Tofu is a derivative of soy: it is cholesterol-free, and it is also rich in vitamins and nutritional properties. It is considered by many a long life elixir. Let's discover all the properties of this vegetable cheese.
Tofu is also known as soy cheese, it derives from fermented soy and it is the product of soy milk curd. In practice, yellow soybeans are soaked in water and after a few hours they produce a whitish liquid, a kind of whey that is then combined with nigari, a salt residue that is derived from sea water. The final shape of the tofu is that of a loaf similar to that of fresh cheeses. Tofu, however, is a completely vegetable food: it does not contain lactose, it is cholesterol-free, it is rich in vegetable proteins and it contains little salt.
Tofu is suitable for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, for those who want to eliminate for a while animal proteins, for those who want to lose weight, for those who suffer from celiac disease (it does not contain gluten) and also for those suffering from high cholesterol. It is very consumed in oriental cuisine, it has a Japanese name but it was born in China, and for years it is also appreciated in Western countries. For its nutritional, beneficial and curative properties, tofu is considered by many to be an elixir of youth.
Food and nutritive properties of tofu
1. Tofu contains vegetable and mineral proteins including potassium, iron and phosphorus, and important amino acids such as lysine, cystine, methionine and tryptophan.
2. Tofu contains few calories, about 76 per 100 grams of product, but it is rich in vitamin A and among the B vitamins it has B1, B2, B3 and B9 while it lacks of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
3. Tofu is useful for those suffering from high cholesterol: tofu is a useful food to prevent hypercholesterolemia: it is cholesterol-free and it is rich in "good" Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, as well as important amino acids such as lysine and lecithin, which help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) up to 40% and to raise the good one (HDL), and it also helps to reduce triglycerides.
4. Tofu is a valid aid in menopause: tofu is suitable for menopausal women because it contains estrogens useful to eliminate the disorders associated with this period of life of every woman, such as hot flashes. It also contains calcium and isoflavones which help to remineralize the bones preventing osteoporosis.
5. Tofu is suitable for those suffering from diabetes: tofu has a low glycemic index and it is therefore suitable for those suffering from glycemic peaks or diabetes.
6. Tofu is antioxidant: the flavonoids contained in tofu also provide an antioxidant action: they help to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals responsible for aging, also protecting against the risk of cardiovascular disease and from arteriosclerosis, and preventing hormone-like cancers, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.