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What is tofu?

what is tofuA staple in Asia for 2,000 years, tofu is known for its extraordinary nutritional benefits, as well as its versatility. Tofu, also known as soya curd, is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling soya milk with a coagulant. Tofu is a rather bland tasting product that easily absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients. Tofu is sold in water-filled packs or in aseptic cartons. Fresh tofu is usually packaged in water and should be refrigerated and kept in water until used. If the water is drained and changed daily, the tofu should last for one week. Tofu can be frozen for up to three months. Freezing will change its texture however, it will make the tofu slightly chewier.

Types of tofu

Firm tofu - Firm tofu is dense and can be cubed and stir-fried, grilled, scrambled, pickled, smoked, baked, barbecued or served in soups. Firm tofu is higher in protein, fats and calcium than other types of tofu.

Soft tofu - Soft tofu is more suited for recipes in which tofu needs to be blended.

Silken tofu - Silken tofu has a creamy structure and is also used in blended dishes. In Japan, silken tofu is consumed as such with some soy sauce.

Benefits of tofu

Rich in Nutrients - Tofu is rich in both high quality protein and B-vitamins. Tofu is, therefore, an excellent substitute for meat in many vegetarian recipes. As opposed to soya milk, tofu contains a lot of calcium. This calcium originates from the coagulant (nigari). When making tofu, the soy proteins are precipitated with calcium, providing tofu with a ready source of calcium. Calcium in tofu contributes to the prevention of osteoporosis.

Easy to digest - An additional benefit of tofu is that it is extremely easy to digest. This is because the soybean's fiber is removed during the manufacturing process.

Reduce cholesterol - As most other soyfoods, tofu reduces heart disease by lowering the level of the "bad" LDL cholesterol, and as the result maintaining the level of "good" HDL cholesterol.

Rich in isoflavones - Tofu is rich in isoflavones. When making tofu, the soy isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, remain bound to the soy protein. Firm tofu contains about 35 mg isoflavones per 100g. Isoflavones will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease associated with reduced bone density and increased bone fractures. Isoflavones will also lower rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer, and reduce menopausal symptoms including mood swings and hot flushes.

Comments

Who knew....

Who knew there was so much to know about tofu...
Gareth hopkins - 26/01/2015

kidney stones

In China a 55 year old man got stones in his kidney because of consuming excess tofu
Shoukath - 10/06/2015

Re: Kidney stones

the reason the man in China got kidney stones was because he didn't drink enough water to help his body deal with the calcium in all the tofu he ate, so make sure to drink water!
Roxanna - 12/06/2015

Re: re: Kidney stones

Or, instead of trying to do things to compensate for the excess minerals you're putting into your body... Maybe you could just eat less tofu.
Azoth - 29/06/2015

toomuchtofu

or switch your tofu for red meat...
Askhati - 21/08/2015

Tofu

Or as they say everything should be Doné in moderation.Too much consumption of tofu can lead to kidney stones says someone. Just as too many tomatoes can . To put it in perspective man evolved in a manner that doesn't suggest he should consume any cereals at all. It should be a diet of green vegetables, berries and fruit supplemented with animal flesh for protein and fat.
Rico - 10/09/2015

Thank You

I am transitioning to a vegan diet, so it was really nice to come across this informational site. Thank you for taking the time to help educate me on a great meat alternative!
Kelsey - 07/11/2015

Who knew?

In 1349 tofu was imported to Norway in large quantities due to its high levels of isoflavones which proved beneficent in the fight agains the black death
Bal A' Roguet - 25/11/2015

Soy-chunk is better than Tofu

Boiled/stewed soy-chunks are nutritionally better than tofu as it contains more protein than tofu/meat/fish/egg. However, it does not have much minerals like tofu. To prevent aging, vegetarians may eat vegetable-soup with soy-chunks along with semi-baked salaad. Non-vegetarians may eat baked-fish along with semi-baked salaads to stave off ageing. The fish-head ( which some people avoid eating ) contain more nutrients. Chilly-powder accelerates aging. Although the skin of chillies contain vitamin C, the seeds contain toxins. Have seeded ( seeds are discarded ) chillies or black-pepper. Black-pepper contains Vanadium which prevent cancers. However, excess black-pepper can also be harmful to health. Consumption of spices, salt, sugar & oil is inversely-proportional to lifespan.
Rajib Kumar Roy - 11/12/2015

Hot flashes

Well I'm trying new things for hot flashes I am already drinking soy milk so is that enough or should I do more the hot flashes are horrible.
Patty - 28/12/2015

Thats ridiculous

"Chilly-powder accelerates aging"

I eat chili peppers and powder on everything my whole life. I'm 31 and still get carded for beer.
JayF - 05/02/2016

Tofu or not tofu

I am on a quest to become hard-core vegan, being an avid meat eater and chef for more than 20yrs this decision will have serious impact on my professional and personal life (family is rather carnivorous). Articles like this will definitely help me to get as informed as possible. I always looked at tofu with a bit of contempt, thinking it is not really food ... I am now atually on my way to go and buy my first tofu :)
Never too old to learn :)
Bart Van Capellen - 16/03/2016

tofu and menopause

I am going through the menopause at the age of 53 and it is no laughing matter. I have not had a good night sleep for nearly two years and i refuse to take medication for sleep. I have read a lot about the two main hormones that my body does not produce and more and so I need to eat food that have those two hormones which are estrogen and progesterone. My understanding is that tofu is a good source of plant progesterone so thank you for this information. I have ever eaten tofu in my life so I will need recipe for that as well. Keep up the good work and thanks again Judy
Judy Browne - 21/03/2016

not anything to do with tofu

the lady Judy Browne - Black cohosh and milk thistle vitamins will squash your hot flashes
Norma Sawyer - 10/04/2016

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