What are the benefits of eating soy?
- Its ability to absorb cholesterol means less risk for cardiovascular disease.
- It has lecithin and linoleic acids which help to regulate metabolism.
- It has more unsaturated fats than saturated ones.
- It has selenium which fight free radicals – a cancer-causing molecule.
- It’s a better source of calcium than milk especially for the lactose intolerant.
- It can act as facial mask.
- It has isoflavones which reduce menopause symptoms.
- It has a good amount iron which increases the amount of hemoglobin.
Most people wouldn’t even consider tofu to be included in their catering in Manila in the mistaken belief of it being an ingredient only for vegetarians. Actually, tofu is more than that— it’s a superfood you should consider including not only in your catering menu, but in your daily diet. In fact, you might not be aware you are already consuming it regularly via your favorite morning snack, taho, from the taho peddler every day. If you need more convincing, here are several health benefits of tofu.
Lowers Risk for Heart Disease
The leading cause of death in the Philippines is Heart Disease. It also reigns as the number one mortality cause worldwide. If you do not want to be part of this statistic, it’s time to load up on tofu, as studies have proven that this bean curd product can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. It does this by absorbing the cooking oils and other liquids that stack up one’s cholesterol level. Thus, in doing this, the cholesterol level of one’s body will be lowered with the consumption of tofu and, in effect, lowers the risk of CVD as well.
Do note that consuming a couple of tablespoons of tofu won’t be enough to enable this property, as one must consume at least 25g of soy protein per day.
Tofu also has low levels of saturated fatty acids and more unsaturated ones which is the healthiest type of fat. Aside from the type of acid, it also contains lecithin and linoleic acids, which help to regulate metabolism.
Contains an Anti-Cancer Mineral
Cancer—the mere mention of this word sends shivers down one’s spine. Throughout the years, this illness is immediately associated with death, although with today’s medicine, this risk is greatly reduced. Nevertheless, nobody wants to have this illness. In fact, we are betting you wouldn’t wish it onto your worst enemy. If you want to lower your risk of getting cancer, it’s time to head over to the groceries and purchase a nice big batch of tofu. This bean curd product is a great source of selenium, an element which plays a big role in your body’s fight against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can eventually cause cancer. In addition, studies show women who consume tofu regularly are 60% less likely to develop high risk breast cancer tissue. Tofu also contains Isoflavones, which can help prevent breast, prostate, colon and skin cancers.
Most people think calcium can be found only in milk, but did you know that tofu is rich in this nutrient too? Tofu does not coagulate by itself; it needs a coagulating agent and calcium sulfate is usually used. For those who are lactose intolerant, tofu can be a great source of calcium, as proven by it containing 6-15 percent of your daily calcium requirement. In addition, with tofu containing more calcium than a glass of milk, it’s about time to substitute that cow’s milk with soy.
Ageing is inevitable, but we humans are admittedly quite vain; we do all we can to keep it from showing on our faces. It’s why numerous personalities are regulars at the plastic surgeon’s clinic, ready for their monthly dose of skin tightening Botox. You can do away with those needles now as tofu can help retain your skin’s elasticity. In addition, it can also tone your facial muscles, which can slow down ageing. Don’t just eat tofu—use it as a facial mask by making a paste as it can help make your skin look smooth and fresh.
As mentioned before, tofu contains isoflavones. These are compounds produced by the plants that the mimic estrogen in the body when consumed. This can help a woman to stabilize her estrogen levels when she reaches her menopause and decrease the symptoms of it. An example of which is frequent hormonal fluctuations which will lessen with more intake of tofu. In effect, this will save the woman’s body from suffering any side effects from the hormonal fluctuations.
Iron is an essential mineral for the body for supporting energy levels and tofu is full of it. For menopause, this is great to combat the fatigue that comes with it. Without fatigue, menopausal women can exercise regularly, which can also improve their symptoms and overall health. The iron also helps produce hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to all parts of the body to make sure that all the organs work properly.
Other benefits include the decrease of hot flashes and weight gain. Tofu is also a great low-calorie source of protein.
Anemia and Iron
Eating tofu can also lower the risk of anemia, which is a condition that where one has a low amount of red blood cells and or hemoglobin in his body. This study was conducted in China were anemia is prevalent. Scientists studied Chinese adults over the course of 3 days, which tofu intake was varied and hemoglobin was measured. The results of their test showed that, with the increase of tofu intake, hemoglobin levels increased and the risk of anemia was decreased from 23.9% to 10.7% in men, and 38.1% vs. 16.8% in women.
Transparency and Safety
If you are here, then you interested in learning about how to improve your life by eating healthy. That being said, it is important to know even the harmful effects of it as well.
Tofu and all soy-based products contain oxalate which make kidney stones larger. This means that people with kidney stones must absolutely avoid tofu and soy to prevent their condition from worsening.
Also, women that have breast tumors and cancer types that are sensitive to estrogen level must also avoid soy. But if they insist on consuming it, then their intake must be no more than 4 servings per week.
Processed soy has also been linked to tumor growth. For this reason, if one chooses to eat soy, then he must make sure that it has only undergone minimal processing. The more organic versions of soy include edamame, tofu, tempeh, and soymilk.
Tofu is a versatile ingredient not only in taste but in health benefits as well. It can be bland by itself, but once mixed with different flavorings, it can be transformed into an extraordinary dish everyone will love. Just be sure that you aren’t eating the processed versions of it.