Tofu Health Benefits

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Tofu Health Benefits

A source of proteins for those who are vegetarians. Tofu is extremely abundant with minerals like calcium and iron. It can be purchased from stores easily, and vegetarians love to eat it as it is the best protein source. It is prepared from soybeans by coalescing soymilk. This will create curds in the milk, and afterward, these curds are separated and dried. These curds were then transformed into small blocks and known as tofu. Tofu is low in calories and contains phytoestrogens, which are a type of isoflavones. The presence of isoflavones makes tofu as a fighter against different types of cancers, heart-related diseases, and osteoporosis disease. It is said that for two thousand years, Chinese people are using tofu. They invented tofu by mistake when mixing soy milk with nigari. Nigari is a kind of mineral that is extracted by drying seawater. The process of coagulin is done with the help of nigari and due to this mineral, the curds get solidified and remain soft.

Nutritional Information

Tofu is enriched with protein and low in calories. As tofu is not a naturally occurring food and prepared after some treatment. The preparation method will vary from person to person, and hence the nutritional contents may also vary. But you can consider that tofu, which is soft and soggy, will have a lower calorie count than the hard one. The other nutrients are magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, and manganese. It has a low fiber count in general. Tofu is having a low number of saturated fat and hence incredibly beneficial for the heart. Instead, it contains unsaturated fats that are amazingly beneficial for the health of the heart.

Some antinutrients are present in tofu. As tofu is made from plants and most plants have some antinutrients. There are two types of antinutrients in tofu

  • In the human body, there is an enzyme that is responsible for digesting proteins of the body. Tofu contains an antinutrient that blocks this enzyme of trypsin. To eliminate this, soak soybeans and trypsin can be increased to 82% and increase the proteins to 14%.
  • Another antinutrient in tofu is phytates. It can hinder the body cells from absorbing minerals like zinc, calcium, and iron. This antinutrient can be eliminated by cooking or soaking soybeans. This method of preparing tofu can eliminate about 57% of phytates.

Besides soaking soybeans, another method to reduce or eliminate antinutrients is performing fermentation. You can add miso, tamari, tempeh, or natto to reduce the antinutrients. The presence of these antinutrients will not create any problem for you until and unless you are consuming tofu at a moderate level. Do not take too much tofu for fulfilling the daily requirements of zinc and iron.

The complete information about its nutrients is as under:

Nutrition value per 122 grams

Principle

Value

Percentage of RDA

Calories

177

Fat

12.19 grams

Carbohydrates

5.36 grams

Protein

15.57 grams

Magnesium

65 grams

09.00 %

Calcium

421 milligrams

20.00 %

Phosphorus

282 milligrams

Iron

3.35 milligrams

09.00 $

Potassium

178 milligrams

Zinc

2 milligrams

6.00 %

Folate

27 micrograms

Fiber

1.22 grams

Health Benefits

Any diet extracted from the plant will always help boost the overall health of the body, especially for the health of heart, sugar level, and obesity conditions. These kinds of foods are beneficial for an excellent energy level so that you can healthily perform daily activities. Here we will be explaining the health benefits that are intact with the usage of tofu.

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  1. Beneficial for Heart Diseases

Tofu is the product of soybeans, and they contain isoflavones. The isoflavone can reduce the cholesterol level, which is not good for the heart. Studies have shown that at least twenty-five grams of soy should be taken to maintain the cholesterol level in the body. According to these studies, soy has nothing to do with the production of good cholesterol. Still, due to its function of eliminating bad cholesterol, heart health gets increased, and the body's weight does not rise. Consuming tofu will cover the needs of protein that you can take from animals. This will also help to maintain blood pressure.

