Tofu is a soy product that is often referred to as cheese, however, it is produced from the condensed soy milk that is later mixed with nigari (natural magnesium crystals) and pressed into solid blocks.
In Japan, the motherland of tofu, this foodstuff has been known and widely used for cooking for over two thousand years.
This bean curd can be prepared in many ways and its texture may vary from soft to rather firm, so no wonder tofu is now popular in Western countries as well even despite its short lifespan.
However, people often become concerned about the way it affects our health since quite many rumors exist about tofu and the possible harm it may cause to human immunity.
Is it bad or not? We talked with Elisa Chan from Beezzly and you can find the explanation below.
Why We Should Have Tofu On Our Tables
Since tofu is made of soy, it contains plant estrogen. This element became a point of concern recently due to the research that showed estrogen can cause breast cancer which made tofu a risky product.
However, the one crucial nuance was missed: that research was done on rodents who process soy differently compared to humans.
If we take a look at how tofu affects people, we will see that it is simply unable to cause neither cancer nor any other harmful diseases.
Instead, this foodstuff has lots of beneficial characteristics:
- Tofu is a good remedy for hot flashes women have during menopause. The estrogen contains helps to relieve the symptoms and make them less severe.
- Coronary heart disease is another issue tofu can fight. This soy foodstuff contains elements that influence positively tissues that line our blood vessels and the inside of the heart.
- When eating ten ounces of tofu daily, we can lower the bad cholesterol by 5%.
- Plant estrogen that tofu contains can prevent us from losing bone mass which is especially important for women who have or just had menopause.
Since this soy goodie is also rich in calcium and vitamin D, it makes tofu helpful protection from osteoporosis and other bone issues.
- When eating tofu regularly, we can actually protect ourselves from certain types of cancer thanks to the high fiber content of this foodstuff.
- To keep our brain and memory strong and well-working, we would recommend everyone incorporates tofu in their daily menus.
According to recent researches, soy foodstuffs including tofu can be used as a preventive measure for memory loss and troubles with thinking as we get older.
- Since tofu is a low-calorie foodstuff, it can become a staple on the tables of people who keep an eye on their weight.
- Another beneficial feature of this soy-based goodies is that the isoflavones it contains have a positive effect on our skin decreasing the number of wrinkles and making it healthier, smoother, and younger.
- Tofu contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies are not able to produce themselves. It means that a three-ounce slice of this soy faux cheese can make us feel full longer, besides, it provides us with the necessary nutrients.
- Tofu is also naturally rich in calcium. Since during the production process, most manufacturers make use of calcium sulfate to be able to combine oil and protein into soy milk, it means that the final foodstuff will have even more calcium than it initially contains.
Thus tofu is super beneficial stuff for our teeth and bones.
- Finally, this soy curd is filled with minerals and vitamins needed for our immune system and proper body function
When Tofu Is Better to Be Avoided
Even though it is so healthy and beneficial will all the vitamins and minerals, tofu must be used with attention in certain cases, or not to be used at all.
- If you are taking medicines called MAOI (they are prescribed for mood disorders and Parkinson’s disease), you’d better exclude this foodstuff from your menu.
Tofu contains an amino acid that helps balance our blood pressure and those medicines tend to block enzymes that break its amino acid down.
Simply speaking, if combined together, tofu and MAOIs can make your blood pressure dangerously high!
- The plant-based soy that tofu contains is basically safe. However, before taking any soy supplements, we would recommend you consult your doctor: the level of estrogen in those supplements is pretty high which may cause certain problems with health.