For years, Americans have wondered how the French can eat a diet high in saturated fat and drink seemingly copious amounts of wine while still being overall healthy and thin, not to mention having some of the longest life spans in Europe. But now scientists may have cracked the case, and the answer is blue cheese.
It turns out that blue, veined cheeses like Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent diseases. Also, those anti-inflammatory properties can help promote cardiovascular health. Not only does it seem that blue cheese is good for the heart, it can also slow the signs of aging, slow down arthritis and help discourage cellulite as well.
The cheese, which is aged in the caves of southern France, can possibly explain the mystery of how the French can have diets filled with saturated fat – and still be healthy. That question has been dubbed the “French Paradox,” and it’s plagued other nations for years.
Researchers have found that the properties of blue cheese work best in an acidic environment, like the lining of the stomach. They also believe that the anti-inflammatory attributes of the cheese can be used in pharmaceuticals and beauty products like anti-aging skin creams.
French women have the highest life expectancy in Europe, at just over 85 years old.
Blue cheese is classified as being made with cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk and it’s injected with penicillin, a process that gives the cheese the distinctive blue/green veins and strong aroma. The cheese itself is believed to have been created by accident when the cheeses were stored in caves favorable to harmless mold varieties.
Roquefort has been mentioned in literature as far back as 79 AD, and it’s popular for its sharp and salty taste and creamy texture. Bon appétit!