Are you wondering what are the common myths about tofu? For many people, especially vegans and vegetarians, tofu has been a great source of protein. Tofu is made by thickening soy milk in order to create curds. After, the curds are being pressed and made into white, jelly blocks known and acknowledged as tofu.
Tofu is naturally gluten-free and very low in calories. It is very low in cholesterol and is also a very great source of iron and calcium.
Due to its nutritional value, this staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years has more recently become popular in Western vegetarian countries.
Is Tofu Healthy?
Tofu contains the essential amino acids that our body needs. It provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Its versatility has led it to become one of the staple ingredients in Asian cuisines.
Here is the nutrients indicated per 100-gram serving of tofu according to USDA:
- Protein: 8 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Fat: 4 grams
- Manganese: 31% of the RDI
- Calcium: 20% of the RDI
- Selenium: 14% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI
- Copper: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 9% of the RDI
- Iron: 9% of the RDI
- Zinc: 6% of the RDI
Tofu only comes with about 70 calories in total, which makes it a nutrient-dense food.
Did you know there are several myths about Tofu?
1.) Eating tofu might cause hormonal imbalance
Soy is rich in isoflavones which act like the hormone estrogen for women. So, others say when you consume too much soy, the thyroid interprets these as estrogen and the body’s hormones will lose their balance. So it will lead to breast cancer, fertility issues, and impact puberty and menopause.
Fact: Isoflavones may have both estrogen-agonist and estrogen-antagonist properties and this helps protect against cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. All soy-based products contain isoflavones which are known to have various health benefits.
2.) Tofu is bad for the environment
Any large-scale farming has an impact on the environment, so not only does it convert rainforests into farmlands, but it also uses fertilizers and other pesticides that can affect the environment.
Fact: Always buy from locally produced sellers. The fresher the product, the less it required transportation, so it means a low carbon footprint and an environmentally friendlier product.
3.) Tofu is genetically modified
Genetically modified soy can be found not only in vegan or vegetarian foods because it is most commonly used in livestock feed.
Fact: It is important to check labels! Soy products that are organically cultivated should not contain any genetically-modified organisms.
4.) Tofu can cause cancer
Some people think too much consumption of tofu may increase the risk of certain cancers because of its content. But, studies show that a lifelong diet that involves soy-based food may actually avoid breast cancer.
Few more studies also say that products from soy may decrease the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers.
5.) Tofu can cause bloating
Bloating can only happen to people who are allergic to soybeans. In general, stomach pains that are caused by tofu and soy products are most likely related to an allergy.
Research shows that tofu is naturally low in FODMAPs, which can be useful in easing bloating or those on restricted diets for IBS.
It is best to consume tofu and other soy foods that have undergone little processing amounts. Other products made from tofu may contain sodium and additives that make it a little less healthful. Always check the nutrition label when buying processed foods.
Tofu is rich in many healthy nutrients and can protect you against many health conditions!
If you want to know where vegans get calcium, click here.