Cottage cheese is made from curdled milk and has a mild flavor. In addition to protein, cottage cheese packs in many essential nutrients.
A favorite with weightwatchers and athletes, fresh cottage cheese is a good source of protein, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats. The process of making cottage cheese involves curdling boiled milk using acidic substances like vinegar or lime. When the milk curdles, lumps of curds are formed. The lumps are then pressed hard to squeeze out the milk serum or whey to produce a block of cottage cheese.
Since cottage cheese is formed when the milk protein casein reacts with acid and coagulates, it is preferred by energetic and athletic people as well as people who are on a weight-loss program. This is because casein is a protein that is slow to digest and release energy. The other byproduct of cottage cheese preparation is whey, which is also considered healthy for fitness enthusiasts and sports persons. Cottage cheese is especially beneficial for vegetarians to meet their protein and calcium requirements.
Cottage cheese offers many health benefits. Some of these benefits have been listed out for you:
1. High in protein: The protein content in cottage cheese is by far the biggest benefit that it gives on consumption. This is because of the protein casein contained in it. Casein is a vegetarian’s answer for fulfilling the protein requirements which they cannot get from meat. The cheese can be consumed directly and does not require any cooking.
2. Reduces risk of breast cancer: Calcium and vitamin D are important to keep breast cancer at bay. Since dairy products in general and cottage cheese in particular contain impressive levels of calcium and vitamin D, consumption of the cheese downs the scales of contracting breast cancer.
3. High in B-complex vitamins: B-complex vitamins are essential to carry out several metabolic activities in our bodies. Since cottage cheese contains vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, folate, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, it is considered a good source of B-complex vitamins.
4. Good for pregnancy: Since the calcium requirements of pregnant women are high, they are advised to consume cottage cheese. The cheese also contains phosphorous which is needed for strong bones and hence recommended during pregnancy,
5. Rich in calcium: Even though 99% of the calcium present in our body is present in bones, the remaining one percent is maintained in the blood for fulfilling vital roles. This amount of calcium enables muscle contractions including heart muscles, normal functioning of the nerves and formation of blood clots. A drop in blood levels will make it necessary for the calcium to be compensated by the bones. A cup of cottage cheese will provide nearly 18% of the required intake of calcium.
6. Helps weight management: Cottage cheese is astonishingly low in calories. What’s more, even a small amount of intake provides energy that lasts through the day. Weightwatchers find it extremely filling without having hunger pangs or resulting food binging. They can also relish it with so many tasty recipes that can be turned out with cottage cheese.
7. Helps maintain sugar levels: The enormous amounts of magnesium present in cottage cheese helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. Magnesium also helps release multiple biochemical reactions in the body that in turn leads to enzyme secretion which is essential for curing migraine, aiding digestion and easing constipation.
8. Aids in controlling anxiety: The potassium in cottage cheese acts as a healer and helps in leveling anxiety. It regulates blood pressure levels and promotes proper brain functioning.
9. Helps in formation of vital nutrients: Cottage cheese contains pantothenic acid which promotes the formation of fats, amino acids, proteins and carbohydrates in the body.
10. Builds energy: Cottage cheese contains Riboflavin which helps in converting carbohydrates into energy. So consumption of cottage cheese will help you feel energetic and raring to go.
11. Aids digestion: Contrary to the belief that any kind of cheese is fattening, cottage cheese is good for digestion. It contains niacin which plays an important part in the digestion process and also in energy production and cholesterol reduction.
12. Prevents strokes: The potassium in cottage cheese has yet another function. It lowers blood pressure and the contraction of muscles and hence reduces the risk of stroke.
13. Reduces the risk of heart attack: Magnesium that cottage cheese contains also reduces the risk of heart problems along with maintaining blood levels. The magnesium activates various enzymes in the body, supports the immune system and maintains muscle and nerve functioning thus ensuring that the heart is in good working condition.
14. Carries antioxidants: Cottage cheese contains selenium which is an antioxidant. The selenium has many functions. It is responsible for reducing the risk of prostrate and colon cancer and protects DNA and cells from damage. But it is advised to consume only the recommended dietary allowance as it can cause side effects.
15. Develops biological functions: The percentage of zinc contained in cottage cheese is about four percent of the daily recommended value. Zinc is an important mineral which has many roles in promoting the biological functioning of our body. It develops the immune and digestive system, controls diabetes, improves ocular health, fights infections and is also an antioxidant.
Along with health benefits, cottage cheese is a delicacy too. Combine it with tomatoes and avocados for a sandwich, make fluffy cottage cheese pancakes or make a smoothie with it along with oatmeal and bananas. You can even get adventurous by using it to make pasta sauce or an all-encompassing casserole with rice, vegetables, yogurt and cottage cheese. There are no limits to the wonders of this humble milk product.