Cheese is one of the dairy products that fulfill many purposes in our daily lives. It is also an ingredient in different foods including cakes, cookies, bread, ice cream, yogurts, and many more. Different varieties of cheese will come in many shapes, textures, and forms.
Some of the popular cheeses in the market are made from cow’s milk and sheep’s milk. Those made from sheep milk taste different from those made from cow’s milk. For instance, Manchego, Feta, Pecorino, and Roquefort have different flavor profiles, which distinguishes sheep products from cow products.
Putting their taste, texture, and appearance aside, sheep cheeses are made with one main ingredient, which is ewe’s milk. Hence, they share the same benefits and nutritional values. In this article, we will explain some of the major benefits you can get from consuming sheep cheese.
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Sheep cheese is high in protein
Due to the high concentration of protein found in sheep milk, sheep cheese has three times the protein content of cow cheese or goat cheese.
For people who are constantly on the move throughout the whole day, eating sheep cheese can be a beneficial and satisfying snack for staying healthy and active. The molecule structure of the protein found in sheep cheese is easily broken down through hydrolyzation (reaction with water) and more efficiently used by the body.
Sheep cheese can enhance the immune system
Sheep cheese contains a high percentage of nutrients and minerals such as vitamins A and E. These two vitamins act as antioxidants that help in reducing free radicals before eliminating them from your body system.
Vitamins A and E help in reducing oxidative stress and preventing the onset of critical diseases. Aside from boosting your immunity, antioxidants can also rejuvenate your skin, making you look fresher and younger.
Sheep cheese is high in calcium
The amount of calcium found in sheep cheese is twice as much as the calcium in cow milk cheeses.
Aside from major nutrients, sheep cheese also contains a high number of essential minerals including calcium, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
As we age, our bone density can decrease, leading to health issues such as brittle bones and osteoporosis. Consuming sheep cheese that is high in these minerals can help in improving your bone mineral density. This is also important for children who are still developing and in need of a higher quantity of calcium and other minerals.
Sheep cheese is easy to digest
Sheep cheese can be categorized as naturally homogenized milk. It blends well and doesn’t separate into milk and water. Hence, it is suitable for people who can’t digest cow cheese or people with lactose intolerant.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that sheep cheese is zero lactose. What separates sheep cheese from other cheese is the way the lactose in sheep’s milk is converted into lactic acid during the process of making this cheese.
Sheep cheese helps in boosting your reproductive health
Numerous amounts of vitamins can be found in sheep cheese such as folate. Folate helps in balancing hormonal levels, especially for women. It also promotes better metabolism in your body.
The lack of folate can induce neural tube defects in infants. It also can affect the overall reproductive system, causing difficult labor and delivery.
Sheep cheese assists in reducing the possibility of cancer
Sheep cheese is made from sheep milk that contains a high concentration of nucleosides and nucleotides. These two types of glycosylamines are also 50 times higher than the ones found in cow cheese and cow milk.
Hence, by consuming more food that is high in nucleosides and nucleotides, you can reduce the oxidative stress of free radicals that is caused by mutations of healthy cells in our bodies. In turn, this can lower our chance of developing cancerous cells, leading to better growth and repair of healthy cells.
Sheep cheese can help in lowering cholesterol level
Although sheep cheese contains a higher amount of fat and calories (two times higher) than cow cheese, this doesn’t mean that it is bad for our health.
This type of fat will also help convert protein into energy while reducing our chances of developing other cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Sheep cheese is considered one of the alkaline-rich foods
Consuming alkaline-rich food can facilitate the absorption of vitamins and nutrients in our bodies while simultaneously improving our immunity.
If possible, try to avoid acidic food or keep your diet balanced between alkaline and acid-rich food. This is because acidic food can cause an imbalance of the blood’s pH level and disrupt our bodily fluid balance. In turn, it can lead to mineral loss and higher chances of developing severe illnesses.
Sheep cheese helps in maintaining blood pressure
The amount of amino acids in sheep cheese is much higher than in cow or goat cheese. When we consume sheep cheese, these amino acids will react with our bodies similar to blood pressure-mediating drugs.
Furthermore, these amino acids will reduce the strain on blood vessels and arteries, leading to lower chances of developing hypertension. This alternative is better for people who are looking to take care of their cardiovascular health in a natural way.
Sheep cheese can be consumed safely by people with asthma and dairy allergies
People who suffer from asthma, eczema, and other skin allergies don’t experience the allergic reactions they do when consuming cow-derived dairy products.
Unlike other cheeses, sheep cheese contains a high concentration of zinc and glycosylamines that promotes better gut function while reducing internal inflammation in our bodies.
Sheep cheese promotes better sleep
Sheep cheese is rich in tryptophan. This essential amino acid facilitates the synthesis of serotonin. A balanced level of serotonin in our brain and bodies helps in regulating our mental wellness and brain functions, stabilizing our moods, as well as reducing anxiety, and promoting better sleep.
If you’re thinking of switching to a healthier cheese, then sheep cheese would be a perfect choice.
However, due to the limited amount of time that sheep producers have in a year to milk their animals, the price of sheep cheese is a bit more expensive than other regular cheeses.
In addition to all the health benefits it offers, sheep cheese has a wide range of flavor undertones from gamey, tangy, and nutty, to sweet. After all, who says you can’t enjoy a delicious cheese that is beneficial to your health?