What hunks! Each of these seven dairy dreams serves up a different, delicious health perk. Pick the variety that’s right for you.
Calm PMS with PARMESAN: Per one study, 25 percent of women say they suffer from severe premenstrual agony (and we suspect the rest were too miserable to weigh in). Meeting your daily 1,000-milligram quota of calcium can help tame fatigue, cravings, and mood swings. Few cheeses pack as much as Parm. A single serving will get you halfway to that thousand–and all the way to Yumtown.
Slim down with PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA: The classic pizza topper has a third fewer calories than most cheeses, closing in at just 108 per serving. It shreds the munchies with over 10 whopping grams of protein to fill you up and has one-third of your daily dose of fat-burning calcium.
Safeguard your heart with FETA: A 2015 study found that people who downed two ounces of cheeses like feta daily were 20 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease and 41 percent less likely to succumb to a stroke. Compared with other soft cheeses, this block has about one-third less artery-clogging saturated fat.
Build muscle with PART-SKIM RICOTTA: Turns out, Miss Muffet knew a good thing when she saw it. Whey, a complete protein found in milk, usually gets tossed when cheese is made. Not so ricotta–it’s loaded with 14 body-toning grams per half-cup. It’s also rich in the amino acid leucine, which can stimulate muscle growth–and, in turn, shrink your tuffet.
Fend off diabetes with GRUYERE: This cow’s ilk wedge racks up more butyrate than most aged varieties, making it your ticket to the benefits listed above, and then some. Research suggests that butyrate could help steady blood sugar levels after eating, lowering your long-term risk for type 2 diabetes.
Bypass bloating with SWISS: Does dairy make your belly swell up like Mound Vesuvius? You may still be able to enjoy a taste of this hole-y roller. When firm cheeses like Swiss are made, most of the lactose is removed. The result: queso with less than a gram of lactose per serving (versus about 12 grams in a single serving of milk).
Save your smile with CHEDDAR: Here’s news you can sink your teeth into: A study found that eating cheddar may help guard your pearly white against cavities. Researchers believe the cheese may help make the inside of your mouth less acidic, which can prevent tooth enamel from eroding and increase saliva production to dilute plaque-causing sugar and bacteria. A single ounce of cheddar after a meal or snack can also cut down on the production of the acid by 30 percent.