Tofu: Top 5 Health Benefits

Tofu is a soy-based food product and a staple for those following a vegan diet. In a similar way to cheese, it is made through the curdling, pressing and cooling of soya milk. Originating from China, legend says it was created by accident over 2,000 years ago. Never tried it before but interested to discover what it boasts? Then read on for Tofu: Top 5 Health Benefits!

1. Source of Protein

Soy is classed as a high-quality protein and an important substitute to meat in a vegan diet. It’s one of the few vegetable foods that contains all the nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. A 100g serving contains 8g of protein, making it ideal to consume as part of your post-workout to refuel.

2. Source of Key Nutrients

Tofu provides fats, carbohydrates and a variety of vitamins and minerals. 100g of tofu supplies you with 22% of your daily requirement of calcium and 24% of your daily requirement of selenium, as well as being a good plant source of iron, magnesium and zinc.

3. Low Calorie

If you follow a vegan diet for dietary health reasons, here’s where tofu can help you out. A 100g serving of tofu provides only 73 calories. To put that into perspective, an equivalent serving of beef contains 291 calories. Even a chicken breast, at 165 calories per 100g, cannot compete!

4. Reduced ‘Bad Cholesterol’

High levels of bad cholesterol, otherwise known as low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), in our blood are a risk factor for high-blood pressure and heart disease. But here’s the good news, tofu does not contain any cholesterol, and only very low levels of saturated fat. This makes it a perfect,.guilt-free addition to meals.

5. Low GI

Your glycaemic index (GI) is the measure of how quickly the sugar levels in your blood spike following consumption of food. The higher the GI, the more your blood sugar rises. This can be seen in processed starchy foods such as white bread. As tofu has a low GI, it will not send your blood sugar skyrocketing, which is important in weight control and preventing those unwanted sugar crashes.

If you’re looking for a lean, nutrient-rich protein source in your vegan diet, why not try adding tofu. Its versatility means it can be added at breakfast as tofu scramble, lunch time in a stir fry, or include it in your evening meal in a sweet and sour. Already a tofu-lover? What health benefits have you noticed? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & InstagramIf you want more vegan insights, see these articles and recipes and check out more Top 5 features to help you KEEP YOUR Fit ON!

Charlotte Ripley

Charlotte is a nutrition student at Newcastle University, aiming to pursue a career as a Nutritionist or Dietitian. She's been sporty from a young age and loves to run and go to the gym. A passion for healthy eating has organically followed this and now she's on her own vegan journey. Her other interests include reading and learning languages!

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