Health benefits of eating tofu
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is prepared by pressing curdled soy milk into a solid block, which is known as bean curd. Some tofu is hard, while others are silky smooth. It can be cut into various shapes and cooked in a variety of ways.
Tofu has been prepared in Japan for over 2,000 years. It’s recently become popular in other regions.
Some people complain about how bland it is, but it absorbs the flavour of the sauce or seasonings you use to make it. It also comes with a slew of health advantages.
- A 100g serving of tofu provides:
- 73 kcal / 304 KJ
- 8.1g Protein
- 4.2g Fat
- 0.5g Saturated fat
- 0.7g Carbohydrate
Calcium levels of tofu vary, so check labels and look for a product that’s ‘calcium set’ – this
means calcium chloride (E509) or calcium sulphate (E516) has been added to the product.
Tofu includes plant estrogens, just like other soy-based meals. For many years, people believed that soy gave your body too much oestrogen and caused breast cancer in women.
However, much of the studies that sparked that concern focused on soy’s effects on rodents. Soy is processed differently by these animals than it is by humans. Tofu does not contain enough plant estrogens to induce breast cancer, according to human studies. Tofu may also reduce your risk of developing the disease, according to several studies.
May reduce heart disease risk
Soy foods such as tofu are renowned for their cholesterol-lowering effects. In fact, the evidence is so strong that regulators in the United States and Canada have approved health claims linking soy protein to a lower risk of heart disease.
For instance, according to a recent review, people who regularly eat soy have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels than those who eat no soy. They also tend to have higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Experts believe that tofu’s combination of fibre, protein, and isoflavones may cause its heart health benefits. This specific combination may also explain why whole soy foods such as tofu appear to be more beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels than soy supplements.
In addition, experts suggest that eating tofu instead of animal foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy likely helps reduce the total amount of saturated fat in your diet, further contributing to heart health.
Although research is mixed, soy isoflavones may also help lower blood pressure, high levels of which may increase your risk of heart disease.
However, because few studies have examined tofu specifically, more research is necessary.
Osteoporosis. When estrogen levels go down after menopause, women can lose bone mass. Plant estrogens in tofu can make up for that drop-off. Tofu is also rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is good for bone health, too.
Prostate cancer. If you have this disease, eating tofu may keep your prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels low. This means the cancer grows more slowly or not at all.
Type 2 diabetes
Kidney disease is common in people with type 2 diabetes, and it causes the body to excrete an excessive amount of protein in the urine.
According to one study, people who had solely soy protein in their diet excreted less protein than those who ingested only animal protein.
Patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the experts, could benefit from this.
Protein, and particularly soy protein, may enhance renal function, and it could have benefits for people who are undergoing dialysis or kidney transplantation.
One meta analysis of nine trials showed a positive effect of soy on some biomarkers of those with chronic kidney disease.
This may be due to its protein content, but also because of its impact on lipid levels in the blood.
Age-related brain diseases
Population studies have indicated that, in regions where people consume more soy, there is a lower incidence of age-related mental disorders.
Risk and caution
If you take MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) for mood disorders or Parkinson’s disease, avoid tofu. Tyramine, an amino acid found in tofu, aids in blood pressure regulation. MAOIs inhibit the enzyme that breaks down tyramine. If you combine the two, your blood pressure could skyrocket.
Tofu’s plant-based soy is harmless, but before using soy supplements, consult your doctor. Their plant oestrogen levels are substantially higher, which could cause difficulties.