Even though it originated in the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, Gouda cheese is produced all around the world. It’s often served alongside crackers and fruits, but Gouda works well in other dished such as macaroni and cheese, vegetable casseroles and especially in quiche. It provides a small amount of almost all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly and is a good source of several important nutrients, but be sure to balance the nutritional benefits with its high fat, salt and calories.
All Gouda cheese is made from cow’s milk and shaped into a round wheel. It’s aged for 1 to 6 months, but sometimes for as long as 6 years. Young Gouda is pliant and smooth with a mild flavor, while Gouda aged for a longer time is hard and flaky with more intense flavor. The cheese is usually covered with wax that can be any color. A coating of black wax means it has been aged for at least 12 months.
One ounce of Gouda provides 198 milligrams of calcium, which is 20 percent of the recommended daily value based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Calcium builds and maintains bones, not only during periods of growth, but also throughout your life, as bones continuously discard old and damaged bone and replace it with new bone. Calcium also has vital roles in muscle contraction, blood clotting and maintaining normal blood pressure. It may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Phosphorus combines with calcium to form hydroxyapatite, which makes up about 65 percent of bone mass. Phosphorus is a key player in biochemical reactions that create energy, store genetic material and activate enzymes. It’s an important buffer that helps maintain a normal acid-base balance. You’ll get 155 milligrams, or 22 percent of the recommended daily intake, in 1 ounce of Gouda cheese.
The same 1-ounce portion of Gouda cheese has .4 micrograms of vitamin B-12. Since the recommended daily intake is 2.4 micrograms, this amount is 16 percent of the daily value. Vitamin B-12 protects your heart by lowering levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease. This vitamin is also necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the creation of new cells and the growth and development of nerve cells.
Protein’s roles are almost too numerous to list. It’s found in every cell in the body, it’s responsible for the structure and function of tissues and organs and it works as enzymes, antibodies and messengers. One ounce of Gouda offers 7 grams of complete protein. This means that men get 12 percent of their recommended daily intake, while women get 15 percent.
Research published online in February 2011 on The Cochrane Library website concluded that zinc lozenges reduce the duration and severity of a cold as long as they’re taken within 24 hours of the first symptoms. Zinc is also essential for normal growth and development, taste and smell, immune function and protein synthesis. One ounce of Gouda delivers 1 milligram of zinc, which is 12 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 9 percent for men.