Eating tofu every day is perfectly safe for vegetarians, vegans or omnivores. This delicious plant-based protein can be added to just about any stir-fry, soup, or pasta and makes a fantastic replacement for meat in a vegan diet.
Tofu is made from soybeans, which are in the bean family. The tofu-making process is quite simple. Tofu-makers steam soy milk and add a coagulating or thickening agent, which turns the milk into curds. Then, they press a lot of the water out of the curds, turning them into firm blocks.
Tofu is a decent source of vegetarian and vegan protein, it is low in saturated fats, calories, and high in very important dietary minerals, like calcium and magnesium, iron and B-Vitamins. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a ‘complete protein’ for the body.
A block of firm tofu weighing approximately 120 grams contains:
● 165 calories
● 5.3 g of carbohydrate
● 11 g of fat
● 3 g of fiber
● 15.5 g of protein
● 420 mg of calcium
● 65 mg of magnesium
● 3.3 mg of iron
● 280 mg of phosphorus
● 180 mg of potassium
● 2 mg of zinc
Soy contains heart-healthy isoflavones, which benefit blood vessels and can improve blood flow. Isoflavones have many other properties, including anticancer, antioxidant, and antidiabetic. These properties reduce the risk of osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms and boost brain functions.
And, because tofu is a complete plant protein source, it is a super food for those who aim to build muscles as it has all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
Nevertheless, it has been shown that isoflavones, which are a form of phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogen like compounds), can interfere with thyroid activity and should be taken with care, especially if you are prone to hypothyroidism.
In addition, tofu contains substances with properties similar to vitamin B12, but which your body cannot utilize in the same way as natural vitamin B12. Relying only on tofu for supply of vitamin B12 can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency in your body.
In conclusion, soy in its whole form such as edamame, tofu and whole soy milk, is healthier than red meat in the sense that soy provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals — without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in meat. But as every food that has controversial reviews, moderation is still the best approach to follow.
Until next time 😊