In this brief guide, we will shed a light on, “What are the benefits and disadvantages of Tofu?”. We will also talk about the different types of tofu and their nutritional value.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of tofu?
Tofu is a good source to gain nourishment, as it is low in fats, rich in proteins, natural plant oestrogens, isoflavones and minerals including iron, zinc, selenium and phosphorus.
However, if consumed regularly, it can increase the risk of breast cancer and reduce fertility in males.
Read on to know about these benefits and disadvantages in detail.
What are the health benefits of tofu?
Some health benefits of tofu are as follows:
It is a nutritional powerhouse
Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, particularly for vegetarians and vegans. Our bodies require protein for building, growing and repairing themselves and their connective tissue parts like hairs, skin, nails, bone, and muscles.
It helps to lose weight
Tofu is a good source of energy while having a lower amount of fats. Approximately 100g of regular raw tofu provides 4.8g of fats, whereas 100g of regular raw paneer provides 22g of fats. Hence, tofu is good for people who want to lose weight, control blood lipids or limit fat intake.
It prevents anemia
Tofu is rich in iron; a 100g serving of tofu fulfills over one-third of the recommended daily intake of iron. It can be incorporated into the diet of patients with iron deficiency anemia.
It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol
Tofu is enriched with phytoestrogens that provide a healthy influence on blood cholesterols. Although they do not raise good cholesterol, they are known to reduce bad cholesterol.
It is healthy for the heart
The heart-healthy effects provided by phytoestrogens present in tofu stem from its ability to reduce cholesterol. A minimum of 25g of tofu should be consumed every day to avail of its benefits.
It may prevent cancer
Isoflavones found in tofu play an antioxidant role and help in preventing free radical damage and possible cancer development.
It helps to prevent age-related brain diseases
Tofu also helps in preventing age-related brain disorders and preserving cognitive function when eaten every day.
It helps women in their menopause
Tofu has the natural ability to boost estrogen levels in the body. Thus it helps to relieve uncomfortable symptoms in women during their menopause.
It is good for diabetic patients
Soy protein present in tofu is good for people who suffer from chronic kidney diseases and type-II diabetes as it causes less elimination of proteins in the urine.
It is healthy for people with gluten sensitivity
Tofu naturally does not contain gluten. That’s why it is good for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
It promotes bone health
Tofu also has some calcium content. Incorporating foods with high calcium levels into your diet is essential to promote bone and tooth health. It also helps in preventing osteoporosis.
It helps to nourish hair
Tofu is also enriched with selenium, which helps to nourish the hair.
What are the disadvantages of tofu?
Though tofu is regarded as a superfood for many important factors, extreme and regular consumption of tofu is known to cause several health risks.
Potential disadvantages of consuming too much tofu are as follows:
It may increase the risk of breast cancer
It has been seen that excessive consumption of tofu can raise the chance of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, as it has a high concentration of estrogens. Moderate intake, like 2 servings per day, however, is not considered to cause any harm.
It may cause a drop in male fertility
Tofu is rich in estrogen. High levels of estrogen in males can result in mild feminisation with the growth of male breasts (gynecomastia), hair loss or a drop in male fertility.
What are the different variants of tofu?
Tofu is divided into different variants, based on its firmness. The common variants of tofu include:
Silken or Japanese tofu. It is the softest among all tofu variants having an identical texture to mozzarella which can be added to creamy sauces.
Regular: It is slightly hard. Regular tofu can be scrambled and consumed like scrambled eggs.
Firm: It is the most famous and easy-to-find variant of tofu. Firm tofu comes with a texture similar to feta cheese. It can be used in many ways; it can be deep-fried or stir-fried. Firm tofu is recognised for soaking flavors from marinades and seasonings.
Super-firm: It has a meat-like texture.
Extra-firm: It is also easy to cook, but does not absorb flavors like firm tofu.
In this brief guide, we will shed a light on, “What are the benefits and disadvantages of Tofu?”. We also talked about the different types of tofu and their nutritional value.