Managing Wellness

Surprising Health Benefits of Cheese

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Posted by June 2, 2017

As an employer, you may have encouraged your employees to read the popular book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. But beyond using cheese as a metaphor to teach employees how to deal with change in the workplace, introducing your employees to the health benefits of cheese may be one of the best things you can do for their oral health.

Building Strong Bones and Teeth

Dairy products, like cheese, milk and yogurts, are loaded with calcium. And according to the National Institute of Health, 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth. But to keep your teeth healthy and your bones strong, you’ll never outgrow your need for calcium, and this mineral is especially important in preventing osteoporosis as you age. In fact, the recommended daily allowance for someone over 70 is more than it is for an 8-year-old child.

Preventing Cavities With Cheese

It seems too good to be true that you could eat a tasty snack and have it protect your teeth against decay. But a 2013 study, published in General Dentistry, reported that eating cheese raises the pH level in the mouth very quickly, which is an indication that cheese has anti-cavity properties. This less acidic environment is due in part to the increased amount of saliva produced when chewing. However, cheese and other dairy products contain a protein called casein. And when combined with the calcium and phosphate compounds found in cheese, casein forms a protective coating on the tooth enamel, which helps prevent decalcification.

But beyond that, these compounds in cheeses—especially in the aged varieties, such as sharp cheddar, Swiss or Gruyere—can actually help strengthen tooth enamel, along with remineralizing and repairing areas of early tooth decay. Three servings a day of dairy is recommended, and to get the best dental health benefits of cheese, eat a piece before and one after eating sugary foods.

Moo Good News

Not only can cheese help prevent cavities in teeth but other dairy products have been found to have anti-cariogenic benefits too. The American Dental Association says that drinking milk after eating sweets protects teeth by reducing the acidic levels in the mouth and also forms a protective barrier on the enamel.

To promote good dental health among your employees, always encourage them to eat nutritious meals and snacks, follow good oral hygiene routines and visit their dentist regularly. And to ensure that they have easy access to the health benefits of cheese and other calcium-rich foods, keep the vending machines stocked with lots of dairy products, and definitely include a variety of aged cheeses at the next office party!

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