If you’re looking for a rich source of vegetarian protein, you may want to consider tofu – a highly nutritious, protein-dense food made from the curds of soybean milk. Tofu was first popularized in China over 2000 years ago between AD 25-220 and is now a staple food in all countries of the orient. It can now be found in all supermarkets around the world and is available year round.
There are two types of tofu – silken and firm. Silken is a softer form of tofu that is often used in dips, spreads and tofu ice cream while firm tofu is a great meat substitute that can be stir-fried, grilled, baked or steamed.
Tofu’s Health Benefits:
Protein. Tofu is low in saturated fats, is cholesterol-free and packs a protein punch. For each 100 calorie serving (about a 1/2 cup) of tofu, you’ll find 11 grams of protein. That’s more than what you’ll find in beef (8.9 grams of protein per 100 calories) and cheese (6.2 grams per 100 calories).
Cholesterol. Tofu contains Omega-3 fatty acids that lower LDL (bad) cholesterol without lowering HDL (good) cholesterol, leading to a reduced risk or cardiovascular disease.
Good for women. There are lots of plant estrogens called isoflavones which can maintain a healthy estrogen level to reduce the severity of hot flashes and menopause.
Weight loss. Tofu is low in calories and high in protein which helps your body feel full longer. There are only 80 calories in a 100 gram serving of tofu.
Selenium. High in selenium, an antioxidant that reduces free radical damage, tofu can protect against prostate cancer, reduce asthma and arthritis.
Calcium. Most types of tofu are calcium-enriched which can help with reducing bone loss which is extremely important for menopausal women.
Iron. A rich source of iron, tofu contains 1/3 of the recommended daily value in just a four ounce serving. Iron is used as part of hemoglobin which is essential for energy production and oxygen release throughout the body.
An excellent source of food and great for those that are lactose intolerant, tofu can be purchased refrigerated in packages or in non-refrigerated sealed containers. Add tofu as a healthy and inexpensive addition to your diet.
A few simple techniques to make some bland tofu taste special!
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