Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. It is an important source of protein especially for vegans, vegetarians and those looking to move toward a more plant-based diet. Recent studies have shown that due to its large quantities of isoflavones, tofu consumption is associated with lower risk of several specific age and lifestyle-related diseases.
Consuming tofu as an alternative to animal protein lowers levels of LDL cholesterol, which in turn decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
Breast and prostate cancer:
Genistein, the predominant isoflavone in soy, contains antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Moderate amounts of soy foods do not affect tumor growth or a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, at least 10mg of soy per day can decrease breast cancer recurrence by 25%.
Type 2 diabetes:
People who suffer from type 2 diabetes often experience kidney disease, causing the body to excrete an excessive amount of protein in the urine. Evidence from a recent study has indicated that those who consumed only soy protein in their diet excreted less protein than those that consumed only animal protein.
Soy isoflavones are known to decrease bone loss and increase bone mineral density during menopause, and have also been reported to reduce other menopausal symptoms.
Studies have shown that tofu of all types that have been curdled with various coagulants can be used to prevent liver damage caused by free radicals.
Age-related brain diseases:
Based on geographic epidemiological findings, it has been observed that populations that consume greater amounts of soy have, in general, less incidence of age-related mental disorders.