Tofu Crunch Wrap Supreme + the 10 Health Benefits of Eating More Tofu
7 minute read
Who said healthy food had to be bland? You don’t have to go to a fast food restaurant to get the best flavors—You can eat healthy and treat your taste buds.
Tofu is a nutritious alternative to meat but many think that it won’t have the flavor. With the right recipes, you can enjoy tofu and its many health benefits. Plus, you’ll learn why tofu has whatever amazing taste you’d like it to.
What Tofu Can Do for You
Tofu is made from soy milk and plays a prominent role in vegan and vegetarian diets. Much of the tofu you can buy today is made from GMO soybeans, which causes concern in many people. However, despite this, tofu is a great source for protein as well as other valuable nutrients, and your health can certainly benefit from its consumption.
There is a great deal of nutrition found in this food that can benefit everyone, even those who eat meat. Along with healthy doses of fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and essential vitamins, tofu also helps to benefit your health is a number of areas.
1. Promote Kidney Health
There are misconceptions that a high-protein diet is bad for your kidneys, but this is not the case. Tofu is a great source of soy protein which is better than other types of protein in supporting your liver health and function.
The reduction of blood lipids by soy proteins protects your kidney.
2. Better Heart Health
Soybeans are legumes which have been found to reduce markers known to cause heart disease. Tofu also contains compounds known as isoflavones, which reduce inflammation on blood vessels and allow them to maintain elasticity and regulate blood pressure.
3. Lower Cholesterol
Saponins are powerful compounds in tofu that have the ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These compounds also help to remove bile acids, which involves using more blood lipids.
In doing so, your heart is better protected from blood lipid buildup and heart disease.
4. Reduce Cancer Risk
Tofu shares surprisingly similar attributes to the hormone estrogen, but yet can help reduce your risk for cancer. Studies have found a reduced risk for breast cancer, in particular, among women eating tofu or soy protein regularly.
While excess estrogen can increase your risk for cancer, tofu can help reduce that. It has even been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers in men as well.
5. Promote Brain Health
Studies have found that the lecithin content in tofu can help to retain brain health. This compound helps in the production of important phospholipids that are responsible for maintaining neuron integrity in the brain.
The anti-inflammatory properties of other compounds in tofu also protect your neurons from damage and the buildup of plaques that lead to neurodegeneration.
6. Boost Liver Function
The antioxidant properties of tofu components help to reduce stress placed on your liver and its detoxification processes. Tofu also helps to reduce cholesterol, which is important in the prevention of fatty liver disease.
7. Reduce Risk of Osteoporosis
Rates of osteoporosis are on the rise, especially in post-menopausal women. The isoflavone content of tofu protects your bone tissue from the leaching of minerals which contributes to bone density loss.
8. Blood Sugar Management
Diabetes is an all too common condition as a result of the unhealthy Western diet, but tofu may be able to help manage blood sugar levels. High protein diets have been shown to slow the absorption of glucose, and tofu definitely helps with that.
In addition to this, the isoflavone compounds also improve baseline insulin levels, which reduces insulin resistance. Eating tofu regularly can make it easier to manage your blood glucose levels and live more comfortably with diabetes.
9. Prevent Anemia
Iron deficiency is the number one cause of dietary anemia, and tofu is a rich source of iron. It is important to remember that iron alone does not correct anemia, you need to include tofu with a diet rich in other blood building materials too.
10. Weight Loss
Tofu is a great addition to your diet if you are trying to shed some unwanted weight. The high protein, fiber, and calcium content of tofu helps to regulate your appetite which prevents unnecessary snacking between meals.
Tofu is also a low-calorie food, making it perfect for dieters.
Spicy Sofritas Tofu
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces extra firm tofu (press out some liquid first)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (add about 1 teaspoon salt if it’s unsalted)
2 chipotle peppers, minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup salsa
Directions for Sofritas Tofu: Heat oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add tofu and break apart into crumbles. Add taco seasoning, salt, chipotles, and salsa and cook until hot. Let everything sit without stirring for another 10 minutes or until you get some nice browned, almost-crunchy pieces.
Cashew Queso: Blend the ingredients below until nice and smooth.
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
1 can diced green chiles (or less, to taste)
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
Huge, burrito-size flour tortillas
Something crunchy like tostadas or tortilla chips
Fresh stuff: tomatoes, cabbage slaw, lettuce, cilantro
To make your crunch wraps: Lay a large tortilla on a flat surface. Layer the tofu, queso, crunchy stuff, and any other extras you want on the tortilla. Fold in the edges of the tortilla toward the center. Place in a hot oiled skillet, seam-side down and cook for a few minutes on each side until the exterior is firm, crunchy, and golden brown. Cut and serve!
The Bottom Line
Tofu is mostly consumed by vegetarians and vegans as a way to get the protein they miss from not eating meat. However, because of its diversity and nutritional content, many non-vegetarians are including it on the menu too.
The truth is that tofu is an amazing food that can benefit your health and longevity. With recipes like the one above, your taste buds and your health will be happy you tried tofu.