Good health comes easy with Tofu, an incredible vegan food. From maintaining your cardiovascular health to lowering the risk of anemia, cancer to promoting healthy skin and hair, tofu benefits you in numerous ways. This article shares with you everything about the food and why it is beneficial for you.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is a soy product. It is made by condensing soy milk into solid white blocks. It is believed that tofu was discovered by Chinese when nigari was accidentally added to fresh soy milk. It is a power-packed food and an excellent option for vegans. With no animal products, organic tofu is great for health as it supplies one with an abundant amount of nutrients. Further, it has a delicious flavor which makes it a part of a variety of cuisines.
Tofu Nutrition Facts
Tofu has high nutritive value. It is an excellent source of proteins. It is rich in iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and other essential minerals. It also has zinc and potassium. In vitamins, tofu has a good amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Tofu calories are quite low, and it provides you with organic compounds like isoflavones which are great for your health. The amount of tofu carbs and fats is low making it a healthy option.
Tofu Benefits on Your Health
The nutrition profile of tofu hints a lot about why tofu is a healthier choice. Here is a list of tofu benefits that will further convince you to make tofu your staple.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Maintaining cardiovascular health is one of the prime ways in which tofu benefits you. It has low amounts of saturated fats that unhealthy for your heart. Further, the content of sodium which is known to intervene with your blood pressure level is low. Thus, consuming tofu can prevent the risk of heart diseases.
2. Lowers Cholesterol Level
Tofu has high levels of unsaturated fatty acids that are good for health. Further, it has a compound which helps in reducing the bad cholesterol in the body. Consuming tofu benefits you by increasing metabolism due to the presence of lecithin and linoleic acid that effectively aid in removal of cholesterol(1) deposits in your body.
3. During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women suffer from morning sickness and loss of appetite. Tofu benefits them by providing an adequate amount of nutrition. Further, it is a rich source of protein which is essential for proper development of the fetus and placenta.
4. Reduces the Menopause Symptoms
Women reaching menopause suffer through several issues due to the changing hormone levels in the body. Tofu benefits them by managing the symptoms during menopause. It contains isoflavones which are plant-based compounds that imitate the estrogen hormone. Thus, it helps balance the estrogen level in the body and ease symptoms like hot flashes.
5. Helps in Managing Weight
Those on weight loss regime can include tofu in their diet to get significant results. Tofu provides a high amount of protein and other essential nutrients without adding many calories. Thus, it serves as an excellent low-calorie diet.
[Read: Best Remedies to Lose Weight ]
6. Strengthens Bones
Tofu serves as a rich source of calcium which is an essential constituent of bones. Consuming tofu provides you with enough calcium that helps in strengthening bones and preventing conditions like osteoporosis. It prevents bone loss with age.
7. Benefits your Skin
Tofu is a rich source of protein which plays a vital role in cell formation. With an adequate amount of protein, your skin remains healthy and beautiful with new cells to replace the dead skin cells. Further, it contains negligible amounts of saturated fats that are unhealthy for your skin. Thus, tofu serves as a rich source of vegetable protein which helps keep your skin soft and supple.
How to Cook Tofu?
Tofu finds use in many cuisines owing to the flexibility in which it can be used. Here are the ways you can cook it.
- Raw Tofu: Silken Tofu is the best choice if you wish to eat it raw. Cut it into small cubes and add it to your salad.
- Fry Tofu: The crispy, fried tofu is the love of all. Chop it and add to it a whole pan coated with cooking oil. Sprinkle some cornstarch powder and half a teaspoon of sea salt. Cook it till it gets golden brown and after that serve it.
- Bake Tofu: Press the tofu and chop it into cubes. Put tofu cubes in a bowl and add to it one tablespoon of sunflower oil and half a teaspoon of sea salt. Mix well and after that, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put it in an oven, preheated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for around 30 minutes. Your baked flavorsome tofu is ready. Baking tofu is a great way to relish the protein-rich food.
- Saute Tofu: Place chopped tofu in a bowl and add to it your favorite seasoning. Keep it for around thirty minutes. Add two tablespoons of coconut oil or safflower oil and it over medium flame. Add tofu to the pan and saute it for about eight to ten minutes with frequent tossing.
- Grill Tofu: Take extra firm tofu and press it for at least thirty minutes. Cut its long slices and grill each side for around five minutes. After that, season it. Grilled tofu is a must during barbeques.
If you love tofu or wish to add it to your diet, then here are some exciting tofu recipes that will pamper your taste buds along while providing you with a high amount of nutrition.
Vegetable Tofu Soup
Tofu soup is a healthy choice for vegans.
What will you need?
- 450 grams of soft tofu cubes
- Seven ounces of enoki mushrooms
- Three green onions (thinly sliced)
- Three cups of napa cabbage leaves (chopped)
- Six cups of water
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Salt and white pepper
How to prepare?
- Clean enoki mushroom and discard its roots
- Take a pot, add to it, olive oil and fry onions over medium heat
- Add water and bring the mixture to boil. After that add cabbage and a pinch of salt. Cook them for around two minutes.
- After that add tofu and mushroom and cook for around a minute. Add white pepper and salt as required.
- Take out the soup in a bowl and drizzle over some sesame oil. Garnish with the green part of the onions.
Fermented Chili Tofu
This fermented tofu is favorite of vegetarians owing to its great taste.
What will you need?
- Fourteen ounces of extra-firm tofu
- Three-fourth cup of water
- One-fourth cup of vodka
- Two tablespoons of sesame oil
- One tablespoon each of salt and red pepper flakes
How to prepare?
- Wash the tofu and dry it.
- Press the dried tofu for two hours and after that chop it.
- Place the tofu on a baking pan, seal it completely and put it into an oven for twenty-four hours
- Add water to a bowl, put salt and mix. After that, add vodka, sesame oil, and stir.
- Uncover tofu, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes and place the cubes in a jar.
- Add the brine made using vodka and water.
- Place the jar in sunlight for three days and after that refrigerate it for ten days.
- Your delicious fermented tofu is ready to be savored.
Side-effects of Tofu
Indeed tofu benefits you in numerous ways. However, it has its share of side-effects too. High intake of soy may cause:
- Increased risk of cancer
- Thyroid problems
- Brain damage
- Reproductive disorder
- Allergic reactions
Tofu, a soy-based food is excellent for your health and a great alternative to meat. It provides you with an adequate amount of plant-protein which benefits you in numerous ways. However, if you wish to enjoy tofu benefits maximum, then it is must that you eat it in moderation. There are countless organic tofu recipes that you can try to enjoy excellent health.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to Press Tofu?
Wash the tofu and dry it. Place a kitchen towel on it place three paper towels and over them place the tofu. Wrap the paper towels and kitchen towel around tofu firmly. Put a plate over wrapped tofu and on it place heavy cans. Press it for at least an hour. It may extend to four hours.
2. Can You Freeze Tofu?
Yes, you can freeze tofu. Freezing makes tofu chewier and increases its ability to absorb marinades.
3. Can I Eat Tofu Every Day?
Tofu is a staple food of many. You can eat it every day but within moderation. Eating 120 g of tofu every day is good for your health.
4. Is Tofu Healthier Than Chicken?
With high amounts of protein, fewer calories, more fiber and high amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium, tofu is a healthier choice for those looking for a healthier alternative to chicken.