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Paneer: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

For “who doesn’t like paneer, in India it’s part of every festival thali; people enjoy paneer widely. India is agricultural land and is the largest milk-producing country in the world. Milk is an important component of a vegetarian diet as an essential source of protein. Various milk products are available and one such important product is paneer. Paneer is a popular dairy product native to South Asia, and India. Paneer is a soft cheese prepared by heating and coagulating buffalo or cow milk using citric acid (lemon juice), lactic acid or sour milk. Good quality paneer appears in marble white having a firm, spongy and smooth texture with a sweet, acidic, and nutty flavour. Varieties of paneer may include conventional, low-fat, filled, and vegetable-impregnated paneer. Let us learn more about paneer benefits, nutritional value, properties and more.1,2 

paneer benefits

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Nutritional Value of Paneer: 

Paneer is low in lactose and rich in fat, protein, calcium, vitamins, phosphorous, and minerals. 1 The nutritional value of paneer is described below: 

Nutrients Value/100 g 
Energy 323 calories 
Carbohydrate  5 g 
Fat 27 g 
Protein 15 g 
Cholesterol 76 mg 
Iron 0.9 mg 
Calcium 350 mg 
Potassium 63 mg 
Copper 0.10 mg 
Phosphorus 350 mg 
Zinc 2.74 mg 
Magnesium 25 mg 
Selenium 5 µg 
Manganese 0.130 mg 
Vitamin A 212 µg 
Vitamin B12 0.28 µg 
Vitamin B9 23 µg 
Vitamin B7 21 µg 
Vitamin B6 0.040 mg 
Vitamin B5 0.490 mg 
Vitamin B3 0.130 mg 
Vitamin B2 0.100 mg 
Vitamin B1 0.020 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional value of paneer per 100 grams.3 

Properties of Paneer: 

I advise consuming approximately 100 grams of paneer (cottage cheese) daily. However, it is important to avoid excessive consumption as it may lead to abdominal issues.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Paneer contains micronutrients that play major biological activities necessary for our healthy growth. The major properties of paneer include: 

  • It may be an antioxidant  
  • It may boost immunity 
  • It may aid digestion  
  • It may reduce cancer risk  
  • It may strengthen bones 
  • It may lower body weight  
  • It may benefit kidney health 
  • It may have stress-relieving properties 
  • It may have blood pressure-lowering properties4 

Potential Uses of Paneer: 

I would suggest pregnant women to try to include paneer (cottage cheese) in their diet as it supports healthy foetal development. Paneer is a good source of protein, calcium, and essential nutrients that are crucial for the growing baby.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Paneer may have several health benefits when consumed in moderate quantities. The advantages of eating paneer are described below 

1. Potential uses of paneer for bone health 

Paneer may be a rich source of calcium. Adding paneer to your diet might provide sufficient nutrients to your bones, making them stronger. So, eating paneer might increase bone strength and may increase bone mineral density.3,4 However, do not self-medicate; consult with your doctors first and have paneer if advised.  

2. Potential uses of paneer for bladder stones 

Considering the paneer health benefits, one cannot forget its essential mineral might work against bladder stones. Paneer may provide adequate levels of nutrients which might lower the chances of stones formation in the urinary bladder. Paneer may be a natural source of minerals which might stop the stone formation in the bladder and urinary system.4 However, bladder stone is a serious health condition; therefore, consult a physician and get a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

3. Potential uses of paneer for immunity 

The benefits of eating paneer may help in maintaining the proper immune system. Paneer is a rich source of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The presence of these compounds and biologically active compounds may help in acting against malnutrition in children and may act against asthma (respiratory-related problems). It may act as an antioxidant by scavenging free radicals. Based on these Paneer may help boost immunity.4  

4. Potential uses of paneer for blood pressure 

Paneer is a rich source of protein and nutrition. It is full of mineral elements such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This may play a central role in regulating and lowering high blood pressure. A healthy balanced diet with paneer containing these minerals and proteins might keep a check on your blood pressure.4 However, in cases of high blood pressure, take medical treatments from your doctors. Do not self-medicate. 

5. Potential uses of paneer for weight loss 

Paneer may be loaded with healthy fats and proteins. It is also low in carbohydrates, which might be a healthy choice for people looking to lose weight. During weight loss, protein is crucial, and paneer might be an excellent vegetarian source of protein. Thus, adding paneer to your diet regime might help you lose body weight.4 However, more research is needed to support the benefits of paneer for weight loss. 

