Tofu is a food that is derived from fermented soybeans. After soaking, it gives rise to a white liquid: from the coagulation of this “serum”, which is mixed with nigari (the residue that is derived from seawater when salt is extracted), and thus tofu is created. It is also called ‘soy cheese’ because its texture resembles that of a fresh cheese. Unlike traditional cheeses, the tofu has no lactose but vegetable protein, Omega-3 and 6, iron and a lower percentage of salt. Its origins can be traced to Asia and date back to the second century BC. It is believed to have been first prepared by a Taoist monk in 160 BC. Even today, the tofu is a staple of the Chinese and Japanese cuisine, but it is catching on in the west thanks to its many benefits to the bone, stomach, circulation and immune system.
Here are a few major benefits of tofu to get you to start eating this wonder-food:
The tofu is one of the foods that contribute most to maintaining health in our body due to its content of plant protein and flavonoids. The latter, in particular, preserves the heart and fights the effects of free radicals. Also, Tofu has rich ingredients which fight against cholesterol deposition in arteries.
Even 80-100g of tofu a day helps digestion and keeps the heart healthy. It helps to prevent hormone-dependent cancers (breast and prostate). Tofu is also an excellent solution for those who need to reduce the consumption of animal protein, cholesterol and high triglycerides.
Tofu contains isoflavones capable of mimicking the action of estrogen. It is particularly useful in combating the problems associated with menopause. It is also good for breastfeeding mothers for proper milk secretion.
Numerous research being done shows that tofu has properties that fight obesity. In this context, it is some of the unique peptides (protein breakdown products) in soy that have been associated with obesity prevention and treatment. Since fermented soy foods like fermented tofu have increased concentrations of bioactive peptides (versus non-fermented soy foods), fermented tofu may turn out to be premier forms of soy with respect to obesity management.