Benefits of tofu


Tofu, the eco friendly protein source.



Tofu or bean curd is another source of excellent protein diet. History told that tofu was initially developed more than 2100 years ago in China, and it was predicted that tofu was developed in propose to fulfill the protein diet of vegetarian through Buddhism.  Within centuries, tofu, the most versatile products of soybean, has astoundingly substituted the meat- protein source of vegetarians and it also becomes an important diet in Asian countries.         

Health Benefits of  Tofu:

It was centuries later that the nutritious-rich content of Tofu the bean curd was unfolded.  Further research revealed that tofu does not only  rich in nutrient but it also contains 8 essential amino acids  for human body. Why are those 8 amino acids vital for our bodies ? During digestion, proteins are split into elements of amino acids which are then absorbed to make new proteins in our bodies. Only certain amino acids can be produced by the human body, but not some essentials amino acids. Those that cannot be produced by our bodies should be supplied by our intake. And it is tofu that contains those 8 essential amino acids altogether: leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and lysine. Children will also need another amino acid for such metabolism, histidine,  and  you can also find it on tofu ! A half cup of tofu  can even provides 86% of  your calcium daily need and 40% of protein daily need while it also contains other essential  nutrition, vitamins and minerals like :

Mineral : Calcium, Manganese, Selenium, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc Nutrient : Carbohydrates (low) , Sodium, Protein, Potassium,

Vitamin :  A, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6).

Not just rich with nutrition, tofu also has an additional  health benefit: it is colesterol-free. So unlike most protein food sources, you can consume as much tofu you can without worrying about your cholesterol level. That is why  once discovered to be a plant-base protein-rich food  that is cholesterol-free, tofu was world-widely  accepted  as alternative of  meat-protein source, often known as bean curd.  

Tofu and The Environmental Concern:

 The production of meat protein-diet, especially beef which becomes the main protein diet in many industrial countries, has been proven to be triggering global warming. However, there are some opposing view on the idea of tofu and other soy products replacing the meat-base protein diet due to the land clearing for soybean cultivation. 

Actually, soybean has been farming in huge agriculture land long before human consume the soy products. The soybeans were wholly made to feed cattle (cows) in production of beef.  It takes 7lbs of grain and soy bean protein to produce 1 lb. of meat protein. If the same land were to produce food for human directly, 7 times more people can be fed.  Varying our protein diets with tofu can reduce deforestation. Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch mentioned that livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most problems serious environmental. 

 If America reduced their intake of meat by 10 percent, 60 million people can be adequately fed by grain saved.

 Besides cutting down the deforestation generated by the meat production, here are some other things we can help the environment by taking tofu as our alternative protein diet  : 

  • Avoid the Methane Greenhouse Gas. Tofu does not contribute methane to the atmosphere, like does cattle. A cow does on overage release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). But the negative effect on the climate of Methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. Therefore the release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2′300 kg CO2 per year.  
  • Reduce pollution and contamination. The waste released in the atmosphere by the U.S. Meat and Dairy Industry is 230,000 pounds per second, thus polluting earth, air and water systems. Environmental Protection Agency studies show that runoff from agricultural sources, which includes manure, is the biggest source of pollution to the U.S. lakes and reservoirs. Learn more stunning facts about the cattle’s waste. 
  • Save the Earth’s Water. Production of  tofu requires much less water than meat.  1 pound Tofu requires 244 gallons of water  while 1 pound  beef needs  2500-5000 gallons, Chicken: 815 gallons, Pork : 1630 gallons.  Including tofu in your protein diet will help the water crisis our Earth is facing. Learn more about the huge water used on cattle rearing. 
  • Save fossil fuel. Protein from beef requires 40 times more fossil fuel energy than the same amount of protein derived from soybeans. Eating food crops first hand always produces a tremendous energy savings.  

So, if you love your planet, take tofu and his brother, tempeh, as alternative of your protein sources. Due to its process of production, tempeh even considered healthier than tofu.

You might want to learn detail benefits of  : Soybean and  be interested in other eco friendly protein source : Fish and Hemp Foods.

Related article :  In-depth  Tofu Nutrition and Tofu Burger.

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2 Responses to “Tofu”

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