As the world of natural and organic nutritional supplements continues to expand, more and more companies are claiming to provide virtually every single nutrient needed for human health through formulas like organic greens powders and similar items.
But despite these claims, the true nuances of what constitutes a healthy, all-inclusive diet depends on many other factors.
One of the biggest missing links to the diets of millions of people is a pronounced lack of fat soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin K2, which Americans and members of other traditional cultures typically got from organ meats like liver, as well as organic sauerkraut.
Vitamin K as well as vitamins A, D and E constitute fat soluble vitamins, and Vitamin K2 is one of the most rare, and health-boosting, of this group.
This vitamin plays a critical role in protecting your heart and brain, and building strong bones, as well as cancer protection.
It is also a key factor in promoting ideal dental health, as eloquently described in the book ‘Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities Through Nutrition’ by author Ramiel Nagel, who details the work of Weston A. Price with cavity-immune indigenous cultures.
Most people are deficient in Vitamin K2, but getting more of it could come from an unexpected (and delicious) source: gouda cheese.
The one major catch in this case, however, is that where the cheese comes from could play a major role in how much of this crucial health boosting nutrient you actually get.
Gouda cheese: An Excellent Source of Vitamin K2
Is cheese really as unhealthy as many people claim it is?
The favorite delicacy is widely and delightfully consumed across Europe, where rates of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and many other major chronic diseases are far lower.
The biggest difference between European and American cheeses is simple: Factory farms are far less common in Europe, while much of the continent’s cheese and other dairy products comes from healthy, happy cows raised on rolling pastures rather than cows fed an unnatural diet of GMO corn and soy as they are here in the United States.
Perhaps that’s why European cheeses are highly sought-after items in grocery stores and fine food stores.
Not only do these artisan cheeses often taste better, but they also are likely to have higher nutritional content, especially in the case of gouda cheese.
The Health Benefits of Gouda Cheese Include:
-Cancer protection: Vitamin K2 has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent. It may help protect against leukemia as well, and can help stop the growth of liver cancer while suppressing the growth of lung and bladder cancers, according to Real Food RN.
–Bone health: The Vitamin K2 in gouda cheese may help remove calcium deposits from the body, which is especially important in older people for preventing arthritis and arterial calcification.
“Vitamin K2 basically takes the extra calcium in blood and deposits it in our bones, where it should be,” the website writes.
-Skin health: Vitamin K2 may help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, while preventing calcification of the skin’s elastin.
-Oral health: High in fat soluble vitamins and minerals, gouda cheese (preferably grass fed and raw; pasteurized can still be helpful albeit enzyme deficient), can help fortify the enamel of teeth by once again distributing calcium where it needs to go.
Saliva has the second highest concentration of K2 in the body.
-Brain health: Vitamin K2 promotes healthy brain function and may aid in the treatment of dementia.
-Help with Vitamin D absorption: Vitamin K2 is one of the most synergistic vitamins for optimizing Vitamin D levels, which makes it especially important to get enough of during the winter months.
Optimizing Vitamin D levels through food and supplements alone without sunshine is difficult, but it can improve your overall health tremendously, and getting more Vitamin K2 along with Vitamin D is a great way to make sure it is properly absorbed and distributed within the body.
What to Look for When Buying Gouda
While gouda cheese can be especially healthy for these reasons, pasteurized cheese is deficient in enzymes and is more difficult for the body to break down.
Adding more raw plant-based foods to your diet or taking digestive enzyme supplements (preferably organic like this one) can help your body to break down gouda cheese or other enzyme-deficient foods.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a gouda cheese that is raw and grass-fed, as this cheese will have its digestive enzymes still intact naturally.
A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients found that aged gouda cheese found that aged gouda cheese contains about 65 micrograms of Vitamin K2, higher than all other cheeses tested except for Jersey cheese made from raw milk.
A serving of gouda cheese can therefore provide about 65 percent of the recommended daily value (100-200 micrograms for healthy adults) of Vitamin K2, and gouda cheese aged 26 weeks or longer provides even more of the crucial vitamin.
While gouda cheese isn’t considered a health food by any means, the evidence in this case is clear: there are very real potential health benefits for anyone deficient in this crucial vitamin — perhaps that’s why it’s making a comeback in restaurants across the country, and those who do eat it seem to inherently crave it, especially during the long, cold winter season.
This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a naturopathic doctor before making any major dietary of lifestyle changes. See our full disclaimer here.