What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Parmesan Cheese?

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Nutrition Blog

Parmesan, which is also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, is a hard Italian cheese with unique nutritional benefits and qualities.

Some people even consider it a functional food, believing that its nutritional components may boost health or reduce disease risk. Its most notable nutritional characteristics include lots of protein and calcium. Parmesan cheese is also easily digestible.

Traditionally, this well-known Italian cheese is made through a thousand-year-old manufacturing process, resulting in its characteristic flavour and texture.

Nutritional Benefits Of Parmesan Cheese

While there are different dairies which produce parmesan, the process is so well regulated that the nutrition information is stable across cheesemakers. For every 100 grams of this type of cheese, there are about:

  • Calories: 392
  • Protein: 35.71 grams
  • Fat: 25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.57 grams
  • Fibre: 0 grams

Interestingly enough, parmesan is naturally lactose-free, despite being a dairy product. It does include a number of micronutrients, however. Parmesan is a good source of:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A

Easily Digestible As Compared To Other Cheese

Some people have trouble digesting the dairy protein casein. Although Parmesan does contain this same protein, it is in an easier to digest format as opposed to other varieties of cheese.

The reason for this is the extensive ageing process that Parmesan goes through. During the ageing, the lactic acid enzymes formed from fermentation break the casein proteins down into smaller proteins.

As a consequence, the casein in Parmesan has almost been “pre-digested” when it enters the body. However, this easier digestibility is possibly to be a characteristic of the longer-aged cheeses.

The minimum required ageing time for Parmesan is 12 months, and the protein breakdown process may only take place at an early stage at this time. In order to get the full benefits of protein breakdown, a Parmesan that is aged for two years or more would be a better choice.

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Counteracting Osteoporosis

Parmesan is categorized in Europe as a functional food. This means that it is a food which has medicinal benefits. Its high amount of bioavailable calcium is particularly highlighted as beneficial for counteracting osteoporosis as well as supporting good bone health. Parmesan cheese is also high in phosphorus, which is another essential mineral for bone development.

Healthy Blood Pressure

Calcium is a super important nutrient for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. It assists blood vessels to contract and relax. Just 28 grams of parmesan contains about 312 mg of calcium, or about 30% of the daily recommended value for adults.

Offers A Good Amount Of Menaquinone (Vit K2)

It was once a little-known vitamin, however more individuals know about the importance of vitamin K2 (menaquinone) these days.

For instance, vitamin K2 may have benefits regarding:

  • Helping to inhibit calcification of arteries
  • Improved bone as well as muscle health
  • Reducing the threat of osteoarthritis

Vitamin K2 forms can be found in animal foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs. It is especially high in food which comes from grass-fed animals. While soft cheese such as Camembert usually contains the most vitamin K2, hard cheese such as Parmesan also provide a good source.

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Trifocus Fitness Academy - Nutrition Specialist