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What is tofu?
Tofu, also known as bean curd or soybean curd, is a delicate, soft and cheese-like food that packs a whole lot of nutrients and goodness.

Tofu is believed to originate from ancient China, and was subsequently introduced to Korea, Japan and other parts of East Asia.

It is entirely plant-based, hence a suitable food for vegetarians.

How is tofu made?
Essentially, tofu is made from soy milk, which is derived from soybeans. Usually, tofu manufacturers soak, grind and boil fresh soybeans to obtain the soy milk. Coagulants, which can vary from salts to acids to enzymes, are then added to the soymilk to curd it. The curdling soy milk is then pressed to eliminate excess water.

What are the nutritional values in tofu?
Seemingly simple, tofu is considered by many as one of the most nutritious products in the food universe. Tofu is high in protein, vitamin B and iron. It can also be a very good source of calcium, depending on the coagulant used. Finally, it is easy on the waist as it is usually low in fat and low in sodium.

What are the potential health benefits of eating tofu?
According to the Soya Handbook, studies have found that soya-based diets can prevent osteoporosis, or the loss of bones. It also reduces the risk of several types of cancer like breast, prostate and colon cancer.

The Soya Handbook also said that there is evidence to suggest that having soya protein in diets will lower blood cholesterol. It is also helpful in managing renal disease and diabetes mellitus.

In 1999, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the health claim that 25g of soya protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

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