10 FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT TOFU
It contributes towards a healthier body, a lighter head and a longer life
Much has already been written about tofu. Apart from the quick and easy preparation of this food, there are at least ten good reasons why it should be an important part of a balanced diet. The most important benefits of tofu have been summarized here by famous Slovak doctors and nutritional experts.
1. It’s good to eat it regularly
Tofu can be eaten regularly by men, women, pregnant women, the elderly and children of all ages, including adolescents. “The studies done so far about the effect of soya on our health show that soya and tofu are foods suitable for everyday consumption. From the preventive point of view, it’s advisable for a person with a varied diet to have a few ‘plant-based’ days every week,” says MUDr. Alexandra Frolkovičová, nutritional expert.
2. Nutritious plant-based protein
Apart from other substances which are good for the body, tofu also contains essential amino acids that the body cannot make by itself and that are important for a comprehensive protein profile in a diet. For example, in one normal portion of the most well-known tofu in Slovakia, (a 160-180g pack), you get at least 41% of the daily recommended amount of proteins. Tofu boasts low levels of fat and saturated fatty acids, on the other hand, it is a source of healthy polyunsaturated omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. “Legumes including soya are considered to be more nutritious foods than meat, milk, and the animal-based foods made from them, particularly in terms of their levels of valuable fibre as well as other nutrients which animal-based foods to not contain,” explains the famous gastroenterologist, MUDr. Peter Minárik.
3. Phytoestrogen for a longer and healthier life
Did you know that you can find important phytoestrogens in tofu? They act preventatively against the spread of lifestyle diseases in men and women, they are essential for the correct functioning of the intestinal and circulatory systems. “Phytoestrogens play an important role in plants – they protect them from microbes and fungi. We humans can also take advantage of their protective functions. Populations (such as the Japanese) that consume soya and soya products on a daily basis, not only the fermented ones, enjoy excellent health and don’t die of lifestyle diseases anything like as often as people in countries where soya consumption is low. They also contribute to long life expectancy,” explains MUDr. Alexandra Frolkovičová.
4. An everyday food
Experts agree that the earlier a person begins consuming tofu, the more benefits their body gets. In Japan, for example, soya and miso soup are among the foods served to children from an early age. “Not everyone understands that we build up most of our bone matter in our twenties, and that’s why soya ought to play an essential role, as it’s high content of calcium and proteins ensure the correct growth of muscles and bones for children and adolescents,” argues MUDr. Diana Ganajová.
5. It helps to maintain an ideal weight
Clinical studies have shown the positive influence of soya on cholesterol levels. Quality tofu and other foods made from soya are great for losing weight and maintaining an ideal weight. Tofu has a good glycaemic index, which means that the sugars in it pass into the bloodstream more gradually, extending the feeling of fullness. That’s why tofu is suitable as an excellent preventative against diabetes. “A great benefit of tofu, apart from its balance nutritional values, is the ease with which it is digested. That’s why it is good for an ordinary consumer as well as a person who wants to lose weight,” says Doctor Diana Ganajová.
6. It keeps us calm
Maybe you didn’t know that the route to psychological calm is often through the stomach. Eating correctly can significantly contribute to it. For example, tofu has all the necessary requirements. “The isoflavones contained in tofu contribute to improving concentration and memory, they make a positive contribution to improving the functioning of the brain,” claims MUDr. Ganajová. Scientific studies have confirmed that these substances also help to improve mental calm.
7. A source of fibre
For us to keep ourselves comprehensively healthy, we need to get 25 grams of fibre a day into our bodies. Slovaks often underestimate its importance in our diets – on average we eat just half the recommended amount of fibre. We can change it with a comprehensive change to our eating habits. It’s important to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit, wholemeal bread, pasta and particularly legumes like soya.
8. Tofu for bones and teeth
Traditionally processed tofu from Lunter also naturally contains quite a high amount of calcium and with the traditional production method it is even more enriched with this important mineral. In spite of the presence of anti-nutrients in soya, which reduce the ability of some minerals to be taken into the blood stream after consumption, the take up of calcium is good. “The technological process for making soya that uses calcium salt is especially good for our bones and its not just because of the calcium content, which would be good even for a cheese. In comparison with calcium from milk, the calcium in tofu has a much higher chance of getting into the bones. Why? The reason is vitamin K and phytoestrogens – isoflavonoids, which are found in soya. They make sure that calcium finds its way into the bones and teeth instead of the blood vessels and organs, where we don’t want it and don’t need it,” explains nutritional expert Alexandra Frolkovičová. Tofu is also popular with vegans who don’t consume any food of animal origin and therefore need to find alternative sources of calcium.
9. Japanese know how
The Japanese diet is considered to be the key to long life and good health. Why is that? According to the latest research, the Japanese can particularly thank their food for their health. They believe in using fresh ingredients – they don’t cook them too long so they retain more nutrients. To a great extent, they avoid convenience foods, they don’t consume a lot of dairy products and they replace them with soya. They often prepare food using tofu cheese and they avoid white sugar. As a dessert they prefer gelatine-based treats, sweet soya beans and fresh fruit.
10. LUNTER’s Quality Slovak tofu
Thanks to the most famous Slovak producer of plant-based products, you can enjoy real tofu, produced using a 2000-year-old method that was first recorded in ancient China in around 220 B.C. Because of the traditional production process, it is rich in proteins and calcium. Every year, Lunter makes more than 310 tons of tofu and spreads that use GMO soya without E-numbers, lactose, gluten, preservatives or cholesterol. Did you know that Lunter supplies tofu and plant-based products to 19 European countries?
TOFU: BENEFITS IN BRIEF
What do you get when you eat tofu regularly?
- A quick and simple tasty lunch, dinner or a side dish for any food you like
- Tofu is a nutritious, low-fat food that fills you up. That’s why you don’t have to be afraid to have a plant-based day. It helps you to keep a balanced diet and enables your digestion to take a rest from eating meat every day.
- It contains a lot of the protein and calcium our bodies need – calcium from tofu has a much higher chance of getting into the bones due to soya’s levels of vitamin K and phytoestrogen, which help ensure the direct take up of calcium into bones and teeth.
- Eating it improves your mood and mental calm.
- It is suitable for everyone, including children, the elderly, and pregnant women.
- It acts against lifestyle diseases, it aids in slimming and it is an appropriate part of a diet aimed at supporting your immunity.