The Top 5 Tofu Health Benefits
Tofu is a byproduct of soy beans, made by adding mineral salt, mainly calcium sulfate, and water to the soybean mash. It boasts a wealth of multiple health benefits such as lowering the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, anemia and also lowers cholesterol levels. Other tofu health benefits include maintaining cardiovascular health and is also a great source of proteins. Here is a look at more of these health benefits in detail.
Tofu is generally available in three textures, including soft, silken and firm. Silken is the form of tofu mainly used in spreads, dressings and dips. The soft tofu texture is a good substitute for creamy cheese such as ricotta and cottage cheese as well as eggs. The firm tofu texture is usually cut into chunks that can be marinated for taste and baked or grilled. Some nutritional benefits benefits of tofu include:
-Heart health: one serving of tofu contains a good percentage of the required Omega-3 fatty acids per day, necessary for a healthy heart. Omega-3 has the ability to improve cholesterol levels and helps in blood clot. Additionally, tofu has the ability to lower “bad cholesterol”, also known as Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides levels as well, both of which indicate heart disease.
-Weight loss: tofu contains low amounts of fat, but rich in protein, which is important for proper body functions. Low calorie count makes it an effective option for people trying to lose weight. The high protein in tofu helps your body feel full for longer periods of time. It is also packed with several beneficial nutrients and less calories per serving, making it an excellent choice for weight loss diets.
-Menopause: The ovaries mainly secrete the female hormone estrogen. The supply of estrogen affects several health conditions in women such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Tofu contains isoflavones, which help in maintaining hormones and regaining any lost estrogen in women.
Benefits of Tofu when used as a substitute for meat
There are several tofu health benefits when it is used as a meat substitute.
-Lowers cholesterol levels: Regular consumption of tofu helps in lowering cholesterol levels. High cholesterol in the body is one of the main causes of heart related ailments. Despite their attempts to avoid this fat, many women consume it as it is present in many cooking oils and fats. Tofu helps in reducing cholesterol due to its ability to absorb cooking oil that may lead to various diseases if accumulated in the body.
-Increases blood flow: Tofu packs an enormous amount of proteins and is also the ideal food source for many vegans. It has been turned to a healthy food option because of its great ability to increase better blood supply to various body organs. This is mainly attributed to its iron and copper content, two metals that help prevent anemia symptoms and help in keeping organs running smoothly because of proper oxygen supply. Moreover, when combine with manganese, copper can create an enzyme that prevents premature aging skin, heart disease and cancer.
Since tofu is made from soy, it contains all the eight essential amino acids. These amino acids, together with other nutrients, are very beneficial to the body in preventing and protecting it from diseases. Some tofu health benefits with regard to diseases include:
-Prevents anemia: tofu has been studied for several health benefits and results show that this complete food lowers the risk of anemia. In a study conducted in China to investigate the relationship between tofu and anemia, it was concluded that it effectively lowers anemia risks among adults, both male and female.
-Rheumatoid arthritis: iron and copper are very important for synthesizing hemoglobin, which produces energy. Copper itself, helps reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
-Contains proteins for gout suffers: research shows that tofu is an excellent source of proteins, which is essential for gout patients who have uric acids clearance above the normal limit. People with gouts however, should avoid high consumption of the food or other soy byproducts.
-Anticancer: Tofu contains isoflavones and an ingredient that helps lower the risks of cancer. Soybean peptides have the ability to lower cancerous growths and has been shown to slow the development of colon cancer growth rates. Isoflavones are also well-known to be highly beneficial in reducing cancer risks. Higher consumption of the food may reduce endometrial cancer in women at their post-menopausal phase.