For long years, milk and milk products has been most important part of the diet of human. Paneer is also one of the most important milk products, which is used by the human fraternity as a complete proteinecious and healthy food. It is very famous in India by the name Cottage cheese or Chenna which is prepared by the milk at home or factories. It is used for years to make variety of nutritious foods for eating purposes. It has very attractive look of white color and nice taste and very famous amongst all the milk products. It is much liked by various men to eat it raw instead of fried. Paneer is the rich source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, minerals and protein which are required by the body in high proportions for healthy growth and development.

History and Origin of Paneer

History and origin of the paneer tells the history of paneer and how it was originated first time in the ancient period. Around 10,000 of years ago, the existence of paneer was discovered accidentally and started using as a nutritious food. There was an Arabian traveler who saw during his desert journey that, sheep’s stomach milk, placed at a canteen, was turned into the cheese curd after few hours. After scientific researches it was found that milk turned into the cheese curd due to the sun heat and rennin (a coagulation enzyme present in the sheep stomach).

From that time it became most popular food and started using in many occasions to prepare cuisines all through the world. During 19th of century, the production techniques of paneer become renovated and revived for large scale production. It is eaten by both vegetarian and non vegetarian people however it has become most famous vegetarian food which can be enjoyed in many ways. It is prepared in two varieties called soft and hard paneer.

Benefits of Paneer

Paneer is mostly liked by all the people as it is very easy to prepare and digest including richest source of healthy nutrients. It is high protein food considered as best food for the body building. Generally it is eaten on daily basis by the vegetarian people to fulfill their protein need of the body. Some of the most important health benefits of the paneer are mentioned below:

Benefits of Paneer for Bones and Teeth

Strengthens Bones and Teeth

  • Paneer is a high protein food having high level of calcium and phosphorus which helps in building strong bones and teeth.

Prevents from Bone and Teeth Diseases

  • It prevents from various bones diseases like osteoporosis, joints pain and tooth problems like tooth decay and gums problems.

Provides Instant Energy

  • It is very energetic food provides instant energy after heavy exercises thus has capacity to fulfill calorie requirement of the body and improves the growth and development of the bones.

Relieves Pain

  • It helps in lowering the lower body pain, back pain and joint pain.

Fights with Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • It has Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids which helps in fighting with the rheumatoid arthritis and other bone problems.

Prevents Teeth from Harmful Sugars

  • Its low level of the lactose content helps in protecting the teeth against harmful sugars.

Protects from Tooth Cavities

  • Its Vitamin D availability along with the calcium prevents from the tooth cavities by preventing tooth enamels and helps to maintain good dental health.

Prevents from the Skeletal Deformation

  • Vitamin K and magnesium found in it calcify the bones and prevents from the skeletal deformation.

Benefits of Paneer for Weight Loss

High Protein Diet

  • Paneer is high protein diet having monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat which helps in lowering the body weight, managing weight as well as reducing the risk of insulin resistance syndrome.

Improves Metabolism

  • It has high level of dietary fibers which helps in digestion by improving the metabolism thus helps in reducing the weight.

Benefits of Paneer for Cancer Prevention

Prevents from Cancer

  • It is the good source of high quality protein which reduces the risk of various types of cancer such as stomach cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and etc.
  • It has some cancer protecting agents called conjugated linoleic acid and sphingolipids which reduces the risk of cancer.

Benefits of Paneer for Heart

Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases

  • It helps in maintaining the lipid profiles, lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and etc.

Controls Blood Pressure

  • Its potassium mineral level helps to lower the high blood pressure or hypertension among people suffering from the heart problems.

Benefits of Paneer for Diabetes

Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

  • Its omega-3 fatty acid availability helps in decreasing the homocysteine level among diabetic patients.

Reduces Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

  • It also reduces the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, development of insulin resistance syndrome (related to the obesity), glucose intolerance and hypertension by improving the macro and micro vascular functions.

Strengthens Body

  • It helps diabetic people to tackle with all the problems of insulin dependent diabetes.

Benefits of Paneer for Kids

Provides Better Nourishment to Kids

  • As it is the high protein and healthy fat diet, it provides better nourishment to the growing age children.

