Tofu, known also as bean curd, is a food made by pressed soybeans and then pressing the curds into soft white blocks. Tofu comes in silken (soft tofu) and regular (soft but firmer).Tofu traces its origin in China. An interesting story behind it is that it was accidentally discovered about 2000 years ago by a Chinese cook when he added nigari seaweed whilst curdling soy milk. It was originally known as okabe. Common delicacy in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines, tofu is an ideal ingredient for casseroles, stir-fries and lasagna. Here are the various health benefits of eating tofu.
Health Benefits 1: Mineral Rich
Tofu is rich in copper in Iron and copper, both of which are essential for manufacture of haemoglobin. Copper is useful in the destruction of free radicals hence relieving from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Another element, Selenium is a useful in warding off against free radicals. Selenium, together with iodine helps keep in check the thyroid and has been found to repair damaged DNA.
Health Benefit 2: Cardiovascular Health
The Omega 3 fatty acids in tofu are healthy for the heart as they block formation of blood clots. They also stop clots from clogging the arteries.
Health Benefit 3: Anti-Inflammation Properties
Tofu contains two main storage proteins—glycinin and conglycinin—which are broken down by molds, yeasts, and bacteria into peptides. These have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties useful in not only reducing blood pressure but protecting blood vessels from oxidative and inflammatory damage.
Health Benefit 4: Anti-cancer properties
Being a rich source of selenium, tofu helps protect the body from colon cancer. This is because selenium helps in the proper functioning of the anti-oxidant system. Women, too, can benefit from eating tofu as it has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer by 60%. It is also high in plant-based soy isoflavones, which have anti-cancer benefits. Japanese are known to eat lots of tofu, the more the reason why this country has the lowest cases of cancer in the world!
Health Benefit 5: Combats Menopause
The level of calcium in tofu is sufficient to combat menopause. It fights hot flashes, bone-lossTofu, and rheutoid arthritis and estrogen imbalances.
Health Benefits 6: Anti-ageing
Tofu slows down the aging process by conserving the elasticity of the skin as well as the facial muscles. Tofu paste applied on the face is quite effective in nourishing the skin and toning it.
Health Benefits 6: Hair Loss
Humans lose hair due to lack of a protein known as keratin. Tofu restores keratin so that more hair grows and the existing hair appears healthy. Tofu is a perfect substitute for expensive treatments aimed at restoring hair
Health Benefit 7: Meat Substitute
If you are a vegan, that is, do not take meat and milk products, then tofu is a meat substitute. Tofu is one of the best sources of protein for vegans (people who do not eat meat or milk products) and vegetarians, so stock up lots of it and reap in its benefits.
Health Benefit 8: Weight Loss
If you are aiming to lose weight, then tofu is one food you should incorporate in your diet. A half-cup of tofu contains only 94 calories, compared to ground beef with 331 calories and cheese, 320 calories. It has no saturated fats and has extremely low fat it.