You’ve probably heard of the “French paradox” before. Despite their notorious fondness for saturated fat, the French still have healthier hearts than Americans.
The medical community has long attributed this phenomenon to France’s voracious consumption of resveratrol-packed red wine. But new research is showing that this might not be their only surprising secret to good health.
Scientists have discovered that cheese contains novel peptides that lower blood pressure and fight inflammation. As it turns out, the ripening process that cheesemakers use results in a number of substances that reduce pro-inflammatory markers. Markers like C-reactive protein–a well-known factor in heart disease.
This is especially true for moldy cheeses like Roquefort, which feature metabolites that block cholesterol formation and bacterial growth.
Personally, I’ve never been one to recommend drinking wine–it’s simply got too much sugar. But a crumble of Roquefort cheese is an easy way to make any salad more delicious.
And if it cuts your risk of cardiovascular disease? Well, preventing a heart attack never tasted so good.
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“Could cheese be the missing piece in the French paradox puzzle?” Med Hypotheses. 2012; 79(6):746-749.