Tofu has become quite popular among fitness enthusiasts, especially those who are vegan and all credit goes to the significant health benefits of tofu.
Well, Tofu is a soy based meat alternative, which is low in fat and high in protein and iron.
Did you know that Tofu was likely discovered about 2000 years ago by a Chinese cook, who accidentally curdled soy milk when he added nigari seaweed to it?
Moreover, tofu is a staple in Chinese and Thai cuisine, but has started to gain popularity in American and other cuisine as well.
Apart from being low-carb, dairy-free, gluten-free and cholesterol-free, there are many other health benefits of tofu.
And in today’s article we will tell you what are the health benefits of tofu.
What are the benefits of eating tofu?
From promoting weight loss, controlling blood glucose levels, building immunity, strengthening bones to improving fertility and many more, continue reading to learn about all of the health benefits of tofu.
Helps in weight loss: Health benefits of tofu.
Eating tofu promotes Weight Loss. Tofu can be a great source of low-calorie protein in a weight loss diet.
As, it is a plant-based protein, like beans and lentils. But has lower carbohydrates than other plant based sources.
What’s more, tofu’s weight loss claims are even backed by science.
A study found that eating tofu daily was associated with 2.5-pounds of weight loss over a four-year time
That may appear to be very little change, but that’s the effect of only one food on your health.
Hence, combining it with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lead you to greater and more efficient results.
Tofu, lower cancer Risk. Health benefits of tofu.
Lowers Cancer Risk: Several studies have suggested that genistein, a compound found in soy, has antioxidant properties that may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
In, a meta-analysis, Soy intake is associated with lower lung cancer risk.
In the past, there was confusion about the safety of eating soy after a breast cancer diagnosis.
This is because tofu contains isoflavones, which has chemical structure similar to estrogen.
And high levels of estrogen can increase the danger of carcinoma .
However, eating moderate amounts, or less than two servings a day, of whole soy foods, does not appear to affect tumor growth or the danger of developing carcinoma .
Instead, there’s growing evidence that regular soy intake may decrease carcinoma recurrence.
In another study it is found that “frequent intake of soybean/tofu was significantly linked with reduced risk of gastric cancer”. 
Tofu eating Builds Immunity.
Builds Immunity: Tofu packs a solid amount of iron, a mineral that helps your body convert nutrients into energy and maintain a healthy immune system.
This is particularly agreeable to vegetarian and vegan athletes, who are more in danger for low iron levels than meat-eating athletes.
However, it’s important to note that the type of iron in tofu is not as easily absorbed as the heme iron found in animal-based foods.
To help your body absorb plant-based iron more effectively, try pairing and combining it with vitamin
C-rich foods like red bell pepper.
Strengthens Bones: Health benefits of tofu.
Strengthens Bones: Tofu made with coagulant calcium sulfate contains a surprisingly high amount of calcium.
This is an essential mineral that contributes to healthy bones. The amount of calcium varies between tofu types and brands.
But per 3-ounce serving can deliver around 10 percent of your daily needs.
This is especially good if you’re dairy-free. Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Unlike meat-based protein sources, tofu is cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.
Eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Eating 25 grams of soy protein a day may lower chances of a heart attack.
Using tofu as an alternative to animal protein can help you lower bad cholesterol in the body.
As compared to meats like beef, tofu has lower levels of saturated fatty acids and higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids.
It is also an honest source of linoleic acid .
These help regulate metabolism, along with the dispersion and elimination of cholesterol deposits in the body.
Improves Fertility: Health benefits of tofu.
Improves Fertility: Tofu can be beneficial for fertility, as long as you don’t eat it too much.
Women undergoing in vitro fertilization are more likely to get pregnant if they also eat tofu.
That’s likely because tofu’s compounds help neutralize BPA’s disrupting effects. Just don’t go overboard in eating them.
Eating over 100 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily has been linked to reduced ovarian function. But moderate soy consumption doesn’t pose a problem. In fact there are a lot of Health benefits of tofu.
Tofu reduces diabetes risk.
Reduces Diabetes Risk: Several studies have shown that soy isoflavones can boost blood sugar control.
For postmenopausal women with diabetes. Supplementing with 30 grams of isolated soy protein has been shown to lower fasting insulin levels. And that too by 8%, insulin resistance by 6%, and bad cholesterol by up to 7%.
Taking isoflavones regularly can also improve insulin sensitivity and blood fats while reducing heart disease risk.
Diabetes can sneak up on you if you are not careful about what you’re eating.
Your body gives signs that can indicate your raised blood sugar levels.
