A certain type of delicious cheese could be the key to great health

Cheese is one of those universal foods that almost everyone can appreciate due to its variety and different flavours and textures. And there’s some good news if you love eating it, too: it can improve your health.

According to findings from scientists at the Hypertension Unit of Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital and Catholic University of Piacenza, Italy, Grana Padano, an Italian cheese has been shown to have peptides that can lower blood pressure.

Grana Padano is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

The peptides in the cheese give similar blood vessel relaxation effects as blood pressure prescriptions drugs such as benazepril or captopril.

In a randomised, placebo-controlled study, 30 adults with hypertension were provided with either an ounce per day of Grana Padano cheese or a placebo imitation cheese for two months. Blood pressure was monitored throughout and the results showed a significant drop in blood pressure levels. There were no changes seen in body mass index as well as blood lipids and blood sugar.

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“The effects are similar to what you would expect with antihypertensive medications,” said the study’s lead author Giuseppe Crippa, M.D.

“Adding a little Grana Padano to a healthy diet may provide clinically significant blood pressure lowering benefits”, he said.

32 per cent of Australians suffer from hypertension, which is a whopping 4.6 million people. It is directly or indirectly involved in over 45,000 deaths every year.

The findings of this study and others were discussed from May 13 to 17 in New York City at the 31st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.

Among the latest research presented at the meeting are new data challenging the popular belief that napping will help lower blood pressure. According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic, people who have afternoon naps had a 13 to 19 percent greater hypertension risk.

Tell us, do you enjoy eating cheese?