If you’re adding tofu to your diet, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of its nutritional aspects. Tofu has many health benefits; As part of a nutritional diet it can help with losing weight and can even reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Let’s look at the breakdown of the nutrition of tofu, so you can work out how to add it to your diet!
Tofu is great if you are on a low-carb diet. It’s not carb-free, but it’s very low in carbs. A typical portion of firm tofu, which is around 79 grams or 2.6 ounces, has about 2 grams of carbs. It also has 2 grams of fiber.
Carbs are great to give you energy; they provide you with fuel for your brain, heart muscles, kidneys, and central nervous system. However, too many carbs could cause issues like diabetes and prediabetes and cause weight gain, especially a lot of sugary more simple carbs when looking at them in isolation.
Fiber is great for your digestion, and fiber-rich foods make us feel fuller. It can also protect you against various diseases and health conditions.
Tofu is a decent source of protein. In the 79 grams, which is an average serving, it has 14 grams. Tofu is also a complete protein. This means that it can be used as a meat substitute in any meal. It also contains nine of the essential amino acids required in your diet.
Protein is essential for every diet; it helps to build our muscles and protect our organs. It’s also critical for a lot of general bodily processes. Many people worry that they won’t get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet. However, while meat and fish are undeniably sources of protein, it is incredibly unusual to be protein deficient even if you follow a strict vegan diet.
Other vegan sources of protein are pulses, nuts, legumes and some seeds.
Tofu does contain fat, but it is mainly polyunsaturated fat. This includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are fatty acids necessary for optimum brain function and cell growth. They are, therefore, essential fats.
Monounsaturated fat can also be found in tofu. This is another type of healthy fat and can help you lose weight and fight against heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet suited to your needs. Tofu is low in saturated fat and doesn’t contain any cholesterol, making it an even healthier option!
Tofu has quite a lot of micronutrients, including calcium, iron, and potassium.
- One 79 gram serving of tofu has about 426 mg of calcium or about 33% of your daily intake.
- It also has about 2mg of your 18mg recommendation of iron, or 11% of your daily recommendation.
- And it’s got potassium too – one 79 gram serving has about 4% of your daily recommendation; 190mg.
Here are some health benefits of these micronutrients:
- Calcium is excellent for building strong bones and teeth. It also helps your heart, muscular, and nerve health.
- Iron can help with your energy levels, protect your immune system and help with digestion issues.
- Potassium can help you reduce your blood pressure and protect against the risk of stroke and illnesses such as osteoporosis and kidney stones.
How to eat tofu
Now you’ve learned about all of the health benefits of tofu; we bet you’re wondering how to eat it?
There are many ways to eat tofu. Here are just some ideas.
- Cook tofu in your favorite curry or stir fry. Make sure that you press your tofu first, using a tofu press like this. This ensures that the tofu chunks absorb all the flavors in the dish.
- Cook tofu pieces like you would cook chicken with your favorite marinade or sauce, such as a BBQ dressing. Make sure that you press tofu for this dish as well!
- Scramble your tofu by mashing it up with a fork and frying it. This will make it resemble scrambled eggs!
- If you have silken tofu, you can blend it into desserts and smoothies to give them a creamy texture.
Tofu is packed full of nutrients and micronutrients, making it an awesome replacement for meat, eggs, or dairy in your diet. When you make the switch to tofu, not only will you be able to enjoy a delicious cruelty-free meal, but you’ll also be assured in knowing that you are consuming delicious food that will keep your body healthy and happy!