Improves Proper Growth

  • Its availability of good level of vitamins, minerals, calcium and phosphorus provides better and healthy nutrients for growth of bones and brain among kids.

Strengthens Immune System

  • It boosts the immune system and haemoglobin count thus prevents the risk of various diseases in children like cough, cold, bronchial asthma and etc.

Prevents from Malnutrition

  • It prevents children from malnutrition and other protein deficiency diseases.

Improves Formation of Cartilages

  • Its high level of B group vitamins helps children during the formation and strengthening of cartilages and tissues of the body.

Fulfills Nutritional Requirements

  • It can be given to the children having allergy to milk in order to fulfill the nutritional value in their diet.

Benefits of Paneer during Pregnancy and Lactation (Breast Feeding)

Fights Early Pregnancy Problems

  • Its high protein value and good fat availability helps pregnant women by giving good level of energy to fight common early pregnancy problems like morning sickness, nausea, weakness, tiredness and anemia.

Reduces Risk of Birth Defects

  • Its omega 3 fatty acid availability prevents the risk of preterm birth defects in pregnant women.

Provides Required Nutrients

  • Its good level of calcium and phosphorus helps both mother and baby to grow well and healthy.

Improves Calcium Absorption

  • It helps women during pregnancy and lactation by facilitating proper absorption and distribution of the calcium throughout the body.

Rich Source of B-Group Vitamins

  • B group vitamins help in proper absorption and distribution of the calcium all through the body.

Benefits of Paneer for Men

Prevents from Prostate Cancer

  • Its regular consumption on daily basis helps men by reducing the risk of prostate cancer and other autoimmune disorders.

Benefits of Paneer for Women

Reduces Stress during Menopause

  • Its high level of calcium and other minerals and vitamins helps women during menopause in reducing their stress level and depression through good nutrition.

Fulfills all Nutritional Requirements

  • Women need more calcium, iron and vitamins than men, thus it is the food which can easily fulfills all the needs.

Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis during Menopause

  • It reduces the occurrences of osteoporosis during menopause by enhancing the calcium absorption, maintaining bone density and relieving from the joints pain.

Benefits of Paneer Water

Regularizes Urinary System Functioning

  • Paneer water is very useful, acts as the cleansing agent and increases the water absorption from the body and maintains the functioning of urinary systems.

Contains Healthy Nutrients

  • It is the good source of digestible proteins, thiamin, potassium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, selenium and etc. It can be used for dal, roti, khichdi, soups, vegetable curries and etc.

Benefits of Paneer for Hair and Skin

Keeps Hair and Skin Healthy

  • Its high value of B group vitamins, high protein level, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants helps hair and skin gets healthy, glowing and rejuvenate.

Prevents Skin from Wrinkles

  • Its fatty acids availability provides ability to fight with free radicals and makes skin wrinkles free.

Prevents from Dermatitis

  • Its B group vitamins called niacin prevents from the pellagra or dermatitis.

Strengthens Hair

  • Copper is an important mineral which maintains the brightness and strength of the hair.

Other Health Benefits of Paneer

Prevents from Diseases

  • It reduces the risk of bipolar disorder, mania, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma as it contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Relieves Pain and Tiredness

  • It has anti inflammatory effects on all over the body thus helps in relieving pain and tiredness.

Prevents from Stone Formation

  • It helps in preventing from the calcium oxalate stone formation in the gall balder and urinary system.

Prevents from Macular Degeneration

  • It is a food rich in trans-unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids which help in preventing from the age related macular degeneration and pneumonia.

Manages Body Weight

  • It also helps underweight people to gain some weight to their body if taken according to their requirement.

Prevents from Early Ageing

  • Eating paneer on regular basis helps in getting prevented from the early ageing by maintaining the health of body systems.

Rejuvenates Body

  • It helps the cells to regenerate better and looks body rejuvenates by providing necessary nutrition and prevents people to grow older.

Promotes Digestive Systems Functioning

  • It enhances the digestive systems functioning as it activates the hydrolysis of protein.

