Tofu is one of the most popular go-to food for vegetarians. Due to its highly nutritious profile, versatility, taste and health benefits; it’s a fantastic food for people who don’t eat meat and have specific dietary requirements.
Also, what’s great about tofu is that you don’t need to be vegetarian to eat it. Tofu is widely available in most groceries or food shops you go to. Tofu is famous for its high protein content, diverse range of minerals and friendliness to all body types and health conditions.
Tofu is also known to lower blood cholesterol, prevent diabetes and help lose weight. So whether you’re trying to improve your health, maintain weight or just looking to try something new, tofu is a must try.
What is Tofu?
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food that is derived from soya. Tofu is made out of fresh soya milk that is curdled and then pressed it into a solid block. Once this stage of the process is done, it is then cooled.
The texture after the production process is smooth and soft. Bean curd originated in China 2000 years ago and only received its modern name 600 years ago. Interest from western nations began in the 1960s when it became apparent that tofu was ideal for healthy eating.
Since then, many research has demonstrated that bean curd can provide numerous health benefits and can help to improve health conditions.
The Nutrition Behind Tofu
Tofu is most famous for its rich profile in healthy nutrients. Tofu is an excellent source of protein, these
What makes tofu so accessible is that those who don’t or can’t consume meat can turn to tofu for their daily protein needs. Protein helps to build and repair muscle tissue.
Those who do eat meats can also consume tofu to help them maximise their protein intake. It can be supplemented alongside meat or replaced if you want to try something new.
Tofu also contains lots of minerals including manganese, selenium and phosphorous. It is also a great source of iron and calcium. In addition to this, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
These nutrients help to promote brain health, bone health, and better digestion. On top of this, this protein is extremely low in saturated fats and carbohydrate.
People looking to lower their fat intake, manage or lose weight can turn to tofu as a replacement for foods that are high in fat or carbs. A 100g serving of bean curd typically contains 4.2g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0.7g carbohydrate, and 8.1g protein.
Benefits Of Bean Curd
Perfect Substitute for Meat
Meats are highly abundant in protein. So is tofu. Tofu also contains nine essential amino acids that are usually found in meat. These amino acids are essential for the restoration of muscle tissue after exercise.
What gives tofu the advantage over meat is that it has a lower saturated fat content than certain meats.
Tofu can be cooked and incorporated in many dishes. Tofu can be fried, grilled, baked or served as a side with other dishes. Tofu is also easy to digest as it is plant based. This makes tofu friendly to people of all ages, health conditions and diets.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Multiple studies have shown that consuming soy foods daily may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease; Soy isoflavones in tofu have been found to reduce the amount of (LDL bad cholesterol) in your system.
However, keep in mind that there have not been any studies that show that it may increase HDL (good cholesterol) in the system.
Soy isoflavones may help to reduce bone loss by increasing bone mineral density. This is important for people who are ageing and noticing weakened strength.
This is also important for women who are going through menopause. It has also been reported that tofu can help to reduce other certain symptoms of menopause.
May Reduce Cancer
Multiple clinical and experimental investigations have concluded that genistein, the primary isoflavone found in soy, contains antioxidant properties that can reduce the growth of cancer cells.
There is growing evidence that sufficient soy intake of 2 servings per day may reduce the chances of breast cancer recurrence. However, more research needs to be done to conclude if soy consumption is linked with the reduction and improvement of cancer.
Things To Keep In Mind
Though tofu is a great superfood to incorporate in your diet, it needs to be moderated and supplemented with other healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle.
Though tofu is often seen as a replacement for other foods such as meats or heavy carbohydrate meals, it’s best to incorporate it instead of outright replace it. For example, if you’re a meat eater, don’t replace all your meat consumptions with tofu.
Moreover, if you’re a vegetarian, don’t replace all your vegetables with tofu. It should be supplemented alongside other foods. Keep in mind that tofu is a heavily processed food.
There may be additives that are included during production that may not be good for you. This means you still need to supplement it alongside organic and fresh food.
Foods such as meats, vegetables, and fruit all contain essential nutrients that tofu doesn’t contain or doesn’t contain enough of. To get the best advice on how to incorporate tofu in your diet, speak to your dietician or medical practitioner.
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