Tofu: Nutritional Value, Benefits and Side Effects

Tofu: Nutritional Value, Benefits and Side Effects

Bajaj Finserv Health
April 28, 2023 mins read


Tofu can be a prudent addition to your diet with several health benefits as it is loaded with estrogen's and plant-based protein. However, there are certain health risks you need to consider before consuming tofu on a regular basis.

Key Takeaways

  • Tofu is loaded with all essential amino acids
  • Tofu can help prevent coronary heart disease
  • Allergic reaction is a common health risk of eating tofu

What is Tofu?

Tofu is a nutrient-dense food made of condensed soya milk. The food is loaded with protein and all the essential amino acids your body requires. ‘Is tofu healthy?’ This is a question frequently asked regarding tofu. So, it is important to note that there are a number of health benefits tofu offers. 

Read on to learn about the nutritional properties and health benefits of tofu and tofu side effects.

Nutritional Value of Tofu

Tofu is processed from condensed soya milk. It appears as a solid white block, and its preparation is similar to that of processing cheese. A huge proportion of soybean produced worldwide is genetically modified (GMO). The added genes in these GMO crops lead to the following benefits:

  • Boost in growth
  • Assured ease of farming
  • Pest resistance
  • Presence of important nutrients [1] [2]

Nutritional Value of 100 g Slice of Calcium-Set Tofu

  • Protein: 17 g
  • Fibre: 0.8 g
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Fibre: 2 g
  • Calories: 144
  • Manganese: 51% of the daily value (DV)
  • Calcium: 53% of the DV
  • Selenium: 32% of the DV
  • Copper: 42% of the DV
  • Iron: 15% of the DV
  • Phosphorous: 15% of the DV
  • Zinc: 14% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the DV
Additional Read: Tips to Improve mental health

Health benefits of Tofu Infographic

Health Benefits of Tofu

Consuming tofu has multiple health benefits. Here are the key advantages of following a tofu diet:

  • Prevents Coronary Heart Disease

Plant estrogen's in tofu can help reduce your risk of developing or worsening heart conditions. That’s because they boost the function of the endothelium, the tissue that forms the inner cellular lining of the blood vessels

  • Reduces Hot Flashes

Studies have found that estrogen's can help reduce hot flashes among women entering menopause

  • Boosts Skin Health

A tofu diet can help reduce the wrinkles in your skin and make the skin look younger

  • Prevents Osteoporosis

Post menopause, the estrogen's level in women tends to go down, and it can lead to loss of bone mass. You can opt for plant estrogen's sourced from tofu and other soy-based foods to prevent or reverse the process. Apart from this, tofu is also loaded with vitamin D and calcium which can help keep conditions like osteoporosis at bay

  • Aids Weight Loss

A few studies indicate that consuming tofu can play a crucial role in helping you reach your weight loss goals 

  • Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Tofu is loaded with fibre which boosts the function of your colon and helps reduce your cancer risk

  • Prevents the Spread of Prostate Cancer

Consuming tofu can help keep your prostate-specific antigen low if you are diagnosed with this condition. As a result, the growth rate of the cancer may reduce significantly

  • Lowers Cholesterol Levels

According to research, consuming 10 ounces of tofu daily can reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 5%

Risks of Eating Tofu

Besides the multiple health benefits that come with tofu, there are certain health risks you need to keep in mind while adding them to your diet. Here’s a look at what you need to consider:

  • Digestive Disorder

Tofu consumption can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhoea and constipation

  • Allergic Reactions

It is prudent to note that soya is a food allergen for many individuals, especially young children

  • Possible Tofu Side Effects if Consumed Along with MAOIs

If you consume monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for mood disorders or Parkinson’s, it is prudent to ask your doctor whether you should eat tofu or not. It is because tofu’s interaction with MAOIs can lead to high blood pressure

Tips on How to Consume Tofu

When it comes to consuming tofu, there are plenty of options. But, at first, it is wise to know how to make a basic preparation of tofu and how to store it for future consumption. Here’s how you can go ahead:

Preparation of Tofu

As tofu is loaded with water, it is important to reduce the liquid content as much as possible by pressing it hard. The water content in tofu decides the kind of preparation you can make with it, for example:

  • Silken Tofu: It is mostly liquid, so you can use it in soups, sauces, smoothies, dips and puddings
  • Medium/Soft Tofu: This type of tofu is prudent for recipes that involve mixing or crumbling
  • Firm/Extra Firm Tofu: You can use it in sautéing, baking, grilling and pan frying

Storage of Tofu

When storing tofu for future consumption, note that you must first dry it by pressing it. Then, you can slice it up into square blocks and put them into an airtight container. If you are planning to store tofu for a few days or up to a week, you can keep the airtight container in the refrigerator. However, if you are planning to store tofu for an extended period, you must keep the container in the freezer. Thus, you can store it for up to three months with its freshness intact.

Different Preparations You Can Make With Tofu

When it comes to how to consume tofu, note that there are a number of delicious dishes you can make with it. Take a look at the lip-smacking options you can explore:

  • Tofu Scramble

This is an easy-to-make and protein-rich breakfast that you can add to your daily meals. To prepare this, press the tofu to make it firm and then break it into large pieces. Heat some oil in a container and then put the tofu chunks in it. Add salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder and turmeric, and keep cooking and stirring. After 8-10 minutes, break the tofu chunks to a size you prefer and serve hot

  • Baked Tofu

To prepare this, you need to cut the pressed tofu into small cubes and toss it up into a large container. Add salt, pepper, cornstarch, olive oil and spices you prefer. Keep tossing until a coat is formed around the cubes, and then put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Finally, bake them in an oven at 400℃ for half an hour, and your baked tofu is ready to be served

  • Pan-fried Tofu

Heat oil in a large skillet. Cut pressed tofu into triangular pieces and toss them up into the skillet. Pan-fry both sides for 3-4 minutes, and serve pan-fried tofu hot

As you know all these crucial facts about tofu, including its benefits and side effects, adding it to your meals will be an informed decision. However, if you want to get the advice of a medical expert about tofu, you can book a quick online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Consult a registered general physician on the platform and resolve all your doubts in minutes. Then, follow a balanced diet for better health and make nutrient-rich foods like tofu an integral part of it.

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Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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