Tofu: A Protein Substitute For Healthier Living

If you’re looking to make some changes to your diet or simply going meatless, the thought of substituting meat with tofu to meet your daily protein requirements might have crossed your mind at least once. The curdled soy milk serves as the main ingredient in many Asian cuisines. Additionally, it has also been a lifesaver for people who are lactose intolerant.

 

How Is It Better Than Animal Protein?

Comprised of high nutritional value, this plant protein is rich in B-complex vitamins, calcium and iron. Aside from its nutritional content, it is low in sodium and saturated fat and contains no cholesterol. You might be aware that saturated fats play a large role in clogging arteries and restricting the blood flow to the heart. This, in turn, causes cardiac conditions such as heart attacks. Unlike many animal proteins that can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, tofu is a cardiac-friendly ingredient that keeps you healthy.

 

Types Of Tofu

The way tofu is made can determine its texture and how soft or hard it is. Why is this important to know you might ask. Well, this process actually affects the nutritional content of the ingredient. Silken tofu and other types of soft tofu contain fewer calories and fat compared to its firm or extra firm counterparts. This is largely due to the moisture content present in these types of tofu. A general rule of thumb is that the softer the tofu is, the lower the fat content is. Silken tofu can be used as dips, dressings, desserts, making it a healthier substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream dips. Soft tofu can also be used to make a number of dishes, including breakfast shakes, fruit and veggie puree, lasagna.

 

Benefits Of Eating Tofu

The fundamental nutrients that are found in tofu are omega-6, omega-3 fatty acids along with a handful of vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin and folate. Additionally, minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and manganese are present in tofu.

Encourages Weight Loss

Generally, most soy products contain high levels of bioactive ingredients that manage cholesterol levels in the body. One of the major advantages of adapting tofu-rich diet is that it lowers LDL (Low-density lipoprotein), VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein), triglyceride levels and total plasma cholesterol. The consumption of soy protein lowers lipids in the blood. Additionally, it also decreases cholesterol absorption in the intestine and stimulates the elimination of faecal bile acid in the body. Lastly, tofu can have positive effects on the liver; it regulates cholesterol metabolism and manages the genes that supervise the entire metabolic process. So add tofu into your diet to enjoy these benefits to promote shedding some unwanted weight today!

Regulates Diabetes

Soy products are rich in isoflavone, which is crucial for preventing and keeping diabetes in check. Essentially, isoflavones raise serum insulin and pancreatic insulin levels in the body by boosting the insulin signalling in addition to managing the molecular activity. Aside from that, soy products manage and affect the intestine’s absorption rate of glucose from food, this, in turn, controls the blood sugar level and the insulin levels in the body. It is important to note that not all soy products are healthy, keep an eye on sweetened products that can compromise the glucose levels in the blood.

Strengthens Bones

Age-related bone loss and bone disease such as osteoporosis can be prevented by soy products. Since an imbalance of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones can lead to these bone degeneration, a diet rich in phytoestrogens like isoflavones and calcium is necessary for keeping bones strong and healthy. They also improve bone mass density as well. Dairy and soy products are the best foods that treat and contribute to bone strength. If you are lactose intolerant or a vegan, it would be best to incorporate soy-milk, tofu and other plant proteins into your diet to meet your daily protein requirements. By increasing the intake of such proteins, you are nourishing your bones with crucial nutrients that protect and sustain the overall health of the bones.

Rectifies Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

As we have discussed, tofu is comprised of phytoestrogens, two of which are genistein and daidzein. These chemical properties are naturally found in plants and they display estrogenic activity in the body. Because fluctuating estrogen levels in the body directly affect ovulation, menstruation, fertility and embryo implantation, the phytoestrogens that are present in tofu can go a long way to regulate menstruation, increase the ovarian function and boost the overall uterine health in women that are premenopausal.

Improves Liver Health

Tofu is high in phytochemicals and flavonoids, these properties can also function as antioxidants in the body. The phytochemicals found in tofu works to not only remove free radicals in the bloodstream but boosts the health of the liver. Usually, an imbalance or accumulation of free radicals in the blood causes oxidative stress in the body, which can be extremely detrimental to our health. Oxidative stress can lead to organ damage and increase the risk of certain chronic conditions.

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