Gone are the days when the mention of tofu turned stomachs…well, not entirely but the appreciation for tofu has grown immensely in the past few years. From health nuts to those who want to try something different in their diets, tofu is becoming widely recognized for its many health benefits. You don’t have to love tofu but even throwing it into some simple dishes can help you eat better.
Simply put, tofu is a soft, soybean curd. It is a creamy white color and sometimes looks like spongy cheese. While its outside appearance isn’t very appealing, tofu contains some of the healthiest nutrients, including being high in protein, low-calorie and cholesterol-free, to name a few. Tofu is 2,000 years old and originated in
China. It is very common in Asian cuisine. Even though it is very bland taste-wise, when mixed with other ingredients, it can add just the right touch to any dish.
It didn’t take long for people outside of Asia to recognize the tremendous health benefits from “the cheese of
Asia,” as tofu is sometimes referred to. Tofu is very rich in soy protein, which has been medically proven to have the ability to lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30%, LDL levels (bad cholesterol) by 35-40%, reduce the occurrence of blood clots and even raise HDL levels (good cholesterol). People who suffer from diabetic heart disease can greatly benefit from a good dose of tofu in their diets.
Not only can tofu save someone from heart disease but it can also help women going through menopause as well. The high levels of soy contained in tofu help lessen and prevent uncomfortable symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes by balancing estrogen levels. Because tofu is enriched with calcium, tofu can also decrease the chances of bone loss in menopausal women. Tofu’s high levels of calcium have also been shown as effective when consumed by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Finally convinced that tofu is something you want to try? Well, now it’s time to find the right recipes. There are tons of easy to make tofu recipes that can be found online or visit your favorite restaurant and try a dish that contains tofu. Love Japanese food? Miso soup contains cubes of tofu that harmonize well with the other ingredients.
Tofu can be purchased at any grocery store as well as Asian markets and come in a variety of consistencies and sizes. Adding cubes of tofu to a hearty salad is an easy way to start incorporating more tofu in your life. Its bland taste allows it to adapt to any flavor so you’ll never have to worry about taste. To take things up a notch, try a tofu pasta for dinner. While your pasta is cooking, mash and blend tofu with egg whites, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms. Now add garlic powder, dried Italian dressing, paprika, fresh parsley and pepper for seasoning to the blend of tofu and egg whites. After the pasta has been drained, add the mixture. Next, make a sauce of flour and milk, blend well and add to the pasta and seasoning mixture. Take your tofu and pasta creation and place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown. Viola! You have tofu in a fun and tasty meal.
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When we think of soy for most of us we think of tofu, today however soy is much more than tofu. Soy, which originates from the
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Once an important food crop to
China, Soybeans are now popular and cultivated
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