The overall state of your health depends on how you take care of it. If you want to have good health, make sure to adapt a sensible diet and get regular exercise. When you say healthy foods, this means no processed and artificial ingredients in it. On the other hand, any type of foods made with natural ingredients is acceptable. Included on this list is tofu.
What is tofu?
Also known as soybean curd, tofu is made by grinding soybeans. It forms into a substance that resembles soft and mushy cheese, and voila – you now have tofu! This food item is a staple among vegans because they usually eat it as a meat alternative. It contains essential minerals such as iron and protein, as well as calcium, magnesium, and selenium, to name a few.
Tofu is also a common food ingredient in Asian countries such as Japan and China. These countries cultivate soybeans which are made into different products including tofu. It is consumed and cooked in different ways – boiled, fried, or roasted. This food ingredient is often credited as one of the reasons why Japanese people live longer and healthier lives.
Apart from different ways of eating it, studies also revealed the health benefits of tofu. As mentioned above, it contains essential nutrients to keep your health in check. It is also a great meat alternative for vegetarians, thanks to its protein and calcium content.
If you’re still not convinced, here are other health benefits of tofu:
1. It keeps your skin healthy.
The more we get older, the more we should pay attention to our skin. As we get old, our skin may be prone to premature aging and other skin impurities. That is why it is important to keep our skin well-hydrated all the time. Tofu helps keep our skin healthy and moisturized, and lessen excess oil on skin as well.
2. It makes you look younger.
Tofu contains vitamin E that is popularly known to help nourish skin and make you look radiant and young. It aids in renewing dead skin cells and form new cells, revealing a more glowing skin.
3. It can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Tofu naturally contains isoflavones that reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. In effect, it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
4. It can help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Tofu is also found to have genistein, a type of isoflavone present in soy that has antioxidants, which prevents cancer cell growth. In addition, several studies also reveal that eating soy products including tofu may help reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
5. It helps relieve menopausal symptoms.
Several studies found that soy products including tofu can help alleviate symptoms of menopause including hot flashes. Tofu contains genistein that reduce the effects of hot flashes. Apparently, hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause are less common due to frequent consumption of soy-based products including tofu.
6. It can aid in weight loss.
Tofu naturally contains protein which is a great meat alternative. It also contains calcium and fiber that promotes bone health and better digestion, respectively. These nutrients all play an important part of regulating appetite and are also low in calories, hence can aid in weight loss.
7. It helps prevent anemia.
Anemia is normally caused by a lack of iron, and eating tofu can aid in the process of blood building thanks to its high iron source. For better results, combine tofu with other foods that can further aid in anemia prevention.
8. It aids in better brain health.
Tofu contains lecithin that aids in the production of phospholipids that can help promote better cognitive health. Tofu also has anti-inflammatory properties that also help preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Hence, it is advisable to add tofu to your meals to help with your brain health.
9. It helps aid in liver function.
Studies reveal that tofu can help in smoother liver function, partly thanks to its antioxidant properties. A healthy liver also aids in better metabolism and prevents potential health problems that can affect the entire body. As mentioned earlier, tofu also helps lower cholesterol which can help prevent fatty liver disease.
10. It is a perfect meat alternative especially for vegans.
Soy-based products including tofu is basically complete with the essential amino acids that is ideal for vegans and vegetarians. It is also a great meat alternative as well as it contains low carbs and cholesterol, making it a healthy food choice whether you are a vegan or not. Since it also contains high amounts of protein, tofu can also help improve muscle recovery after series of intense physical trainings.
Tofu is not just a meat alternative – it’s more than that. Rather, it has several positive benefits that can further improve your overall health. There are also different recipes you can try using tofu.
That said, tofu can be enjoyed by both vegans and non-vegans alike. So, during your next trip to the supermarket, make sure to grab a pack of tofu and whip up some simple tofu recipes for you and your loved ones.