Totally Tofu

Tofu

Firm, silken or stinky, tofu has been an important part of the Asian diet since the days of ancient China. Read on to find out what makes it so good for our health.

Tofu originated from the Han dynasty in China around two thousand years ago. It is believed that its spread to other parts of Asia was related to the progression of Buddhism in the region. This is because tofu was an integral source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism. Other than protein, tofu contains other nutrients that benefits us as well.

Protein content of tofu differs depending on its firmness.

  • Firm tofu: 10.7 percent protein; 5 percent fat
  • Soft tofu: 5.3 percent protein; 2 percent fat

– Tofu can be used as a source of low-purine protein for people who suffer from gout. The Harvard School of Public Health advises limiting the intake of tofu and other soy foods to two to four servings per week.

– Soy products, especially tofu, contain phytoestrogen which is plant-derived oestrogen (female hormone). Some studies have found that phytoestrogens may prevent cardiovascular disease, brain function disorders and osteoporosis.

– Tofu skin is made by boiling soy milk and producing a film on the surface. This skin is 50 to 55 percent protein, 24 to 26 percent fat, 12 percent carbohydrate, 3 percent ash and 9 percent moisture. It is folded, shaped and made into imitation meat in vegan cuisine.

– A half cup serving of tofu contains 44 percent of our daily calcium

– 40 percent of our daily requirement of iron can be found in half a cup of tofu.

– Moderate amounts of soy don’t affect tumour growth or a woman’s risk of breast cancer. However it has been found that at least 10mg of soy a day can decrease breast cancer recurrence by 25 percent.

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