Can You Eat Tofu Raw?

Tofu is a popular choice to add proteins to your diet. It offers a healthy yet tasty alternative to most other food ingredients, which are either tasty or healthy but not both. However, have you ever wondered whether you need to eat tofu raw or cooked? If yes, read further to know the facts.

Is it safe to eat raw tofu?

This is a common question about tofu, which is not correct in itself. It would be more appropriate to ask whether tofu is actually raw. You will be surprised to know that tofu is already cooked.

And how does this happen? It is because when tofu is made, the process begins with preparing soy milk. Soy milk is prepared by soaking the soybeans overnight to make them softer. This helps to separate the shell from these beans easily.

Once the shells are removed, the beans are boiled to make soy milk. Later, the soy milk is once again cooked under medium heat before coagulants are added. This means tofu has already been cooked. Now, that the facts are clear, let us have a look at the benefits you can derive by eating tofu.

The benefit of eating tofu

Tofu is specifically revered for its high protein content. It can support healing and repair processes in the body and restore the health and functions of damaged tissues. [1]

Tofu can act as a hepatoprotective agent, which means it can protect your liver against toxins and other by-products released in the body during metabolic processes. It can also neutralize the excess medications that can cause harm to the body tissues and cleanse the body. [2]

Soybeans and the products made from it such as tofu contain several bioactive components like saponins, phytic acid, protease inhibitors, and isoflavones. Isoflavones belong to the class of compounds known as phytoestrogens. These are plant compounds that mimic the structure and functions of a female hormone called estrogen. It can help to reduce the risk of several forms of cancers that are dependent on the estrogen levels in the body. [3]

It is safe to eat tofu directly from the package. You can add it to your dishes once it thaws without the need to cook. However, it is also important to wash the tofu when you remove it from the packaging to make sure the excess sodium is removed. You can use tofu in a variety of dishes to make them yummier and healthier. The addition of tofu would increase the protein content of your dishes and help you enjoy the multiple benefits it offers.

References:

  1. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, Soy Foods and Their Role in Vegetarian Diets. Nutrients. 2018;10(1):43. Published 2018 Jan 5. doi:10.3390/nu10010043
  2. Yakubu N, Oboh G, Olalekan AA. Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Properties of Tofu (Curdle Soymilk) against Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Damage in Rats. Biotechnol Res Int. 2013;2013:230142. doi:10.1155/2013/230142
  3. Barrett JR. The science of soy: what do we really know?. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114(6):A352–A358. doi:10.1289/ehp.114-a352