Tofu is a food made from soybeans, water, and a coagulant, that is pressed into solid white blocks in a process that is quite similar to cheesemaking.
Depending on the water content pressed out of the tofu, it can vary in softness - ranging from silken, soft, firm, or to extra firm.
Originating from China, legend has it that it was discovered about 2000 years ago by a Chinese cook who accidentally curdled soy milk when he added nigari seaweed. Fast forward 2000 years later, it has become a popular food item globally with countless research highlighting its many health benefits.
Why is tofu good for you?
It is absolutely nutritious
Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese and phosphorus. In addition to this, it also contains magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. As you can see, its packed to the brim with nutrients!
It may reduce heart disease risk
Several studies have been done to look at tofu’s effects on heart health and a clinical trial conducted by the University of Oran in Algeria found that a high intake of legumes, including soy, is linked to lower rates of heart disease. A study by St Michael's Hospital in Canada also found that taking 50 grams of soy protein per day is also associated with improved blood fats and an estimated 10% lower risk of heart disease.
It may reduce some cancer risks
Research by the Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles showed that women who ate soy products at least once a week throughout adolescence and adulthood had a 24% lower risk of breast cancer. Meanwhile, two review studies by Yonsei University in Korea and University of Melbourne found that men consuming higher amounts of soy, especially tofu, had a 32–51% lower risk of prostate cancer.
It fights obesity and helps weight loss
Tofu contains no cholesterol and is gluten-free, thus making it great for effective weight loss. Even fermented tofu is rich in peptides which burn fat and thus prevent fatty acids from blending into the cells. So, for those looking to manage their weight, why not add tofu to your diet?
So now that you know why tofu is such a superfood, what are you waiting for? Given its neutral taste and range of consistency, tofu is versatile thus making it great for any meal. Firm tofu is great for baking, grilling or even a tasty stir fry while the softer ones are perfect for sauces, desserts, salads and soups. Enjoy!
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