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Tofu-a high protein, low fat energy source: benefits of eating tofu.

The highly nutritious, protein-rich tofu is commonly called ‘the cheese of Asia’ and is prepared by curdling soybean milk. It is usually off-white in color and forms an important constituent in the cultural cuisines of many Asian countries, like China and Japan.
The food has high amounts of iron and proteins and is relatively low in calorie content. It also has high amounts of calcium and magnesium levels. Also, tofu contains certain soy isoflavones, which can actually mimic natural human estrogens, causing certain beneficial effects in human body.
Tofu, made from the curds of soybean milk, is primarily available in three textures: firm, extra firm and silken. Silken tofu has a custard-like consistency and is usually substituted into dressings, protein shakes and desserts. Firm and extra firm varieties are usually cut up into chunks that stand up well to marinating and can be sautéed, grilled or baked. Tofu itself is rather bland, but strongly absorbs the flavors used to prepare it.

Health Benefits of Tofu

– Besides calcium and protein, tofu is a good source of iron. It is primarily used as part of hemoglobin and helps in the transport and release of oxygen throughout the body.
– Soya beans and other soya based products may play a role in preventing various types of cancer, especially breast cancer.
– It is also known to prevent osteoporosis, thanks to its calcium.
– Another benefit that tofu offers is that it is very easy to digest. This is because the fiber of the soya beans is removed during the manufacturing process.
– A mere 4 ounces of tofu each day provides around 14.45 of the daily beneficial fat requirement. This beneficial fat or Omega-3-fatty acid helps control erratic heart rhythms, reduces clotting of blood inside arteries and improves the ratio of good HDL to bad LDL.
– Tofu is rich in isoflavones. When making tofu, the soy isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, remain bound to the soy protein.
– The copper present in tofu helps in reducing the painful symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
– Tofu has high level of trace mineral selenium which is very important for the proper functioning of the antioxidant system.

Caution

– Tofu contains considerable amount of the naturally occurring substance called oxalate. The presence of high amounts of this substance causes its crystallization, resulting in certain health problems. Hence, people suffering from existing or untreated health problems should avoid the consumption of high amounts of tofu.
– Certain allergic reactions may occur as a result of consumption of tofu.

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