Eating tofu reduces the risk of heart disease

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Eating tofu reduces the risk of heart disease

People who regularly eat tofu or other foods that contain isoflavones are less likely to develop cardiovascular problems.

Eating tofu reduces the risk of heart disease

Soy products and their health effects are often controversial. However, there is now predominant evidence in the scientific literature that soy-derived foods are essentially beneficial to health, especially in their traditional presentations, such as tofu, tempeh or tamari sauce.

The easiest way to consume soy is through tofu or cheese that is made with soy milk. The milk is mixed with a coagulant and thickens. The soybean whey is then removed and the remaining mass is pressed into solid blocks. Tofu has a neutral taste and can therefore be prepared both salty (grilled, fried, etc.) and sweet (dessert creams, cake fillings, etc.).

A SERVING OF TOFU A WEEK TO TAKE CARE OF THE HEART

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have confirmed this in a study published in the journal Circulation, the renowned journal of the American Heart Association. The conclusion of the research was that when tofu is consumed at least once a week, this intake appears to protect the heart.

For their study, the scientists analyzed data from more than 200,000 people who participated in three previous large health and nutrition studies. At the beginning of the studies, all subjects were free of heart disease.

An average of 25 years later, people who liked to eat tofu (more than once a week) were found to have an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared to people who rarely ate tofu ( less than once a month). Soy milk consumption did not have a significant effect on the cardiovascular system in the Boston study.

WOMEN BENEFIT MORE FROM THE PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF TOFU

The protective effect of tofu on the cardiovascular system was particularly evident in women, both in young women before menopause, and in older women. The beneficial effect was greater in women who did not take hormonal medications.

Synthetic hormones may tend to override the heart-healthy properties of some foods. Since soy products also appear to have a positive effect on bone health, consuming soy is a good idea, especially for women, to take care of your heart while preventing osteoporosis.

TOFU IS AN EXCELLENT FOOD IN A HEALTHY DIET

Of course, an 18% lower risk doesn’t make eating tofu or other soy foods a foolproof shield against disease. But it serves to support its inclusion in a varied and balanced diet to which it also contributes its proteins. Substituting proteins of animal origin for proteins of vegetable origin is one of the recommendations made by health authorities to promote health in general.

Tofu is, therefore, a highly recommended food that constitutes an excellent complement to a healthy, varied and healthy diet. Study author Dr. Qi Sun of Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health states that “the people of China and Japan whose traditional diet contains foods rich in isoflavones from tofu generally have a lower risk of heart disease than people who eat a lot of meat and few vegetables. “

ISOFLAVONES ARE NOT ONLY FOUND IN SOY PRODUCTS

Isoflavones are plant compounds with a similar effect to hormones. That’s why they’re called phytoestrogens, and research shows they play a modulatory role in the body.

Isoflavones bind to the cell’s estrogen receptors and improve endothelial function, which is advantageous for the condition of the blood vessels. In addition, isoflavones produce a very positive effect on the intestinal micro biota, which influences metabolic functioning and, this, in turn, on cardiovascular health.

In addition to tofu, other soy products such as edamame (cooked, unripe soybeans) are also considered sources of high-quality isoflavones.

Chickpeas, pistachios, peanuts, and other nuts, seeds, and legumes are often said to contain isoflavones as well. That is true, but the isoflavone content in these foods is minimal and therefore cannot be compared to soy products in this regard. For example:

  • 100 g of tofu contains around 30 mg of isoflavones
  • 100 g of tempeh contains 43 mg of isoflavones
  • 100 g of soy milk about 10 mg
  • The peanuts only 0.26 mg
  • The chickpeas only 0.1 mg

TOFU IS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF PROTEIN AND AN ALTERNATIVE TO MEAT

Dr. Qi Sun recommends that “people with a higher cardiovascular risk review their diet to substitute ingredients such as red meat, sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates with healthier alternatives.”

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