Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades.
What are the benefits of tofu?
- Tofu is high in protein, calcium and B-vitamins.
- Tofu is low in calories, saturated fat and sodium.
- Tofu is free of cholesterol.
- More tofu in the diet may mean fewer cancers and less heart disease.
- Tofu is rich in isoflavones, which help to reduce risk of osteoporosis and breast cancer, and can reduce menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes.
Soy, which tofu is made from, is considered to be a complete food since it contains all eight essential amino acids. Of course, tofu is packed with protein, which is why vegetarians use it as ameat substitute. In fact, according to World's Healthiest Foods, one 4-ounce block of tofu is filled with 9.16 grams of protein, which is more than 18 percent of the Daily Value. Here are some of tofu's other nutrients:
- Iron, copper and manganese: This nutrient trifecta helps to absorb one another in the body, and tofu is a great source for all three. Four ounces of tofu provides about a third of the Daily Value of iron and manganese, and about 11 percent of the Daily Value of copper.
- Calcium: Calcium sulfate is used as a coagulant in tofu, which is essentially made from soy milk. Four ounces of tofu contains about 10 percent of the Daily Value.
- Omega 3: Fish is the most common source of these fatty acids, but for those who are allergicto fish or just don't prefer it, tofu is a great replacement source for Omega 3.Four ounces of tofu contains more than 14 percent of the Daily Value.
- Selenium: Certain types of fish and nuts are good sources of selenium, but so is tofu; four ounces of it contains more than 14 percent of the Daily Value.
Sources: Web MD World's, Healthiest Foods