This article is sponsored by Daisy Cottage Cheese.
Little Miss Muffet knew a thing or two about eating good food. While we still have no freakin’ clue what a tuffet is, one thing is for sure: We could eat cottage cheese (a.k.a. those delicate curds from our favorite fairytale) all day, every day. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition and perfect for layering with other flavors. Whether you like it chunky and topped with savory spices and veggies, or puréed to a smooth cream with berries and honey, it’s the ideal food for satisfying any craving morning, noon, and night. Let’s take a look at why its curdles rock.
1. Packed With Protein
There’s a reason cottage cheese is a fitness industry favorite. Just one cup of 2 percent cottage cheese packs 26 grams of high-quality protein and only 194 calories. And it’s not just any protein: It’s the slow-digesting casein protein, which is an excellent muscle-builder. Get home from the gym, take off your sneakers, and serve yourself a two-minute cottage cheese snack for the perfect post-workout meal.
2. Helps Maintain Bone Health
Since it's dairy and all, we bet you could guess that cottage cheese is a good source of bone-supporting calcium. In one cup, you can consume 21 percent of your recommended daily calcium intake. It’s also a good source of phosphorus and is packed with protein, both of which are key for strong bones.
3. May Help Balance Blood Sugar
In addition to being good for the bones, research has also found that calcium may help our bodies improve glucose metabolism, which, in turn, can help with type 2 diabetes. One study even found that a combined intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium along with 800 IU of vitamin D was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Helps You Stay on Track
If you're watching your weight or trying to shed a few pounds, eating cottage cheese may make it easier to stick to your goal. In addition to helping build that lean muscle mass, the slow-digesting casein protein in cottage cheese helps you stay fuller longer, which may keep your hands out of the cookie jar. Research has also linked dietary calcium to accelerated weight and fat loss, particularly in regards to stubborn belly fat.
5. Helps Ease Muscle Cramps
Cramping up after leg day? We got you. Or cottage cheese does, rather. The curds contain a combination of nutrients (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium) that work together to help relieve achy, cramping muscles. Lucky for us, they’re all bundled up in a delicious little package when we sit down to a cup of cottage cheese. All the more reason to make this cheese part of your post-workout routine.
6. May Help Your Heart
We've already mentioned cottage cheese is high in calcium, which has been linked to a reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. But it's also a good source of selenium (a mineral that acts as an antioxidant). Though there's still more work to be done, some research suggests selenium may play a role in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. For the most heart-healthy option, choose a low- or no-sodium version or give your curds a quick rinse in a colander to remove some of the excess salt.
7. Boosts Energy
Sure, you could rely on caffeine for your daily wake-up call, but the nutrients in cottage cheese may help give you the energy you need without the inevitable crash. Cottage cheese is packed with vitamin B12, which, like other B vitamins, helps your body turn the energy from food into the kind it can actually use.