Raw Tofu
Both cooked and uncooked tofu is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium among other things.

Yes, you can eat tofu raw tofu. Tofu is made from soybean curds. It is a great source of protein and healthy addition to your diet.

Before eating raw tofu, make sure you:

  • drain off excess liquids,
  • wash it with clean water, and
  • store it properly in the refrigerator to prevent contamination with germs.

What is raw tofu?

Raw tofu is tofu that has not been cooked since it was pressed and packaged.

  • You can eat raw tofu without cooking directly from the pack, but make sure that you drain off the excess water first because it does not add anything to the experience.
  • Tofu is also called bean curd. It is a white, creamy, soft, relatively flavorless food product made from soybeans.
  • Soft and silken tofu are the most common types of tofu, but you can try any type of tofu safely.
  • It is rich in proteins, iron, and calcium and low in calories.
  • Tofu is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
  • It is used in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisines.

How is tofu made?

Tofu is made in the following ways:

  • Tofu is made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled.
  • The mixture is separated into a solid pulp and soy milk.
  • Salt coagulants, such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfates, are added to soy milk to separate the curds from them.
  • In some cases, acid coagulants are used to make tofu.
  • The mixture is poured into the molds to allow carbohydrate-laden liquid to drain off.
  • The resultant soft cakes are cut into squares and stored under water until it is solid.
  • Tofu can be made soft, extra soft, firm, or extra firm.

Difference between raw and cooked tofu

The difference between raw and cooked tofu is when it is cooked, the water content in the tofu gets evaporated, making its texture firm and chewy. Both cooked and uncooked tofu is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium among other things.

The nutrition value of half a cup (approximately 126 grams) of tofu:

Table. The nutritional content of tofu (1/2 cup; 126 grams)
Nutrient Amount
Calories 181
Proteins 21.8 grams
Fat 11 grams
Fiber 0.8 grams
Sugars 0.3 grams
Calcium 861 mg
Manganese 1.5 mg
Selenium 21.9 mg
Iron 3.4 mg

Raw tofu can be used in

  1. Protein-rich smoothies
  2. Light chocolate mousse
  3. Dips, dressings, and sauces
  4. Tofu as toppings

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

6 health benefits of tofu

Like other soy-based foods, tofu contains plant estrogens. For many years, people thought soy added too much estrogen to your body and led to breast cancer in women. Moderate tofu consumption, however, does not increase your risk of breast cancer or any other cancer.

  1. Weight loss: A study reported that a diet high in soy helped women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) lose weight.
  2. Type II diabetes: People with type II diabetes often experience kidney disease, causing the body to excrete an excessive amount of protein through the urine. Evidence from studies suggests that those who consume only soy protein in their diet pass less protein than those who only consume animal protein. Researchers propose that this could benefit patients with type II diabetes.
  3. Osteoporosis: When estrogen levels go down after menopause, women lose bone mass. Plant estrogens in tofu can make up for this since it is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are good for stronger bones.
  4. Coronary heart disease: Plant estrogens may help prevent heart diseases because they improve how well your endothelium works. Endothelium tissue lines your blood vessels and the inside of your heart.
  5. Prostate cancer: Eating tofu may keep your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels low. It may also slow prostate cancer growth. 
  6. Memory and brain health: Some studies suggest that soy foods, such as tofu, might prevent memory and cognitive function loss in old age. However, research on this is mixed.

6 possible side effects of tofu

  1. Some researchers have suggested that a high soy intake could be related to higher rates of breast cancer. Moderate amounts of whole soy foods are currently not thought to affect tumor growth or the risk of developing breast cancer.
  2. It is better to consume tofu and other soy foods that have undergone minimal amounts of processing.
  3. Products made from tofu, such as tofu sausages, may contain additives, such as sodium and flavorings, that make them less healthful. Check the nutrition label when buying processed foods.
  4. Another concern with a high soy intake is that the phytoestrogen in soy products may have a mildly feminizing effect, which leads to complications, such as gynecomastia (breast development in men), or could impact fertility.
  5. Avoid tofu if you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for mood disorders or Parkinson's disease. Tofu contains tyramine (an amino acid) that helps balance blood pressure levels. MAOIs block the enzyme that breaks tyramine down. Combine the two and your blood pressure could get dangerously high.
  6. Many people are allergic to soy. Soy allergy starts in early childhood. If you are allergic to soy, avoid tofu.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Can You Eat Raw Tofu? Here’s What You Should Know. https://utopia.org/guide/can-you-eat-raw-tofu-heres-what-you-should-know/

Tofu, raw, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172475/nutrients

Tofu. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/benefits-tofu