Feta is easier to digest and much less allergenic and inflammatory than cheeses from cow’s milk, which is encouraging to those of you who may be sensitive to dairy products.
Feta’s nutritional overview includes protein, calcium, B vitamins, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and many trace minerals (selenium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese).
Feta cheese nutrition will depend on exactly what brand and type of feta you get. Traditional feta is made either from pure sheep’s milk, or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk (and no more than 30 percent goat’s milk).
If you’re a cheese fiend, here are some reasons to make feta a top choice.
Most people have difficulty digesting cow’s milk products. The good news is that with feta, you don’t have to worry about this anymore. High-quality feta is made up of goat`s or sheep’s milk, which is easier to digest. In fact, you should never buy feta that is made from cow’s milk as the flavor is much different and is more difficult on the stomach.
Another good thing about feta cheese is that it provides you with helpful probiotics, which boost the immune system and allow you to maintain a healthy gut and avoid many digestive problems.
2.Histidine and vitamin B6
Histidine is an essential amino acid in feta that is necessary for protecting nerve cells, producing red blood cells, and protecting tissues from radiation and heavy metal damage. It’s also metabolized into histamine and carnosine, which are involved in immune response, digestion, and proper muscle, brain, and sexual function. Histidine also needs vitamin B6 to synthesize histamine and carnosine and since both are found in feta cheese.
3.Lots of protein
Feta is packed with protein, providing 4 grams of protein per 28 grams serving. As an added bonus, one study has shown that protein, particularly one from products like cheese, is effective at lowering the risk of type II diabetes. The team of researchers found that protein in milk products positively affects insulin secretions, and that the combination of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fatty acids has a beneficial impact on insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and glucose control.
4.Supports bone health
Feta cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that plays a significant role in the health of your bones. However, milk can hurt your bones, as pasteurized cow’s milk is one of the worst places to get the most calcium. Instead, replace pasteurized cow’s milk products with other high-calcium foods like feta.
Thirty grams of feta contains 14 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium. It also contains a significant amount of vitamin D, a nutrient that is necessary for the absorption of calcium.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for vision, for healthy skin, immune function, organ formation and maintenance, reproduction, and communication between cells. Generally, vitamin A is responsible for the differentiation of every cell in the body. Feta cheese contains a decent amount of this fat-soluble vitamin. The healthy fat in feta aids in vitamin A’s absorption.
6.Protects against cancer
As a rich source of calcium and vitamin D, feta cheese allows you to take advantage of research suggesting that the combination of these two nutrients help protect the body against various types of cancer.
But it’s not just calcium and vitamin D in feta cheese nutrition that protects against cancer. The protein alpha-lactalbumin that can be found in feta, when bound to calcium and zinc ions, has been suggested to have antibacterial and antitumor properties.
Everything in moderation
While feta is one of the most nutritious cheeses you can eat, it’s not something you want to eat a pound of in one sitting. There’s a huge amount of sodium in feta; too much salt can lead to hypertension and potassium deficiency. Feta’s fat is good for your brain but too much saturated fat is bad for your circulatory system.
Tips on how to buy good quality feta
- Buy certified organic
- Look for cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk
- Feta cheese should be white, so any yellowing indicates that there is something wrong with it
- Buy Greek, if possible
- It shouldn’t be crumbly and it should have small holes on the surface