Have you ever had tofu before? Even though a surprisingly large number of persons have never consumed tofu before, to vegans and vegetarians, it is an important part of their diet, helping supply much-needed protein.
Tofu is made from soy milk subject to call coagulation, after which curds obtained are compacted into the mass that is known as tofu.
Wondering what the consumption of tofu can do for you? Let’s check it out now:
Tofu Nutrition (Per 100g)
Dietary Fiber-0.9g 4% RDI
Total Fat-4.2g 6% RDI
Protein-8.2g 16% RDI
Vitamin K-2.4mcg 3% RDI
Thiamin-0.1mg 4% RDI
Riboflavin-0.1mg 4% RDI
Vitamin B6-0.1mg 4% RDI
Folate-19mcg 5% RDI
Pantothenic Acid-0.1mg 1% RDI
Calcium-200mg 20% RDI
Iron-1.6mg 9% RDI
Magnesium-37mg 9% RDI
Phosphorus-121mg 12% RDI
Potassium-150mg 4% RDI
Zinc-0.8mg 6% RDI
Copper-0.2mg 11% RDI
Manganese-0.6mg 31% RDI
Selenium-10mcg 14% RDI
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Tofu
1. Reduces Osteoporosis Risk
Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disorder, occurring with alarming frequency in post-menopausal women. Much of this inherent risk is attributed to the sudden and sharp decline in estrogen levels that follows menopause.
Tofu, by virtue of its isoflavone content, can help to safeguard bone tissue against the leaching of minerals. Isoflavones have been shown to possess a pseudo-estrogenic action, which help to prevent bone loss.
2. Promotes Kidney Health
For years, consumption of a protein rich diet has been implicated as a possible cause kidney failure, eventually leading to dialysis and the need for a transplant.
However, this myth is mostly unfounded, as protein helps support normal function of the kidney. Tofu is considered an excellent source of soy protein, which appears better suited than other protein types for supporting kidney health via reduction of blood lipids.
3. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Soybeans are legumes, a class of food that as a whole has been associated with benefits for your heart. Tofu, having been made from soybeans, retains this heart friendly feature, and is associated with reduced markers of heart disease.
Isoflavones found in tofu help to reduce inflammation within blood vessels, helping them maintain their elasticity and reducing complications arising from blood pressure elevations.
These isoflavones also considered to be cardio protective, similar to the role estrogen plays on heart health.
4. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Tofu contains compounds known as saponins, which have great utility in reducing LDL levels. These compounds help to promote the removal of bile acids from the body, increasing the usage of blood lipids in the process.
This also contributes to improved heart health, and will lend itself to decreasing your risk of heart disease.
5. Improved Blood Glucose Management
Another extremely promising benefit of tofu consumption is assisting with management of diabetes, or blood sugar disorders.
While high protein foods lend themselves to slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, in the case of tofu, there is more to its blood glucose benefits than that. In particular, the isoflavone content of tofu is what may be ultimately responsible for the improved glucose management observed.
Persons that consume tofu notice improvements to average fasting blood glucose values, in addition to baseline insulin levels. This means that insulin resistance is less likely to develop, preventing or delaying the development of further complications.
However, even though multiple studies have reported positive findings in this area, there are also a few that indicate that isoflavones must be obtained from intact soy products – so things like processed protein powder may not cut it. Tofu should be fine, but is currently awaiting confirmational studies.
6. May Reduce Cancer Risk
It is strange that something which shares so many similarities to the hormone estrogen can actually help prevent cancer, which usually worsens under the influence of this hormone.
In particular, we’re referring to the reduced risk that women who consume tofu or soy protein benefit from when it comes to breast cancer risk. The benefits seem to be cumulative the longer you consume it, so there’s no harm in starting as a child.
It also positively reduces risk of several other cancers, including stomach cancer in both genders, and interestingly prostate cancer as well.
However, the prostate cancer link is a contentious one, as it is believed that estrogen (and estrogen -like compounds) have a very large role to play in its development the first place.
7. Reduces Appetite
Tofu is extremely helpful when it comes to weight loss owing to the fact that it contains protein, fiber and calcium, all of which play important roles in the regulation of appetite.
Consumption of a meal with tofu can help to blunt appetite for many hours, making it extremely useful to prevent snacking in between meals. In addition to this, tofu is also low calorie, which means that you are unlikely to place a high calorie burden on your body from its consumption.
8. Anemia Prevention
Of course, iron alone will not correct anemia, but when combined with a diet rich in other important blood building minerals and vitamins, you are likely to see correction of symptoms in as little as three months.
9. Promotes Brain Health
The effect on retention of cognition is most marked in women under the age of 65 that may or may have not experienced menopause as yet. Much of tofu’s effects on retaining brain health is attributed to the lecithin content found in it, which assists with the production of important phospholipids that maintain the integrity of the neurons in the brain.
It also exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in the brain, reducing the deposition and formation of beta amyloid proteins.
10. Support Liver Function
Consumption of tofu has been found to support liver function, thanks in part to its antioxidant effects. This can help to reduce stress placed on the liver externally, so that it can deal with metabolism of various substances uninterrupted.
In addition to this, coupled with its cholesterol reducing effect, tofu can be very helpful in preventing fatty liver disease.
11. Excellent Protein Source For Vegans
Tofu and soy proteins are considered complete; that is they contain all eight essential amino acids. Not surprisingly, tofu and associated soy products has been considered a mainstay by vegans and vegetarians for decades.
While soy-based products, including tofu are most beneficial to women, men can consume small amounts of it and not experience adverse effects. Consumption of an adequate amount of protein will help to improve recovery after training, and enhance muscle hyper trophy.
Tofu is extremely nutritious – no doubt about that. However, there are a few caveats that you need to consider before deciding if you should add more tofu to diet.
For instance, much of the tofu available today is made from GMO (genetically modified) soybeans. This raises major red flags for some people, so if this is an area of concern, you might be better off seeking organic options if possible.
In addition to this, tofu contains significant amounts of isoflavones that possess phytoestrogen properties. As a man, high amounts of these can interfere with normal androgen function and production, so you should not make tofu a mainstay in your diet. However, you still stand to benefit from consumption of small amounts of it from time to time.