· Tofu was invented about 2000 years ago by the Chinese, and sometimes called "Asia's cheese", due to its resemblance to Feta cheese. Chinese called it "dofu" while the name "tofu" arrived from Japan. With time tofu become a staple food in most of Asia's kitchens. Tofu is rich in minerals and protein and is produced while curdling soymilk. It's off-white and regularly sold in cubes.
· There was a time when one could only buy tofu in Asian food stores but soon enough, it was adopted everywhere in the world when it's ability to absorb any taste was discovered. In this way tofu become a source for rich, diverse and healty nutrition. Now a days, tofu is being sold in all kinds of supermarkets all over the year.
Tofu made of Non GMO soy
Most of the soy that is being raised in the USA today is of a GMO origin.
In our plant we use only Canadian quality non GMO soybeans.
The cardiovascular benefits of soy protein
· All the good news regarding the tofu being a healthy food are correct. Tofu is a good source to protein.
· Studies from last years show, that regular intake of soy protein can help in reduction of cholesterol by 30%, the LDL levels ("bad" cholesterol) by 35-40%, lower triglycerides, lower the tendency of thrombocytes to accumulate on blood vessels, and probably also to raise HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels.
· High LDL level could cause cardiovascular sedimentation by cholesterol. If the sediments raise too much or come loose from the arteries, they may cause heart attacks or strokes. Triglycerides (TG) are the form that fats are being transferred in the blood, so that too high TG levels, as can be measured in diabetics, could also cause cholesterol sedimentation and heart disease. Soy protein could answer all these problems, by lowering dramatically the chance for development of heart diseases.
Soy as an easy way to get through menopause
· Soy was discovered as useful in relief of menopause symptoms. Foods containing soy, like tofu, contains vegetable hormones (phytoestrogens), in particular the isoflavones genistein and diadzein. In women's bodies, these compounds bind to estrogen receptors and act as weak substitutes. In the first stages, when the woman's estrogen level fluctuate, rises to high levels and than drops below normal, soy phytoestrogens may keep the balance, block excess of estrogen from binding to the receptors and act as estrogen substitute when it's level is low. Isoflavones help in prevention of the heat waves that are typical to menopause, as well as to reconstruction of bone matter and thus delaying menopause osteoporosis.
· Tofu is a rich source for calcium: 100 grams of tofu contains close to third of the suggested daily value, while calcium enriched tofu contains even as much as half. The relatively high calcium levels in tofu help in prevention of bone mass, which is another risk for women in menopause. Calcium also was found helpful in rheumatism, a disease which also causes calcium loss.
Tofu is rich in minerals
· Tofu is a good source for iron and may contribute up to 30% of the daily recommended intake value. It is rich in copper, magnesium and manganese as well. The iron is essential in hemoglobin build up, which is necessary as an oxygen conductor in the blood stream and as a building block for energy production in the body cells. Yet, in order to bind oxygen, hemoglobin needs also copper, which fortunately also exists in the tofu in 10% of the recommended DV. Copper also assists in reduction of rheumatism symptoms.
· Copper with Manganese together (also present in tofu) are essential components in production of an antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase) which neutralizes free radicals in the body. Copper is also needed in keeping the blood vessels flexible and for the bones and joint's cartilage. 100 grams of tofu may supply 30% 0f the recommended DV.
Selenium: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer
In 100 grams of tofu one may find up to 12% of this mineral's recommended DV. Selenium is necessary for the proper operation of the antioxidant system, which decreases free radical damage to the body. Selenium acts i.e, as an anti cancer agent defending the colon by protecting it from cancer inducing toxins, reduces symptoms of asthma and rheumatism, and it is important in prevention of heart diseases. In addition, selenium takes part in DNA damage repair, which is another way of reducing the risk for cancer.
Tofu as a low saturated fat source for protein
Do you think that a meatless meal is a protein free meal? Think again. 100 grams of tofu contains about 15 grams of protein which is about 30% of the recommended DV, and has only 1 gram of saturated fat. All of this for about 140 KCal only.
For comparison, USDA data shows that the lowest fat burger (5% fat) contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams product. Imagine the amount in juicier burgers, and we didn't count the cholesterol yet.
Omega 3: cardiovascular protection
Tofu supplies approximately 12% of the recommended DV of omega-3. Fish aren't the only source for this important fat acid. This acid has an important role in prevention of erratic heart rhythms, lowers the chance for blood cloth in the arteries (a common cause for heart attacks), and improves the ratio between "good" and "bad" cholesterols (HDL vs. LDL). Finally, due to omega-3's ability to act as anti-inflammatory, it aids in prevention of cholesterol accumulation on the arteries.
Special nutrition needs
The body produces all the cholesterol it needs, so if we add more cholesterol to our diet, it will accumulate on the arteries that supply blood to the heart, a symptom that is called arteriosclerosis. Cholesterol is the number one cause for deaths from heart attacks today.
Many are not aware that animals are the source for cholesterol, contrary to vegetarian foods that are cholesterol free. This is why, even though the tofu is rich in protein, same as a steak, chicken or an omelet, it doesn't include this health risking ingredient.
How can tofu reduce cholesterol level in the blood (in addition to not adding any)? It contains lecithin and linoleic acid (which is omega-3) that aids in binding and removing cholesterol from the arteries and blood stream.
Diabetes and weight control
Tofu's glycemic index is very low due to its small carbohydrate content, which keeps balanced sugar levels in the blood, and the slower digestion of proteins permits longer sense of satiation.
The advantage to vegetarians is clear: tofu contains almost all the essential amino acids and together with cereals supplies a full protein to the body, and a decent amount of iron.
There is evidence that consumption of tofu facilitates the lowering of high blood pressure. Soy isoflavones and omega-3 have an important role in lowering hypertension because they improve the functioning of blood vessels.
Lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy
Individuals who can not digest dairy products because of lactose intolerance, or milk protein allergy, will find in tofu a good substitute for cheese because it doesn't contain lactose nor milk protein, but still has an abundant amount of calcium in it.
Those who are looking for a protein rich parve meal, tofu is THE best meat substitute for them, together with all benefits discussed above.
How to choose and store tofu
· Tofu's texture ranges from soft to extra firm. The silken tofu has the smoothest texture, and for this reason it suits best for salad sauces, cooked sauces and desserts, while hard tofu is best for baking, stir frying and grill.
· All our tofu products need refrigeration. Once you open a tofu pack, the remaining has to be placed in a water filled container and refrigerated and consumed up to 1 week. Water has to be replaced daily.
· A frozen tofu will keep up to 5 months. Freezing will make its' texture spongy, more absorbing and yellowish. This change in properties will make the tofu better for certain recipes.
· If you choose tofu by it's fat content, the firmer ones usually contain more fat than the softer, silken tofu, i.e.
· If you are looking for a higher calcium content in tofu, look for tofu the is "calcium enriched" or that there is calcium sulfate (calcium salt) in its' ingredients list. This method of adding calcium also facilitates in the coagulation of tofu.
Quick serving ideas
· Aioli sauce: beat together silken tofu, olive oil, minced garlic and lemon juice.
· Stir fry: add strips of firm tofu to your favorite recipe.
· Smoothie (fruit shake): blend together silken tofu with your favorite fruits and honey or other sweetener, and serve for breakfast or as a dessert.
· Misu soup: add tofu cubes to misu soup.
A world of tofu, soy & health
E.Y.N Food Industries ltd.
Kibbutz Maanit, D.N. Menashe 37855
Tel.: +9724-6378450 ■ Fax:+9724-6375407