Tofu has become a popular vegetarian substitute for meat dishes, but you do not have to be a vegetarian to benefit from this healthy food. Even though Tofu became popular in western countries over the last few decades, its origins go back over a thousand years to China. Curds derived from soybeans is the main ingredient in tofu. The texture of tofu changes during cooking from smooth to crispy. This versatility makes it a cook's favorite. Manufacturers sell tofu product market in fermented and non-fermented forms, but most of the tofu sold in America is not fermented.
Replacing milk and meat products with tofu helps lower cholesterol. In particular, research shows that it contains compounds that help to lower LDL cholesterol. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol measurement that needs to stay below a certain level to reduce health risks. In contrast, the body also contains the “good" cholesterol called HDL. High HDL levels help negate the damage LDL cholesterol causes. Some research indicates that eating soy helps improve HDL cholesterol levels. It might also help reduce the levels of another key cholesterol problem marker, triglycerides. However, its role in lowering LDL cholesterol has the most supporting evidence.
The statistics demonstrate beyond any doubt that type 2 diabetes has become a major American and Western European health issue. Changes in diet and lifestyle are the best preventative measures. Research suggests that tofu is one of the foods that can help to reduce the risks. A number of studies made on animals show that soy improves the way the body absorbs insulin. Research on humans in Asia found that those who consumed 200 grams of soy per day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Additional research should investigate if this also applies to western populations.
Research suggests that tofu might reduce some cancer risks. It contains the Genistein isoflavone that suppresses the development of tumors. Studies indicate this is especially effective in the fight against breast and prostate cancer. However, the extent eating soy helps varies with an individual's metabolism and lifestyle. For example, somebody who includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet benefits more from soy. The maximum gains come to those who eat whole soybeans rather than processed foods. However, a large intake might harm people with certain family cancer histories so they should discuss this diet change with a doctor.
Another area that attracts a great deal of interest is the advantages of low-calorie tofu to those who need to diet. The consumption of junk foods, sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise are some of the main factors behind the rise in obesity in western countries. Soy contains compounds that reduce accumulations of fatty acids. Fermented soy products, in particular, seem to bring the most fat prevention and reduction benefits. The evidence so far encourages researchers to look for further proofs of how iy can help us to resist obesity.
Everyone agrees that tofu contains generous amounts of proteins essential to good health. The impressive list of minerals and vitamins it provides includes iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorous. From the vitamin perspective, tofu is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin B6. You might well ask, why take tasteless supplements when you can get this unique blend of valuable minerals and vitamins in a range of delicious tofu meals? Tofu also enables vegetarians to receive the proteins their bodies miss because of the absence of meat from their diet.
Anemia is the most common of all blood disorders. A lack of iron in the blood is the prime cause of this sickness. Since tofu is such an excellent source of iron, you might expect a clear relationship between tofu consumption and reduced anemia risks. A medical study in China backs up this theory with scientific evidence. If you tend to become anemic, try to include tofu products in your diet plan.
The importance of calcium for a healthy bone structure probably needs little introduction. This substance is a key determinant of bone strength, but it is hard to find in the food supply. The issue becomes more critical as people age and bones tend to weaken. A serving of tofu offers one of the most effective ways to boost calcium levels. Maintaining a healthy bone structure protects the body against osteoporosis and other health problems associated with a lack of calcium.
In addition to reducing the risks of anemia, the rich iron and copper content found in tofu improves blood circulation. Intake of these minerals increases the hemoglobin found in the blood. Hemoglobin transports oxygen around the body so good hemoglobin levels will ensure a healthy blood circulation. The importance for general health soon becomes apparent. Better blood circulation enables the body's organs to function most effectively, and it directly influences energy levels.
Is it possible that eating certain amounts of tofu could help prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases? This category of chronic diseases includes Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Irreversible damage to the nervous system is the common denominator. Some experts suspect that substances found in tofu could lower the risk of developing these devastating diseases. This is only a theory, but scientists think it worth further investigation.
Avoidance of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is another possible benefit from adding tofu to your diet. This common inflammatory lung disease causes patients serious breathing difficulties. Tofu boosts the free radical compounds that the body uses to fight off infections and this could reduce COPD risks. Researchers want to explore this possibility; they have no scientific proofs at present.
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