Soy-based foods, such as tofu, have become increasingly popular with the rise in people following plant-based diets including vegetarianism and veganism. With the recent launch of our new vegan range, including some tofu meals, we've dedicated this week's blog specifically to this soy-based food and it's health benefits!
What exactly is tofu?
Tofu is a popular food derived from soya. It is made by curdling fresh soya milk, pressing it into a solid block and then cooling it, in much the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made by curdling and solidifying milk!
Nutritional value of tofu
Tofu is a highly nutritious addition to your diet for many reasons, especially if you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The soybean and its products provide many essential nutrients such as high-quality plant protein, fibre, calcium, essential fatty acids, and different vitamins and minerals that help contribute to a healthy diet.
Soy-products are also low in saturated fats and are a great alternative for those looking to reduce their intake of animal protein. The protein quality of soy has been suggested to be comparable to animal protein as it is one of the few vegetarian sources of total or complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids required in the human diet for growth, repair and functions like immunity.
Tofu is also a great source of many important vitamins and minerals needed for overall health including manganese, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
What are the health benefits of tofu?
Protection against certain cancers: Soy and it's products may reduce the risk of breast, digestive and prostate cancers as several studies show a reduction in the risk of breast, bowel, and prostate cancer.
Reduced risk of heart disease: Regular consumption of legumes, including soy, is linked to a lower risk of heart disease thought to be due to the presence of phytochemicals and their fibre content. Soy is a rich source of the plant-based phytochemicals called isoflavones. Studies have found a link between soya isoflavones and reduced risk of heart disease.
Bone health: A diet high soy protein may help prevent postmenopausal bone loss and fractures in improving bone mineral density in postmenopausal
Lowering cholesterol: Many studies have found that regular consumption of whole soy protein lowers cholesterol levels. This includes a reduction in LDL cholesterol, referred to as the “bad” cholesterol and is a good substitute for higher-fat animal products.