TOFU has always been a center of the debate. Some keep praising its benefits while others label it as a genetically modified food that needs to be avoided at all costs.
Following the misconceptions, we are always on the fence whether to include tofu in our diet or not.
In this blog post, we will be taking a 360-degree review on TOFU that will help us to decide if TOFU is a ‘boon or a curse’ for our overall health!
What is TOFU (Soya Paneer) & How is it Made?
Tofu, also called bean curd or soybean curd is a creamy, high-protein, and low-fat soy product.
How is it made?
Tofu is made from soya beans that are soaked in water, crushed, and then boiled. The resulting mixture is separated into pulp and soya milk. The fresh soya milk is curdled using coagulants like citric acid and then poured into molds to drain off excess water. Later it is pressed into a solid block and left for cooling down.
Being naturally gluten-free and low in calories it contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.
Majorly used in Thai & Chinese cooking this food is a great protein source for vegetarians and the vegans. It also delivers a distinct taste to meat-eaters as well.
How does it taste?
Tofu has a very mild beany flavour. Tofu goes well with almost every meal. The best thing about tofu is we can cook it just the way we want to, right from sweet tofu pudding to chilly tofu Manchurian!
How is it cooked?
TOFU can be cooked in different ways from smooth and soft to crisp and crunchy. It can be seared, grilled, fried, steamed, stewed, braised, baked, roasted, deep-fried, and even scrambled! Some people also prefer to serve it with sweet syrups.
Benefits of TOFU
TOFU being an excellent source of essential amino acids, iron, calcium, and other micronutrients, is one of the versatile ingredients that offer many health benefits.
Cardiovascular disease: Soy isoflavones helps to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels (LDL) in our body which is good for our heart’s health
Breast cancer: The predominant isoflavone in soy has antioxidant properties that may control or reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Type 2 diabetes: Tofu is rich in proteins that help regulate blood sugar levels, without raising the blood lipid level.
Osteoporosis: Being rich in calcium, tofu helps those suffering from osteoporosis and also boost bone health.
Anti-inflammatory qualities: Tofu being rich in omega 3s may help lower inflammation in the body.
Good Source of Protein: It has essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
Myths floating around TOFU
Following are some common myths and misconceptions about soya tofu that has been floating around for a while:
Eating tofu causes hormonal imbalance: That’s not true… Hormonal imbalances are often attached to excessive intake of soybean, generally beyond its safe intake of 120-150g / day. We all know anything in excess is bad. Tofu indeed is low in calories, high in amino acid, and calcium without causing hormonal imbalance.
Increases cancer risk: No, in fact, it lowers cancer risk due to the presence of isoflavones.
Cause bloating: No, it doesn’t. Tofu can cause bloating in people who are sensitive or allergic to soybeans. In general, stomach pains after consuming tofu is most likely because of an allergy to soya.
Soya is Feminizing: People claim that soya is estrogenic & feminizing because it contains phytoestrogens known as isoflavones. It’s not at all true. As per research, the phytoestrogens in soy are 1,000 times weaker than human estrogens ruling out any chances of feminism.
Nutrient in TOFU
Generally, tofu is a protein powerhouse. But let’s dig deeper & find out what other nutrients it contains.
Following is a nutrient content table of TOFU (soya paneer).
|Nutrients Content of TOFU|
TOFU vs PANEER
Tofu and paneer have turned into hopscotch especially among weight and diet conscious people. But, there are certain differences between the two.
- The Protein Content
Paneer being high in protein is best for vegetarians and helps to strengthen muscles. Tofu comparatively has relatively low protein content but is healthier.
- The Fat Content
Though paneer is praised as a weight loss product, the fat content in paneer weighs higher than tofu. Hence, tofu is considered the best weight-loss food.
- The Calorie Content
The calorie content in the paneer is high. Here too, tofu excels the list as it does not add a lot of calories.
How to buy the best Tofu?
Shopping for soya tofu at times can be a tedious task especially if you are a new bee in the soya world. Following are the things you need to consider before buying tofu:
Where to Buy Tofu From?
With people getting health conscious and looking for healthier options in their diet, healthy TOFU is one such popular option for protein intake. You can buy tofu from any supermarkets or e-commerce sites.
Remember; tofu should look uniformly white and smell fresh. There should be no sour odour or discolouration.
Which one to buy
Tofu comes in different degrees of firmness: silken, soft, and firm.
Silken is best for blending into smoothies and desserts, and miso soup.
Soft is ideal for heartier soups and stews, and
The firm is used for stir-frying, deep-frying, and baking.
Tofu preferences highly depend upon the dish being prepared. Among silken, soft, or firm one must buy tofu as per the recipe’s demand.
Hence, checking the label of the tofu packet is essential to make sure we are buying the right tofu for the recipe to be prepared.
TOFU is an inexpensive, nourishing, and protein-rich food that offers numerous health advantages. But in this modern era where food adulteration is at its peak, getting 100% pure, natural, and preservative-free food items is a rare view.
Not anymore, Healthy roots is a one-stop-shop that provides fresh, healthy & traditionally processed food without any synthetic additives. Their products like TOFU, Spices, Cold pressed oils, etc. are natural.
Enjoy Healthy roots TOFU in various dishes and experience the perfect balance of taste and health.