Now these were the Health benefits of tofu that will surprise you.
So, we have known the amazing health benefits of tofu, it is time to get familiar with the main types of tofu.
What are the Main types of tofu?
Silken Tofu: This style of tofu is made with minimal curdling and processing, resulting in a product that’s delicate in both texture and flavor.
It packs a punch with 40 percent protein, making it a lovely addition to your health-conscious smoothies, sauces, and even desserts.
Medium Tofu: In terms of texture, there is a range between silken and firm tofu, and it’s called medium tofu.
This category has an additional step built into the process, that is its pressing.
After the soybean is sufficiently curdled, it’s transferred into a press that squeezes out most of its water.
Doesn’t delay well when heavily handled, like during a fry or on the grill. Just try dropping it into miso soup or showcasing it in a Szechuan mapo tofu.
Firm Tofu: Firm tofu stands strong during a frypan and excels as a meatless stand-in for a steak.
This style encompasses several textures and as more water is pressed out of the curd, the firmier it becomes.
Most firm varieties are popular in the West, so finding it is typically a cinch.
Tofu Skins: that in Japanese called yuba, these tofu skins are made up of successively peeling off the top layers that form while cooking soymilk.
But being technical, tofu skins aren’t a tofu product at all.
Tofu is made by adding a coagulant and agent, whereas tofu skins coagulate from heat alone.
Despite what they lack of, tofu skins still make for a great companion in many different dishes.
One can find them fresh or can buy them in a package however if you choose the latter, you’ll be compelled to rehydrate them before using them.
You can serve them up, like orange benny sesame yuba rolls, or just simply nest them in a soup.
No matter how you use them, you’ll soon fall in love with their versatility, easy and simple preparation.
Fermented Tofu: Fermented tofu may sound more dubious than delicious, however, it has a flavor similar to another well-loved food, cheese.
It’s produced by treating tofu with mold, allowing the strains to proliferate for a some days, then packing it with a seasoned brine.
There are many more varieties of fermented tofu and each carries a distinct and definite flavor, so be careful to follow your recipes precisely.
Stir your hard fermented tofu in a bowl of congee or add red fermented tofu into a dipping hot sauce, destined for a hot pot.
Aburaage Tofu: when America has the tortilla, Greece has the pita, and Poland has the pierogi.
No matter wherever you go in the world, people enjoy stuffing their food into pockets and eating it.
Aburaage is Japan’s answer to this.
Thin skinny slices of tofu are cut and fried until it puffs up and hollows out, to make an aburaage tofu. And now, it’s ready for a variety of fillings to make
Shredded Tofu: theoretically, shredded tofu is similar to other soy-based noodles, but in practice, they are light years tastier.
You’ll most likely spot them at an Asian specialty store. In their crinkly packaging, hankering to be used in any one of your usual noodle dishes.
Just as it is with typical pasta, you’ll need to boil them first, but then it’s the game on.
Drizzle or add chili oil on top of cold or hot shredded tofu and make noodle salad for a no-fail addition to your meal spread.
Or drop them in the wok or pan with heaps of vegetables for a low-carb take on a noodle stir fry.
What’s the best way to Cook With Tofu?
Tofu is pretty much flavorless on its own, which makes it extremely versatile for whatever flavors you are also cooking with.
When steamed, grilled, baked, pan-cooked, and of course, amazing if airfried! Tofu gets delicious.
Remember, before cooking, you’ll need to press the excess liquid out of your tofu to give it a sturdier, less slimy bite.
You might use a handy-dandy tofu pressing tool or just employ some dish towels and cookbooks to press and expel water.
Simply wrap your tofu in a dish towel, put it on a plate, and place a few cookbooks on top, pressing down for a few seconds and waiting at least 10 minutes before cooking.
Nowadays, you can actually find pre-pressed tofu in some grocery stores to help you skip that pressing step.
Tofu can absorbs whatever sauce, marinade, and spices you add, so you don’t need to worry about letting your tofu sit for too long while cooking.
An easy way to cook tofu while still maintaining a firm texture is to cut it into bite-size pieces, toss in some soy sauce and cornstarch. And then bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes before adding it in with the rest of your meal.
There are a lot of health benefits of tofu. In addition to your diet, there are many health benefits of tofu if taken in the appropriate amount in your diet.
Weight loss, reduced cancer risk, immunity building, improved fertility, strengthen bones to lowering diabetes risk, gluten-free, and low in calories are some of the amazing health benefits of tofu.
Infact, there are a number of other amazing foods you should eat on a daily basis. We will discuss them in next articles.