Paneer: Nutritional Facts and Benefits
Paneer is a type of Indian cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or vinegar. The milk solids (casein) will clump together and form a semi-solid mass called chenna. This mass is then pressed to form a soft block paneer.
The word “paneer” comes from the Persian word “panir” which means “cheese”. The first reference to this kind of cheese was found in the 1300s when it was mentioned in India by Amir Khusrau, an Indian poet and scholar.
Paneer is an unripened cheese that is made from curdled milk, in the same way as cottage cheese and it is one of the most popular Indian dishes. Paneer has a very soft texture, and can be used in many different types of cooking. It has a mild flavor and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
In the Indian subcontinent, paneer dishes are very popular in Indian cuisine. A popular dish in North India is Paneer Makhani which has spices such as garlic, ginger and onion with tomato sauce. In South India, Paneer Butter Masala is a very popular dish which uses butter instead of tomato sauce. It can be cooked in many ways like grilled paneer tikka, paneer korma and more.
Nutritional Facts of Paneer
Paneer is a type of cheese, which is made from cow’s milk. It has high nutritional value and is rich in proteins. It has a high protein content and low fat content which makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians. Paneer also contains calcium and phosphorous which are necessary for bone health.
In 100 grams of paneer, there are approximately 10-12 grams of protein and fat, 150 milligrams of calcium and less than 2 grams of carbohydrate.
|Nutrients||Amount per 100g|
|Calcium||31% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Iron||0% of the DV|
|potassium||2% of the DV|
It contains all the essential amino acids that are required by the body to make new proteins. This makes it a good option for vegetarians as it can serve as an alternative to meat products such as chicken or beef.
Paneer also contains vitamin A, B12 and K2 which are important for bone health and immunity respectively.
Benefits of Paneer
Paneer is a fresh cheese that is made by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar. It has many health benefits and can be used in many dishes.
- Paneer is high in protein and low in fat. This makes it a good option for weight loss diets.
- Paneer can be used to make healthy dishes like paneer tikka, paneer korma, or curry. It can also be used to make desserts like kheer or rasmalai.
- Paneer is rich in calcium, iron, zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals which are required for the body’s growth and development.
- Paneer contains probiotics that help keep your gut healthy by promoting good bacteria growth.
Be it a starter, gravy, or main course, you can include paneer in every step of your diet, and adding paneer to your daily diet has several health benefits:
1. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Paneer contains a very high amount of Vitamin D and Calcium and these two components are key players that help in preventing breast cancer. Cancer rates have risen in recent years, with breast cancer being the most common form. Women who are entering the pre-menopause stage are more susceptible to getting cancer. The sphingolipids in paneer and the high amounts of protein help in combating colon and prostate cancer at the initial stages.
2. Builds Strong Bones and Teeth
Vitamin D in paneer strengthens bones and calcium promotes normal functioning of the nervous system The richness of calcium and vitamin D makes it an ideal source for bone strengthening. Anyone like, little kids, or adults can consume paneer for healthy bones and teeth. Not just this, calcium also plays a key role in the nervous and muscular system as well.
3. Weight Loss
Unlike other sources of fat, Paneer contains short chains of fatty acids. Paneer contains easily digestible fats and low carbs help in weight loss. This means, the fat instead of getting deposited, is digested and broken down to release energy. Stored fat is the main reason for obesity. Thus, Paneer is a highly recommended fatty acid source for people who are fitness freaks or those who undergo weight loss programs.
4. Ideal for Diabetic Patients
Most patients who suffer from diabetes are often advised to avoid dairy products, but there is one exception. Paneer, a type of cheese, is rich in magnesium and therefore it is an exception to the rule. Magnesium regulates blood sugar levels and helps keep a person’s insulin levels balanced in their normal range. It also contains a very low amount of carbs and hence diabetic patients can consume this without any fear. Paneer also has the potential to control the drastic fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
5. Normal Functioning of the Digestive System
The digestive system is an important organ system in the human body. It breaks down the food we consume to provide energy. A defect in the digestive system hinders the normal functioning of the other systems. Paneer contains a very high amount of minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, both of which are essential for the smooth functioning of the digestive system. Magnesium acts as a laxative, whereas phosphorus aids in digestion and helps in normal bowel functioning.
6. Prevents and Protects from Diseases
Paneer is an excellent source of potassium, which helps in maintaining blood pressure levels and preventing stroke. Potassium also plays a significant role in preventing muscle cramps, especially in athletes by maintaining fluid levels. Women who are in the Menopause phase also suffer from frequent cramps. Dairy products, like paneer, are known to reduce cramps. Paneer also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis with its very high levels of calcium. It contains a high amount of zinc that is necessary for a normal sperm count in males.
7. Builds Strong Immune System
Paneer is an excellent source of protein that can help build a strong immune system. Paneer is especially beneficial for children who are still growing and need to boost their immunity. Regular consumption of paneer has been known to control respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. It stimulates hemoglobin production and also aids in building a strong immune system. Not just this, the Vitamin B complex present in paneer is highly essential for growing children. It helps in improving concentration and also enhances memory in kids.
Paneer is a fresh cheese that is made by curdling milk and separating the solids from the liquid. It can be eaten in its solid form or used in cooking. Paneer originated in India, but it has become popular all over the world, especially in South Asia.
The only downside to paneer is that it contains lactose and casein which can cause problems for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies and paneer is high in cholesterol and it can also have a high level of saturated fat.
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