True Story: This Cheese Board is Good for Your Bones, Heart and Brain
When a friend told me she was considering getting rid of the dairy drawer in her fridge because she couldn't stop scoffing its contents, I totally understood. For me, a cheese board is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures. Cheese is to a foodie what a zero interest rate credit card is to a shopaholic—a gateway to happiness and joy. However, the pleasure that comes from biting into a French triple cream brie can sometimes come with a side serve of belly bloat. Uncomfortable at best, and painful at worst, it's a side effect many suffer from. So, is there a way to enjoy a spread of marinated labne, brie and matured cheddar without going overboard? We asked our go-to girl on all things nutrition and health, Jessica Sepel, for her tips on creating a delicious-looking cheese board that won't cause a bloating episode later.
Keep scrolling for your dose of brie.
Use Gluten-Free Crackers
On a typical cheese board, crackers and biscuits are oily, processed and sometimes filled with MSG. This screams bloat (before you even get to the cheese), because the fat and fibre cause you to fill up quickly. “Use gluten-free crackers or make your own,” Sepel says. “My second book has a divine recipe for almond and seed crackers, which are perfect with cheese.” Accompany the crackers with healthy dips, such as hummus or tahini. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own.
Ditch Anything Processed
Next step, replace processed meats with fresh fruits or vegetables for extra variety and a nutritional kick. “I love adding fresh tomatoes with basil and olive oil, and some seasonal fresh figs or dates.” Skip the salt and vinegar chips and add nuts for crunch. Sepel adds raw almonds and walnuts—they're full of good-for-you fats, which help brain, bone and heart health.
Opt for Lighter Cheeses
And finally, the most important tip of all when battling belly bloat—swap heavier cheeses like brie for lighter options, such as parmesan or aged cheddar. Three favourites Sepel often uses are ricotta, goat's cheese, and buffalo mozzarella. Can you say, pass the cheese please?