Tofu, which originated in China, is made of condensed soy milk that’s pressed into solid white blocks in a process similar to cheese making.
Nigari, a mineral-rich coagulant that’s left over after salt is extracted from seawater, is used to help tofu solidify and keep its form.
Tofu is a plant-based protein made from soybeans. The beans are soaked, cooked, and crushed into a liquid. With the help of a coagulant, the liquid thickens to become tofu. Tofu is dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and vegan, so it is popular with people who have specialized diets.
Often used as a meat substitute, tofu is high in protein but low in fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Tofu is extremely versatile. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with.
Contains many nutrients
Tofu is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs,
It also provides fats, carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of firm, calcium-set tofu offers
Protein: 17 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Calcium: 53% of the Daily Value (DV)
Manganese: 51% of the DV
Copper: 42% of the DV
Selenium: 32% of the DV
Vitamin A: 18% of the DV
Phosphorus: 15% of the DV
Iron: 15% of the DV
Magnesium: 14% of the DV
Zinc: 14% of the DV
Tofu is a low carbohydrate food. A half-cup serving contains just 3.5 grams of carbs, most of which come from fiber. There are 2.9 grams of fiber in a half-cup serving.
While 50% of the calories in tofu come from fat, a 4-ounce serving of tofu contains just 6 grams of fat. It is low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol. Generally, the softer the tofu, the lower the fat.
Tofu is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It also provides fats, carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
which means it contains 9 of the essential amino acids required by the diet), it can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for meat. Many people who don’t eat meat use tofu as the main protein in a meal.
Vitamins and Minerals
Tofu is also full of vitamins and minerals like:
Firm tofu is also an excellent source of manganese (providing 1.5mg or 65% DV) and selenium (providing 21.9mcg or almost 40% DV). It is also an excellent source of copper.
Soy foods like tofu contain isoflavones, a phytoestrogen similar to the hormone estrogen and may provide certain health benefits, May support heart health.
Source of ‘complete’ plant protein, May support blood sugar management.
May Help Prevent Certain Cancers
It also contains isoflavones such as phytoestrogens. Isoflavones may have both estrogen-agonist or estrogen-antagonist properties. These may help protect against some cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis. However, overconsumption may also present some risks.
A 2020 study in China showed that moderate soy intake was not associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women but that higher soy intake may provide some preventative benefits.
May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Although there have been some conflicting results in studies in adults with elevated serum cholesterol levels, most studies report total and LDL cholesterol reductions after the addition of soy protein to a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
The most common side effects of soy are digestive upsets, such as constipation and diarrhea. Soy may alter thyroid function in people who are deficient in iodine. Current evidence indicates that it’s safe for women who have had breast cancer or who are at risk for breast cancer to eat soy foods.
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