Whether it’s melted on toast, oozing out of a grilled sandwich, drizzled on pasta, or cubed on a cocktail stick (do people still do this?), we’re obsessed with cheese. In fact, we think we’d go so far as to say that we’ve never met a cheese we didn’t like.
However, as we’ve all been told countless times, cheese is a guilty pleasure; it’s high in fat, high in sodium, and (apparently) as addictive as drugs.
Which is why we were pleasantly surprised when scientists revealed that indulging in cheese has a pretty amazing side-effect.
Read more: 10 reasons to eat more cheese
A new study in Nature Medicine has officially linked cheese consumption with people living longer.
It’s all thanks to spermidine (not the most appetising of names, we grant you), a compound which is found in mature cheese.
Scientists decided to monitor the effects that regular spermidine-enriched food would have on rats and mice – all of whom are, naturally, fans of cheese – and it quickly became apparent that their dairy dinners were increasing their average lifespan.
They then surveyed 800 Italian people - aka those who are famed for enjoying the good things in life, such as wine, pizza, pasta, and sex.
The results were difficult to argue with; all of those people who reported a higher intake of spermidine were proven to have lower blood pressure, as well as a 40% lower risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, than those who didn’t.
It’s not the first time that scientists have heaped parmesan – we mean, praise, on cheese.
Earlier this year, we revealed that partaking in a bit of Brie, Stilton, Cheddar, Camembert, or Gouda could improve your sex life, banish insomnia, kick-start your metabolism, and raise your happiness levels.
It’s not so much a superfood as it is the superfood.
Read more: The top 5 dinner party cheeses
It goes without saying that cheese does have its downsides, too, containing both sodium and saturated fat.
However, if you’re sensible and enjoy cheese in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet, you should be absolutely fine.