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- MedlinePlus: Vitamin D
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin A
- Linus Pauling Institute: Zinc
- MedlinePlus: Calcium In Diet
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin D
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Vitamins & Minerals in Cheese
Cheese is a dairy product that can supply your body with a rich variety of vitamins and minerals, which prove essential for a healthy body. The nutrients from dairy foods are particularly helpful in maintaining strong bones and teeth, but also benefit other organ systems. Different types and brands of cheese contain varying, but similar, quantities of vitamins and minerals.
Cheese generally contains significant levels of vitamin D. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium and maintain healthy bones and teeth. A deficiency in vitamin D, puts you at risk for osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by bone loss and bone weakness. Adult males and females need 600 international units, or IU, of this vitamin daily. A 1-ounce serving of Swiss cheese can supply you with 6 IU of vitamin D.
Cheese also contains essential vitamin A. This vitamin plays an important role in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, skin, and skeletal and soft tissue. Adult males require 3,000 IU per day of vitamin A, while adult females require 2,333 IU. A 1-ounce portion of cheddar cheese has 284 IU of vitamin A.
Dairy products, including cheese, are rich in calcium. Calcium is necessary for maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. In addition, this mineral is essential for growth and development, and the prevention of osteoporosis. Adults normally require 1,000 millgrams of day of calcium, and the recommended amount varies according to age and gender. A 2-ounce portion of Swiss cheese can provide you with 530 milligrams of calcium. A 1-ounce portion of mozzarella cheese gives you 207 milligrams of calcium; a quarter-cup serving of ricotta cheese provides you with 168 milligrams; and a 1-cup serving of cottage cheese has 155 milligrams of calcium.
Cheese also contains zinc. This essential mineral plays an important role in maintaining the structure of cell membranes and aiding in proper growth and development. Adult males require 11 milligrams a day of zinc, while adult females require 8 milligrams per day. A 1-ounce portion of cheddar cheese contains 0.9 milligrams of zinc.
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