With Christmas just around the corner, many of our thoughts turn towards food and the inevitable overindulgence that comes with the festive season. However, this year there may be one less food item to feel guilty about - cheese. Blue cheese to be exact...
Scientists have discovered that the blue cheese Roquefort has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help protect against heart disease. The cheese is traditionally aged in the South of France and may be one of the reasons the French enjoy good health, despite indulging in a high-fat diet (a situation that has been named the French Paradox).
It appears that a process occurs as the cheese ripens which is good for a healthy gut. This process can help slow the signs of ageing (including cellulite) and help slow arthritis according to the Cambridge-based biotech company Lycotec. Experts have even said that Roquefort's properties could be extracted and then used in anti-aging and pharmaceutical products.
Zoe Harcombe, a leading nutritionist, is however sceptical of the findings.
"We should not automatically think of inflammation as a bad thing," she said.
"Inflammation is the sign that the body is healing something, we sprain our ankle, it inflames - that is the body sending fluids, blood and lipoproteins to the area to repair the damage."
If you are dreading food choices over the festive period, you may find it helpful to speak to a nutritionist. To see how they could help, please see our nutrition topics page.
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