We all like to indulge in some cheese every now and again whether it is on its own as a snack, included in a salad, omelette or as a topping for pasta. Though it does have a bad reputation for the amount of calories and fat it contains. But it turns out that Feta cheese is healthy and a great choice to add to your diet…
Yes, this well known Greek cheese not only has a delicious unique salty flavour but is also being hailed as one of the healthiest cheese choices you can make. It is good for your bones, immune system, gut health and can even help protect against cancer.
Feta is sold in whole blocks or thick slices and is traditionally made from sheep or goat’s milk and often a combination of both. The original Feta cheese is made in Greece so be aware of all the imitations that are now on the market produced in other countries.
It’s not a cheap cheese but you can save money by buying a larger block, which as long as you keep it properly stored in brine in the fridge, can last about a month..
Why Feta Cheese Is A Healthy Option…
Feta cheese has many health benefits and contains fewer calories than most other cheeses apart from Mozzarella and Ricotta. It is especially high in protein, calcium and the B vitamins.
Feta Cheese Nutrition
1oz Feta has 75 calories – 6g Fat, 1g Carbohydrates and 4g Protein
Feta is a great tasty choice of cheese for those of you who can’t eat dairy products. As it is made from sheep or goat’s milk it is less allergenic and inflammatory than cheeses made from cow’s milk.
Feta cheese is a great source of calcium, protein and phosphorus which is just what we need to maintain strong healthy bones. This is especially important for fighting the onset of osteoporosis in women. Calcium also helps in keeping our heart, nerves and muscles in top condition.
One of the reasons feta cheese is being hailed as such a healthy cheese is that it is able to help protect your body from cancer. The calcium content of feta cheese combined with a type of protein called Alpha-lactalbumin feta contains is said to produce anti-bacterial and anti-tumor properties in our body.
Cheeses made from sheep’s milk contain a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid which is normally only found in animal products. Studies have shown that it may also have anti-cancer properties as well as help prevent diabetes. It is also beneficial to those who are working to increase their lean body mass.
Feta contains a type of protein called histidine which combined with the vitamin B6 makes histamine this helps our bodies immune system to fight disease.
It contains vitamin A and phosphorus which is essential for eye health and the combination of B vitamins aid the body in the production of hemoglobin. The vitamin B12 along with the small amount of iron that feta contains can also help in the treatment of anemia. The Vitamin B2 content can help prevent headaches and even migraines.
Feta cheese is easy to digest and contains Probiotics which can help you keep a healthy gut, this is especially important if you have a stressful lifestyle.
Too Much Of A Good Thing…
Sometimes there is too much of a good thing and the downside of this yummy soft and crumbly cheese is its high fat and sodium content, so it should only be eaten in moderation. The amount of salt contained does vary depending on the maker, but you can reduce it just soaking in plain water before using it. Also just don’t add any extra salt when you are using it in your cooking.
Ways to Use Feta
We all know feta as being the primary ingredient in delicious Greek Salad but there are so many other ways that you can include it in your cooking as well as just eating it just with crackers. Feta is a great choice for crumbling on top of pasta, potatoes, vegetables and homemade pizza.
It is quite a delicious cheese to have on wholemeal bread with sliced tomatoes and drizzled with a little olive oil and is also the ideal ingredient to add to your pancakes or morning omelettes. One of my favourite Sunday brunch choices is broccoli and feta omelette.
If you want to start including feta in your diet there are so many different ways you can incorporate feta in to your healthy cooking. Do you already have a favourite recipe that you’d like to share please do leave it the comment box below as I’d love to try it…