  1. Helpful in Cancer

Few studies have been carried out, and it was found that soy has isoflavone of genistein, which has properties of antioxidants. This isoflavone is helpful in treating cancer. Due to the fact that the isoflavone of soy has a similar chemical structure to estrogen, it was considered dangerous to consume soy during breast cancer. As if you have a high level of estrogen in the body, then there would be more chances of getting breast cancer. This old myth was solved by a study carried out in recent years and suggested that a moderate amount of soy will not increase the growth of the tumor. Even you can take full soy food twice a day. This study proved that soy could not grow the tumor; instead, it is helpful in reducing it and slowing down its pace of growth. Not only it slows the growth rate, but it also stops its recurrence. However, this is yet to prove for all types of breast cancers. Many researchers believe that more research should be carried out to reach a firm conclusion.

  1. Beneficial for Diabetes

Diabetes of type 2 can be treated with soy as diabetic patients can also face kidney-related problems like excreting more urine and expelling proteins out of the body. Research showed that if you consume soy protein, then there is less excretion of protein through urine as compared to those people who take animal proteins. With the help of this study, we can say that soy food can help in treating diabetes of type 2.

  1. Better Performance of Kidneys

For the better performance of a renal function, the human body needs to have proteins. The proteins taken from soy can help in this regard. So, people who are having dialysis or are going to have kidney transplantation can take soy protein. Soy also helps in some chronic diseases related to kidneys; a research has unfolded the reason behind it by telling that the level of lipid in the blood is increased by the protein of soy.

  1. Treating Osteoporosis

The isoflavones in the soy are extremely beneficial in treating osteoporosis. They increase the number of minerals in the bone and make them strong.

  1. Menopause

Due to the presence of phytoestrogens in the soy, tofu is helpful in relieving the symptoms of menopause. The symptoms like hot flashes can be cured with the help of consuming tofu. Symptoms of menopause are varying from one part of the world to another. Like in Asia, hot flashes are observed during menopause, while in other parts of the world, they are not felt. This is due to the reason that in Asia, soy is consumed more than the other parts of the world.

  1. Good for Liver

Some studies have shown that tofu helps to reduce the free radicals in the blood and hence helps the function of the liver and make it healthy.

  1. Other Benefits
  • It is helpful in making bones strong if consumed 80 milligrams a day.
  • Isoflavones in tofu are helpful in increasing the memory and have incredibly positive effects on the health of the brain, especially after the age of 65.
  • If you take 40 milligrams of tofu isoflavones a day, then your skin will look fresh, and wrinkles will be removed after some weeks of continuous usage.
  • Tofu can be used for weight loss for a period of at least 52 weeks. After this period, you would have reduced at least five kg of weight.

How to Use

The best ways to use tofu are as under:

  • You can make a dip of tofu by adding garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to tofu and blend this mixture to make a dip.
  • Mix tofu with your favorite vegetables and make it stir fry.
  • You can also make a delicious breakfast by mixing soft tofu with seasonal fruits and honey. Blend this mixture and use it as your breakfast. The addition of honey will enhance the taste and make it sweet naturally.
  • Tofu can be added to miso soup; this will enhance the taste of the soup and also will make it healthier.
  • A quick recipe can be made by taking soft tofu and scramble them along with seasonal vegetables. Add turmeric powder; this will make the mixture yellow like egg yolk. Eat this mixture with tortilla bread or make a wrap of it. You can also take salsa and black beans with this delicious food.

Side Effects

  • Soy and all foods made from them are considered as most allergic foods.
  • Although there is no concrete evidence about the effects of tofu on thyroid health, it is still considered to be unhealthy for thyroid problems.
  • Soybeans that are modified by genetic operations are considered to be unhealthy.

Final Words

Tofu is the best source of protein, zinc, and iron. It is made from soybeans and is used by humans for two thousand years. It is good for the heart, kidneys, diabetes, and brain health. It should be consumed to a moderate level, and if you have some allergies, then you need to take advice from the doctor before eating tofu.


References

https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/what-is-tofu

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/291534/is-tofu-healthy/

https://www.verywellfit.com/tofu-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4113988

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278340#benefits

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-tofu#bottom-line

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=111

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