Bored of eating the same meat over and over again, and looking for something new and delicious, try “Tofu”. It is one of the rich sources of protein that provides innumerable health benefits to a person. From prevention of cancer, to reducing the chances of heart ailment, tofu is a healthy substitute to your usual meat. In this article, we are going to talk more about the health benefits of eating this delicious food.
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is a processed form of soybean curd. It is a mineral-dense plant-based protein that is widely eaten worldwide, especially in East Asia. It is a mild form of protein. This versatile ingredient can be added in a variety of dishes.
The main advantage of Tofu is that it is considerably low calories, and provides large amounts of protein. It has very small amounts of saturated fat, that makes it a heart-healthy substitute for ordinary meat.
Tofu is chief source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It has plenty of antioxidants, and vital vitamins that includes folate, thiamin, riboflavin. Isoflavones in it provides estrogen-like effects that provides wide range of health benefits. Tofu has good amounts of beneficial minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and potassium.
What are the different types of Tofu?
Tofu comes in various different types in the market, such as soft, silken, regular and extra-firm tofu. All these varieties differ on the basis of moisture content, and hardness. The silken tofu has maximum amount of moisture, and extra-firm tofu has the lowest amount of it. The softer the tofu is, the less fat it contains.
Silken tofu is perfect for preparation of dips, desserts, mayonnaise, dressings, and sour cream. Soft tofu is ideal for making breakfast shakes, veggie puree, and fruit. Extra-firm tofu taste delicious when it is cooked, and baked in an oven. It is used to make egg salads, fruit salad, veggie salads, sandwich fillets, and soups.
Nutritional composition of Tofu
As Tofu is derived from soybeans, it possesses all those nutrients that are present in soybeans. Tofu is rich in anticancer plant-based compounds, as phenolic acids, and isoflavones that helps in reducing systolic blood pressure.
Isoflavones stimulates NO (nitric oxide) that aids in improving blood circulation in arteries. Tofu also contains alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, cardiac-protecting saponins and essential minerals like calcium.
Tofu is rich in iron, that makes it important for people who follow a vegetarian diet, and pregnant women who require more of iron during pregnancy. When you replace meat with tofu, the latter reduces the risk of cardiac ailment, and blood cholesterol that are linked with the former.
To know the nutritional composition of Tofu, check the label of your product to find nutritional composition of tofu. 100 grams of extra-firm tofu contains following nutrients :
Calories = 83,
Protein = 10 grams,
Saturated fat = 1 g,
Fat = 5 g,
Carbohydrate = 1 g,
Fiber = 1 g,
Sugars = 1 g, and
Calcium = 282 milligrams
As per US FDA, thirty grams of soy protein consumed in the form of “tofu” is advised for women, and men.
Health Benefits of Tofu
1. Reduces Weight
Tofu is a low-calorie and low-carb plant-based protein that helps in reducing weight safely, and gradually. When you combine tofu with vegetables, and fruits, it can result in greater weight reduction.
2. Diabetes Management
Another important benefit of Tofu is its ability to control diabetes in a person. Soy foods have good amounts of isoflavone in them that helps in raising pancreatic insulin, and serum insulin levels. Tofu regulates consumption of glucose by the intestine and controls glucose, and insulin levels in the blood.
3. Treats Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Tofu comprise of important phytoestrogens as daidzein, and genistein that shows estrogenic activity. Presence of these phytoestrogens help in regularizing menstruation cycle. It also stimulates function of ovaries in the body and promotes uterine health in women during their premenopausal phase.
4. Reduces possibility of Cancers
Phytoestrogens present in Tofu protects people from various types of cancers. By regulating the levels of estrogen hormone, it prevents the spread of cancer cells in the body.
5. Strengthens Bones
Soy and dairy products are ideal candidates to treat health issues related to bone and muscles. Tofu has loads of protein content, isoflavones, and calcium in it. This makes it especially beneficial in osteoporosis, and other ailments that happens due to lack of bone, and muscle density. People who eat Tofu on a regular basis, are seen to have better levels of bone mass density.
6. Enhances Liver Health
Another important benefit of Tofu is its liver protection abilities. This food has got abundance of composition of phytochemicals, flavonoids, and antioxidants that removes presence of free radicals in bloodstream and restores your liver in the best health.
Tofu is an equivalent and healthy substitute for typical meat. The rich phytochemical, and nutritional content of tofu makes it a wonderful addition to cuisines throughout the globe.