From tangy cheddar to ripe-and-moldy blue, could cheese have a hidden health talent?
Hmmm. Research says maybe so. A new German study suggests cheese is actually a cancer fighter. But before you pick up that slicer, you need to learn how to harness this superpower the right way so you don't clog your arteries.
Slicing Cancer Risk
Turns out that cheese is a rich source of menaquinones, a type of vitamin K that switches on genes in the body that knock out cancer cells. And when German researchers tracked the health and diets of over 24,000 people for up to 10 years, they found that those who ate the most cheese reduced their risk for fatal cancers by 28 percent -- presumably because they got the most menaquinones. But here's the major caveat: The biggest cheese-eaters in the study didn't go overboard. They got just 29 grams a day, the equivalent of about an ounce of cheese or one deli slice. (Get the lowdown on vitamin K.)
To get ample amounts of menaquinones, don't rely on cheese alone, because you'll get an overload of artery-clogging, calorie-laden saturated fat, too. A better bet? Diversify. Egg yolks and chicken are also good sources. And get plenty of leafy greens. There's new evidence that most of us need more of the bone-friendly form of K found in spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, and more. (But if you're on a blood thinner, such as warfarin, talk to your doctor first.) Try these other easy options for getting more K: