrates. In addition to this, the protein found in Parmesan cheese can act as a substitute for carbohydrates for persons on low carbohydrate diets, via production of ketone bodies.
In addition to this, amino acids are necessary for the production of many neurotransmitters, such as serotonin which has previously been mentioned, but also others that help propagate energy transmission.
9. Supports Health Of The Nervous System
Once again, the many B vitamins found in Parmesan cheese help support the health of the nervous system. This is especially important for the nerves in the periphery, which are the first to be hit by a poor circulation issues as a result of metabolic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease.
By fortifying your diet rich with foods rich in B vitamins you help to maintain nerve sensitivity, and prevent loss of sensation that can be dangerous to your safety.
10. Helps Improve Mood
The neurotransmitter serotonin is very important to regulation of mood, with levels being low in persons diagnosed with depressive illness. In particular, the presence of the amino acid tryptophan lends itself to the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helping alleviate symptoms of depression.
It is very important, however, to first consult your physician if you are currently using medication to treat the condition itself, as adverse reactions can occur due to accumulation of high levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Parmesan cheese is a treasure trove of nutrition, and can offer health benefits exceeding those of non-fermented cheeses. As much as you can, be sure to opt for true Parmigiano Reggiano, made in Italy to ensure that you are getting what it claims.
On a final note – even though Parmesan cheese is higher in fat and sodium, it is not necessarily bad given that you monitor your cholesterol values and overall intake of sodium, or if you combine it with lower carb diets that promotes usage of fat for fuel.