Tofu is one of those foods that are getting quite popular among people these days. Even though there are many people who consider tofu as genetically modified poison, most people realize that it can offer a lot of health benefits.
Tofu is a popular vegan meat substitute that is made from condensed soy milk. According to historians, this popular food first originated in China around 2000 years ago. Since it is made from soy milk, tofu is rich in several healthy nutrients.
Just a 100-gram serving of tofu can provide around 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fat. The same quantity of tofu can also provide around 20 % of your daily calcium requirement and 31 % of your daily magnesium requirement.
Helps In Reducing The Risk Of Heart Disease
Some studies conducted on tofu have shown that it can help in reducing the risk of heart disease. Many studies have linked a higher intake of legumes to a lower risk of heart disease. The isoflavones present in soy products like tofu can reduce the inflammation in blood vessels and improve their elasticity. According to a recent study, taking 80 mg of soy isoflavones daily for around 12 weeks can help in improving blood flow by 68% in people with a higher risk of stroke.
It was also found that consuming 50 grams of soy protein daily could help in lowering the risk f heart disease by 10 % because it will help in lowering the levels of blood fats. Taking a high amount of soy isoflavones daily can help in improving body mass index, HDL cholesterol levels, and waist circumference in postmenopausal women. Tofu also contains a compound called saponin, which can help in improving your heart health.
Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
According to some of the recent test-tube studies, the isoflavones present in tofu and other soy products can help in regulating blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. One recent study looked at the effects of isoflavones in healthy postmenopausal women. They were given 100 mg of soy isoflavones daily and found that there was a 15 % decrease in the blood sugar levels and a 23 % decrease in the insulin levels at the end of the study period.
The study also looked at the effects of soy protein in postmenopausal women with diabetes. it was found that taking 30 grams of soy protein daily could help in lowering the levels of insulin by 8.1 % and LDL cholesterol levels by 7.1%. Some other studies have shown that daily intake of soy isoflavones could improve insulin sensitivity.
Reduces Cancer Risk
Some recent studies have shown that the risk of breast cancer is 48-56 % lower in women who eat soy products at least once a week. Some researchers believe that this is because of the presence of isoflavones in soy products, including tofu. Isoflavones have also been found to be very beneficial in regulating blood estrogen levels.
It was also found that eating high amounts of soy can help in lowering the risk of prostate cancer by 32-51 %. Some other studies are showing that there is a 61 % reduction in the risk of stomach cancer in men if high amounts of tofu are consumed regularly. A follow-up study has also found that a higher intake of tofu can lower the risk of stomach cancer by 59 % in women.
Improves Kidney Function
Adding tofu to your daily vegan diet will be a good option since it contains soy protein that can help in improving your kidney function. Studies have found that soy protein is capable of enhancing renal function and it will be beneficial for people who are undergoing kidney transplantation or dialysis. One study has found that soy products have a positive effect on some of the biomarkers associated with chronic kidney disease.
Reduces Osteoporosis Risk
The risk of osteoporosis is high in older adults. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone mass and bone mineral density start to deteriorate. Some recent studies have shown that the isoflavones present in soy can help in reducing bone loss and increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Some studies have also shown that they can alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause also.
Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, nausea, etc. can be easily alleviated if you increase your intake of soy products. This is because soy contains phytoestrogens that can alleviate menopause symptoms. Some studies have found that the menopause symptoms are less common in women living in Asian countries because they consume more soy.
It was found that soy isoflavones could improve your brain function and also alleviate age-related brain diseases. According to some recent studies taking 40 mg of soy isoflavones daily could reduce wrinkles and improve the elasticity of your skin.