Protein-packed chicken substitute that's affordable.

Mystery surrounds tofu's origin. Legends say Liu An, a Chinese man, developed it in 164 BC. Another version says it was accidently found when soy milk and sea salt were mixed. 

Whatever its origins, tofu is now considered a vital part of a balanced diet for vegetarians and others seeking healthy alternatives.

Tons of nutrients are in tofu. Most notable is its protein content. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, and phytohormones, which may reduce cancer risk, menopausal symptoms, and cholesterol.

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We get zinc, selenium, and B vitamins from tofu. Another distinctive feature is its high isoflavone content, which strengthens the heart and blood vessels.

Protein-wise, tofu has nine important amino acids. Tofu's soy protein provides a good amino acid profile and exogenous amino acids. 

Thus, tofu is a great animal protein substitute (100 grams includes 12 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of carbs).

Tofu is known for its mild taste. This white soybean curd absorbs the flavor of other ingredients it's cooked with. It complements many spicy and sweet foods. It can taste like fish, steak, or game if prepared properly.

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