The Benefits Of Tofu

Tofu is a high protein, low fat energy source. Find out all about the cheese of Asia and its health benefits.

Tofu - also known as Soya Bean Curd - has been called the perfect food. It is high in protein, low in saturated fats and a good source of calcium as well as vitamin E. It is also cholesterol free. Let's find out more about "˜the cheese of Asia.'

Tofu is made by grinding cooked soya beans until a milk is produced. The milk is then solidified with a mineral coagulant calcium sulphate. The resulting tofu is naturally bland. It is, therefore an ideal additive to both sweet and savoury dishes. There are two basic types of tofu. Silken tofu is soft and can be utilised as an ideal additive for dressings, sauces and in dairy free versions of ice cream or cheese cake. Firm tofu, on the other hand, comes in a more solid form. It can be stir-fried, grilled, scrambled, pickled, smoked, baked or barbecued.

Steamed tofu is particularly good for vegetarians. It will give the non-meat eater a plentiful supply of calcium ( which is derived from the calcium sulphate), as well as phosphorous and iron. Tofu is, therefore, an excellent substitute for meat in many vegetarian recipes.

Recent studies have also shown that Soya beans and products derived from them may play a role in preventing various types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. It has also been seen to have preventative capacity with regard to osteoporosis and symptoms related to menopause. An additional benefit of tofu is that it is extremely easy to digest. This is because the soya bean's fiber is removed during the manufacturing process.

One drawback associated with tofu is that it absorbs cooking fat easily. It will, in fact, take in about 15 % of the fat used in the frying process. Soya is also known to be a common cause of food allergy.

When shopping for tofu, check that it is not sour. Do this by smelling for freshness. You should be able to find a freshness date stamped on the wrapping. When you have your tofu at home, rinse it and then keep it stored in the refrigerator in fresh cold water. Make sure you use the tofu within three or four days.

Tofu deserves to be a valuable addition to your diet. Ease into it slowly, however, monitoring if you are affected by any allergic reactions. Try to cook your tofu in non-fat products and you will enjoy all of the benefits of this high protein, low food Asian wonder food.

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