Tofu, also known as Awara in Nigeria, is a popular plant-based meat and dairy alternative, which is a rich source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.

What is Tofu?
Tofu is made from soybeans that have been soaked and blended into a milky liquid, then heated and solidified into curds. These curds are then pressed into blocks of different firmness – from firm tofu to extra-firm tofu. Soybean is a total powerhouse of nutrition, as it is the world's most cultivated legume.

It is so versatile that it can be used in everything from soups to smoothies, stews, sandwiches, burgers, and stir-fries, making it a staple in many vegetarian and vegan kitchens.

Nutritional Benefits of Tofu

  1. A 100g serving of tofu provides:
  2.  73 kcal / 304KJ
  3.  8.1g Protein
  4.  4.2g Fat
  5.  0.5g Saturated fat
  6.  0.7g Carbohydrate

Umbrella Review Of 114 Meta-Analyses And Systematic Reviews (2020)

Higher Soy intake reduces the risk of developing the following:

Ovarian Cancer: 48%
Gastric Cancer: 22%
Prostate Cancer: 29%
Colorectal Cancer: 21%
Lung Cancer: 17%
Breast Cancer: 13%
Cardiovascular Disease Mortality (FS): 16%
Cardiovascular Disease: 17%
Stroke: 18%
Coronary Heart Disease: 17%
Type 2 Diabetes: 23%

Cardiovascular Disease Markers: 
Improved Artery Function
Lower Blood Pressure
Lower LDL- Cholesterol 
Lower Triglycerides
Weight Loss
Improved Cognitive Function

Menopause (Isoflavones):
Decreased hot flash severity and frequency
Reduced virginal dryness

Health Benefits Of Tofu

1. Source Of Protective Antioxidants

Tofu contains natural compounds called isoflavones; these are potent antioxidants that help to reduce the damage known as oxidative stress done by molecules called free radicals. This oxidative stress is involved in both aging and the beginning of some chronic diseases. Soya beans are particularly rich in isoflavones and deliver other effective plant compounds, such as saponins.

2. May Reduce Menopausal Symptoms

Tofu contains phytoestrogens that are similar to the structure of the hormone estrogen; meaning they mimic the actions of the hormone estrogen in the body. Some women find it helps with peri-menopausal symptoms such as poor mood and hot flashes.

3. May Support Heart Health

Regular consumption of tofu has been associated with reduced cholesterol levels.

Studies indicate this includes a decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the type often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol. Regular consumption of legumes, including soybean, is linked to a lower risk of heart disease; this is believed to be because they are a rich source of phytochemicals and fiber.

Tofu is naturally low in saturated fat, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Some studies have also indicated that consuming tofu may help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as breast cancer, due to its high levels of isoflavones.

4. Great Source Of ‘Complete’ Plant Protein

It is interesting to know that tofu, is a valuable source of plant protein, providing all nine of the essential amino acids we need for growth, repair, and functions, like immunity. The digestibility of the protein in tofu is good, with some studies indicating it may even be comparable to that of animal protein.

Tofu is moderately low in calories compared to many animal-based protein sources, with an average of 10-20 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, depending on the firmness of the tofu. Making it a good option for those monitoring their calorie intake.

5. May Help To Manage Blood Sugar Levels

One study of post-menopausal women who consumed 100mg of soy isoflavones each day saw a reduction in fasting blood sugar levels by 15% and insulin levels by 23%. Similarly, diabetic post-menopausal women who supplemented with isolated soy protein saw a reduction in fasting insulin levels, insulin resistance, and an improvement in cholesterol management.

6.  Amazing Source Of Several Essential Vitamins And Minerals

Tofu is an amazing source of calcium, including iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, copper, Zinc, and vitamin B1. Calcium in Tofu is said to improve bone density.

We don't know about you but we're craving Tofu right now. Have you eaten tofu before or do you have other ways of cooking Tofu? Tell us in the comments.




Daniella Obuwan Oshiame

Daniella Obuwan Oshiame is a Professional Health & Nutrition Writer, with 4 Certifications in Health & Nutrition-related Fields. She enjoys writing health, nutrition, vegan, & fitness articles to educate and keep people informed.
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