An underrated food item, in terms of taste is tofu or bean curd. You probably smirk looking at a block of tofu in the supermarket. But tofu is more versatile in terms of cooking, contrary to popular belief. Research also shows that tofu is in fact one of the healthiest foods in the world.

13 Interesting Facts About Tofu You May Not Know

It is rich in calcium, amino acids, irons and even micro nutrients. Like yogurt, tofu too is taken from curdled milk but instead of cows or buffaloes soya milk is used here. The above are some known facts about tofu. Here are some amazing and yet least known facts about tofu that you should surely read about.

  • Tofu is one of the most nutritious foods in the world: Tofu contains all 8 essential amino acids. It is rich in magnesium, phosphorus and selenium too (which helps to trigger happy hormones). Tofu also contains copper, vitamin B1, calcium and iron. It is low in fat but high on nutrition. Research shows that regular tofu eaters get enhanced protection against different kinds of cancer and heart diseases too.
  • Tofu is one of the oldest foods in the world: It is said that almost 2000 years ago, tofu was discovered accidentally by a Chinese cook, who curdled soy milk using nigari seaweed. It was then introduced to Japan and called okabe.
  • Tofu reduces risk of cancer: Amongst other Asian countries, tofu is consumed in Japan on regular basis, where the risk of breast cancer is the lowest, as compared to other western countries. The reason being all kinds of soy products along with tofu are a part of everyday meals here. Tofu contains isoflavones, which reduces cancer risk.
  • Tofu helps you shed off weight: Half cup of tofu contains only 94 calories, as compared to the whopping 300 calories in the same amount of beef. Being low in saturated fat makes tofu perfect to fill the stomach, without useless calories! It also helps you shed off excessive water, thus prevents water bloating and weight gain. Tofu also improves digestion and helps flush out toxins and lose weight.
  • Tofu is vegan: Some individuals believe that soy milk is an animal form. Soy milk is not an animal product. It is completely vegan and so the tofu, made from coagulated soy milk is vegan too. For all the new vegans out there, eat all the tofu that you want!
  • Tofu is bland… till flavors are added: Some people think that tofu is restricted to certain kinds of food and is not high on test. Of course, naturally tofu is kind of bland, but so is milk. But when you churn it into ice cream or cheese sauce, you cannot keep your hands off it! In the same way, tofu is something that you should get experimental with. There is so many flavors in tofu that you will be amazed. Be it spicy Asian sauces, grilled barbecue or even in a burger, you can add tofu to any cuisine of the world and it will seem that tofu originated from that part of the country!
  • Tofu is perfect for that sweet tooth: Tofu is bland in its natural form, which makes it just perfect for desserts. Due to different forms of tofu, you can use it so many kinds of dessert. For instance, the silken one is excellent for custards and pie. The firm ones are apt for frying (think fritters) and having with some sweet sauces.
  • There is more than one type of tofu available: You must be assuming that there is just one kind of tofu available in the market. But like cheese, there is more than one variation available. And the most popular is silken tofu, which is basically Japanese style. It isn’t pressed or drained and is rather custard like in texture and very soft. Apart from this, regular tofu too comes in different textures like extra soft, firm, medium and extra firm too. There is also a super firm variety available that has very little water content.
  • If you are allergic to soy, you will be allergic to tofu: There is no direct correlation between the processing of tofu and allergies. You can get an adverse reaction even if tofu is being eaten in its own form. For instance, you may get allergy from tofu custard or even a soy milk based dessert.
  • Don’t have tofu if you have kidney and gallbladder stones: It is true that the tofu doesn’t cause stones in the kidney or gallbladder. But if you do have stones, tofu should be avoided. Tofu has oxalates that are found in other soya products too. Basically oxalates have a tendency to get concentrated in the fluids of the body. As a result, they form crystals, which cause further problems for existing stones.
  • Men hormones don’t get affected by eating tofu: It is a myth that eating tofu results in men getting female like hormones. But that is technically not possible. No matter how much tofu a man eats, he will not become a she.
  • Meat eaters DO need tofu: A lot of meat eaters, especially red meat lovers believe that tofu is only for vegetarians. Since they are getting their share of proteins and nutrients from meats, they can avoid tofu. But what they don’t know is that red meat can lead to multiple kinds of cancer along with cholesterol issues. Tofu works here because it has a texture that goes well with meat based dishes. Hence you can gradually reduce your meats and opt for tofu.
  • Japanese love tofu but not every Americans: Japanese love consuming sushi and tofu because of its health benefits. However, many Americans actually hate tofu after liver and eggplant! Why? Because of its bald taste (they expect it to taste like meat!), because of its peculiar name, because of its texture looks.