6. Other Potential Uses of Paneer 

  • Paneer contains calcium that might work against tooth decay in children.4 
  • Paneer may contain essential minerals that might reduce the risk of developing heart diseases.4 
  • It may provide a good amount of nutrients to children suffering from malnutrition.4 
  • Paneer benefits for skin may provide enough nutrients to your skin to keep it wrinkle-free. It may also maintain your hair’s strength and brightness.4 
  • Paneer is a good source of magnesium and phosphorus which may enhance the healthy digestion and excretion processes.4 
  • It is rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium; it might reduce muscle cramps.4   

Though studies show the benefits of paneer in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to develop the scope of the benefits of eating paneer on human health. In addition, each person may respond differently to these herbs. Therefore, it is essential to consult a physician before using paneer for any medical condition.  

Also Read: Is Brie Cheese Healthy? A Comprehensive Nutritional Analysis

How to Use Paneer?  

Paneer is readily available in grocery stores and is equivalent to a meat substitute in Indian cooking. Paneer is used for preparing various culinary dishes and snacks.1,4  

  • It may be used as a base ingredient for making palak paneer, matar paneer and other ethnic cuisines.1,2 
  • It may be deep-fried to make pakoras, snacks, or paneer chunks.2 
  • It may be used in sandwiches, salads, and curries.3 

However, the shelf-life of paneer is less than other milk products. Paneer must be refrigerated at 10 °C and used within three days; otherwise, it loses its freshness. It gets easily spoiled due to contamination by microbes which may be observed as a greenish-yellow slime with discolouration and off flavour and smell.1 

People should consult a qualified doctor before using paneer in large quantities. Further, we recommend not to replace or discontinue any ongoing treatment of modern medications with any ayurvedic or herbal preparations of paneer without taking the medical advice of a doctor. They will guide you with its form and dosage per your health condition. 

Also Read: Is Goat Cheese Good for You? Exploring the Health Benefits back by Research

Side Effects of Paneer: 

No major study reports the side effects of paneer. However, paneer may contain a low level of lactose.1 So, lactose intolerant people might fall ill from digestive problems like diarrhoea, bloating etc.  

Precautions to Take with Paneer: 

Overindulging in paneer is not advised.4 Therefore, general precautions need to be followed: 

  • Paneer may be an ideal food for pregnant and breastfeeding women.1 However, women at this stage must consult their doctors before having it. 
  • Paneer may be nutritious for infants, growing children, and adults.1 However, if they are lactose intolerant, avoid giving them paneer. 
  • Before buying paneer, check its quality. Ensure it is clean, firm, and spongy with a pleasant odour and without any discolouration and impurities.4 
  • You should not use paneer to self-medicate on your own. It is a necessity to consult a doctor and have it if recommended. 

Interactions with Other Drugs:  

More research is needed to suggest the interactions between paneer and other drugs. Therefore, you should take medical advice from your Ayurvedic doctors. They will direct you to a better way to have paneer. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is paneer? 

Paneer is a soft-variety cheese made from heat-coagulating cow or buffalo milk with sour milk, lactic acid, or citric acid. It has a white marble look, a firm and spongy body, a smooth texture, and a sweetish-acidic-nutty flavour. It may be used to make culinary dishes and snacks as an excellent substitute for meat in Indian cuisine.1 

What are the benefits of paneer for children? 

Paneer has high nutritional value, making it an ideal food for growing children. Paneer advantages may provide a good amount of calcium to fight against tooth decay in small children. Paneer is densely packed with fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Thus, paneer might fulfil the nutrition need of a child benefiting against malnutrition.4 In such cases, consult a doctor and do not self-medicate. 

Which are the essential vitamins of paneer?  

The essential vitamins in paneer may include vitamins A, B12, B9 (folate), B7 (biotin), B6, B5, B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), and B1 (thiamine).3 

What is the shelf-life of paneer? 

Paneer has a shorter shelf life and may be stored for only six days at an ambient temperature of 7°C to 10°C. 1 

How to check for the spoilage of paneer? 

Spoilage of paneer may occur due to the growth of microorganisms on its surface. You may notice a greenish-yellow slime formation on the surface of the paneer and a discolouration with an off flavour; it is a sign your paneer is spoiled.1 

References: 

1. Kumar S, Rai D, Niranjan K, Bhat Z. Paneer-An Indian soft cheese variant: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2014;51(5):821–31. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008736/pdf/13197_2011_Article_567.pdf 

2. Farkye N. Acid-Heat Coagulated Cheeses. In: McSweeney Paul, Fox Patrick, Cotter Paul, Everett David, editors. Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology. 4th ed. Academic Press; 2017. p. 1111–5. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124170124000442 

3. Paneer [Internet]. Nutrition Value. [cited 2022 Oct 8]. Available from: https://www.nutritionvalue.org/public_ingredient_7131.html 

4. Pal M. Paneer: A Very Popular Milk Product in the Indian Sub-continent. Beverage & Food World. 2019;46(7):23–5. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334592058 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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