Tofu is one of the best plant protein to use as a substitute for meat. As a versatile vegan food, it can soak up the flavours of whatever it is cooked in, giving you a tasty meal on top of its variety of health benefits. But, exactly what are these health benefits?
1. It may be beneficial to your heart, bones, skin, and brain.
Studies have shown tofu reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. As a good source of calcium, it also keeps your bones healthy.
Tofu may reduce inflammation, boost collagen production, and protect our skin against UV radiation. The phytoestrogens found in tofu may help prevent memory deterioration and improve cognitive function.
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2. It may alleviate menopausal symptoms and lower the risk of certain cancers like breast cancer.
The isoflavones in tofu, also classified as phytoestrogens, mimic the hormone estrogen. The hormone helps to relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flushes. Isoflavones also have anti-cancer properties. Studies have found eating tofu may help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and digestive cancers like stomach cancer.
3. It provides all nine essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids.
As a “complete” plant-based protein, tofu contains all nine essential amino acids that we can only get from the food we eat. This makes it a high-quality plant protein as most plant-based protein sources don’t contain all nine essential amino acids. Tofu also provides omega-3 fatty acids that help build and maintain a healthy body.
4. It may support your immune system.
Tofu contains zinc, which is needed for immune function, and helps in wound healing and blood clotting. For every 122 grams of tofu, you will get 2 milligrams of zinc. This is about 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for adult males and 22 per cent for adult females.
5. It may aid weight loss.
The branched-chain amino acids in tofu help regulate weight, build muscle and prevent muscle loss, and improve athletic performance. Soy protein can also help to reduce body weight and body mass index in postmenopausal women.