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The Health Benefits of Tofu

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Tofu, also referred to as “bean curd,” is a staple food in Asian countries such as China, Thailand and Japan. It is derived from soya. To make it, soya milk is curdled, shaped into blocks, and then cooled. Next, after the whey has been removed, the curds are shaped once more into a nice solid structure. Tofu production in the US started flourishing in the 1960s, and it has been a regular part of American diets since then.

At the supermarket (or health food store), you can buy tofu with a soft, silken texture, or with a crunchy texture. The soft variety is ideal for grilling, baking, and stir frying, while soft tofu is a good choice for desserts, smoothies, and condiments like salad dressings and sauces.

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Tofu is a good source of protein, tallying in at 9 grams of protein per serving. It contains 8 amino acids; foods containing all of these protein components are considered as being complete protein foods. Because of this, tofu is a good option for vegetarian and vegan diets, as it can easily replace the proteins provided by meat. Moreover, tofu has no cholesterol, and it contains more iron than a lean steak. It's also a great way of adding vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc and copper to your diet, as well as certain minerals: selenium, manganese, and phosphorous.

Because of its low glycemic index, soy foods are good for those who are trying to cut down sugar, or for those who have diabetes. Eating soy is also a good way of protecting your body against Type 2 diabetes. Further, soy has been linked with reducing the risks of breast cancer, lung cancer and heart disease, as well as with limiting the progression of breast cancer.

Tofu is very versatile, as it tends to take on the texture of whatever it's cooked with. Therefore, you can bake it, grill it, marinate it, stir fry it, and do countless other things with it.

Are you interested in adding more tofu to your diet? If so, its versatility means that you can make pretty much anything with tofu and it'll still taste great. For example, you can put it into stir fries try a tofu stir fry with Asian veggies and cashews, or stir frying tofu with sesame noodles. You can also add it to salads (as well as using soft tofu to make dressings): try tossing grilled tofu into a soba noodle and edamame salad. You can get a little more creative, too, and make veggie thai red curry with tofu.