Prevents from vitamin B Deficiency

  • It has high level vitamin B (which is generated in it during fermentation) provide protection against various diseases including Beriberi as well as enhances blood formation, assists in more nutrients absorption by the body and strengthens liver.

Nutritional Benefits of Paneer per 100 g

(Source: USDA Nutrient database)

Calorie: 72

Proteins: 13 g

Water: 93.5 g

Ash: 1.5 g

Cholesterol: 4 mg

Carbohydrates: 3.4 g

Dietary Fiber: 131 mg

Sugar: 3.3 g

Total Fat: 1.4 g

Saturated Fat: 0.8 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 311 mg

Polyunsaturated Fat: 41 mg

Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 11 mg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 34 mg

Vitamins

Thiamin (B1): 21 mcg

Riboflavin (B2): 181 mcg

Niacin (B3): 143 mcg

Vitamin B6: 71 mcg

Folates: 13 mcg

Pantothenic Acid (B5): 259 mcg

Vitamin B12: 0.7 mcg

Vitamin A: 64 IU

Vitamin C: 0.9 mg

Vitamin E: 13 mcg

Vitamin K: 0.7 mcg

Choline: 20 mg

Minerals

Calcium: 73 mg

Iron: 154 mcg

Zinc: 420 mcg

Copper: 32 mcg

Fluoride: 36 mcg

Magnesium: 6 mg

Manganese: 3.4 mcg

Selenium: 9 mcg

Phosphorus: 157 mg

Electrolytes

Potassium: 97 mg

Sodium: 311 mg

How to Select and Store

It is easily available in the market at the grocery stores or dairy shops in air tight packets or open. Be sure of the manufacturing date, its hygienic conditions, milk used to prepare, softness and freshness. It can be stored to the refrigerator in chiller for at least a week however, it should be consumed freshly. Avoid buying dried, cracked and uneven colored paneer from the market. It can also be stored for a week by keeping it in a container with enough fresh water. When it gets hard and turns sour, place it in the warm water for 5 or less mins and use.

How to make Paneer

Paneer making recipe is very easy so it can be prepared at home by anyone. Add 2 tsf of the lemon juice or vinegar or curd to the freshly boiled milk of cow, buffalo or goat and stir it very well. Put aside. Wait till milk coagulates then rinse remained paneer water by wrapping it with a clean muslin cloth. Again rinse it with fresh water, make balls and keep it for 20 to 25 mins under some heavy saucepan. Now, you can enjoy the paneer whenever and whatever you want.

How to Enjoy Paneer

Paneer can be enjoyed by eating it raw or preparing any tasty and delicious recipe. Raw or fried paneer can be added to the salad, masala dosa, curries and etc. It is used to make paneer pakaude by mixing it with basan. Crumbled paneer is used to make stuff paranthas along with vegetables, sandwich, salad, paneer bhunji and etc. Other Indian recipes are palak paneer, rasmalai, rasgulla, paneer capsicum, khoya paneer, saag paneer, matar paneer, kadahi paneer, shahi paneer, paneer kofta, paneer biryani, paneer tikka, chilli paneer, paneer pasanda, paneer makhani, paneer bhurji, mixed paneer vegetable, gobhi paneer and so many dishes.

Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Paneer

Everything has its own pros and cons so it should be taken care of. Some of the disadvantages, side effects and precautions of the paneer are mentioned below:

  • If it not taken under limit by the healthy person, it may add some extra weight to his body however it is an excellent food for underweight people to gain weight.
  • It is very energetic food so should be taken under limit by the people suffering from the diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.
  • It has more sodium in comparison to the potassium which is harmful to the body if taken over limit.
  • Overeating may cause food poisoning or some digestive problems.

How Much Paneer Can You Eat a Day

Eating anything within limit is very healthy habit which gets all the beneficial aspects however over limit may cause variety of health problems. It is very tough to measure the amount to eat a day as it depends on the age, sex, health conditions and requirements of the body for different nutrients. If you are eating paneer on daily basis, 50 g per person is ok. However it is good to consult your doctor to get more sureness according to your health.

 

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