Tofu also known as soybean curds is made by pressing coagulating soy milk into a solid milk-like block.
The name comes from the Japanese word “tofu”, but it is widely enjoyed in many countries for its extremely nutritious composition.
It is also a common ingredient native to Chinese cuisine for many centuries. It is also a diet eaten by members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Low in fat, Tofu is packed with vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B1.
Tofu is known to be ideal for vegetarians and vegans because it contains no traces of animal products of any kind and is a great substitute for meat.
Tofu has numerous health benefits to women and here are some of them.
1. Rich in vitamins and minerals
An all-around complete health food, tofu is rich in proteins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that help improve the functioning of the immune system.
2. Reduces risk of cancer
Studies have shown that the isoflavones in tofu are well known to be beneficial in reducing cancer risks. Research on soy intake and endometrial cancer suggests that higher consumption of products such as tofu may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women. Tofu has also been associated with a reduction in breast, lung, colon, and stomach cancer.
3. Prevents osteoporosis
Tofu is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is good for bone health. Lack of calcium in the body could lead to osteoporosis, especially after menopause. Consuming tofu thus slows down the entire process by keeping the bones strong.
4. Lowers cholesterol level
Consuming tofu reduces the cholesterol level in the body. Additionally, using tofu as an alternative to animal protein can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. It is also a good source of lecithin and linoleic acid, which helps regulate the metabolism, along with the dispersion and elimination of cholesterol deposits in the body.
It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases.
5. Good for diabetics
The low-fat and low-calorie content makes it an excellent food choice for diabetics. Intake of at least 200 grams of tofu per day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Several studies show that the consumption of soy protein lowers blood sugar and insulin levels considerably, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
6. Treats kidney disease
Protein, and particularly soy protein, may enhance renal function, and it could have benefits for people who are undergoing dialysis or kidney transplantation. The minerals present in tofu make it a great addition to your renal diet.
7. Eases menopausal symptoms
Some research has suggested that consuming soy products like tofu may help relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, because of the estrogens they contain.
8. Promotes skin health
Research suggests the isoflavones in soy might help skin look younger with fewer fine wrinkles. The proteins present in tofu help improve the elasticity of skin, and tone facial muscles.
9. Improves brain health
Tofu is also known to improve memory and cognitive function for women above 65-years-old. The lecithin content present in tofu helps the body produce the phospholipids phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidylserine (PS), which aid in the functioning of neurons.
10. Helps with weight loss
Consumption of tofu also aids in managing weight effectively. A study suggests that soy-based low-calorie diets have a beneficial effect on the reduction of weight and blood lipids.
How to prepare Tofu
Tofu is available for purchase in health food stores and online. It can be baked, grilled, or pan-fried.
All you need to do is drain the water and rinse off the block. Pat it dry with a few paper towels or press it between two plates to squeeze out as much water as you can before you marinate or cook it.