Bean curd is a very popular traditional food in China. It is rich in nutrients, reasonably priced and easy to prepare. One of the most famous traditional herbal Chinese books, Ben Cao Gang Mu, highly recommends tofu and records its benefits. Tofu is suitable for vegetarians.
1. Health Benefits of Tofu
i) Strengthen body energy and balance digestive system:
Eating bean curd can increase body energy and organ essence, build up muscle and give energy to internal organs. Tofu is an especially good source of protein and is good to eat when you may have indigestion, lung illness or cannot eat meat.
ii) Bean curd clears heat and toxins from the body:
Bean curd has a cooling character and a mild sweet taste. It acts on the stomach, spleen and the large intestine. It helps to clear the toxins (buildup of undigested food) in the intestine. When people have food stagnation in the intestine area, they may have the following symptoms such as: constipation or sluggish bowel movement, bloating, body feels hot, headache, bad breathe, mouth ulcers, insomnia, lack of energy, heaviness on arms and legs, and gained weight. If you do not take care of these symptoms, the body will buildup more weight and toxins in other systems, possible leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, circulation problems, gained weight or a heart disorder. I suggest eating a regular amount of tofu, can help your body prevent these conditions occurring and to treat the symptoms associated.
iii) Bean curd smoothes the body joints and moisturizes the skin:
Many women suffer from dry skin after the age of 40 years old, they may also have the following menopausal symptoms: Stiffness in the joints, hot flushes, emotional, constipation or thirsty whilst sleeping. Chinese medicine considers this to be a yin and yang disorder, predominately liver and kidney yin deficiency. Tofu has cooling characteristics which can help balance the bodies yin and yang. I suggest that if you have the symptoms mentioned above, eating tofu will help to reduce these symptoms.
iv) Helping to promote breast milk:
Breast feeding is the best choice in feeding their infant as well as being beneficial for the mother. In traditional diet therapy book, it states that eating tofu can help to produce a greater quality and quantity of breast milk. I suggest drinking warm soya bean milk, tofu fish/squid soup or beef/pork red date soup. These soup are very popular in China.
i) Fish, Bean Curd Soup.
1 Small whole fish (Cleaned)
2 Pieces of tofu (4 x 4 cm)
2 Pieces of ginger
2 tbsp spring onion
Boiling all these ingredients with four cups of water. After boiling, simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt or soy sauce to taste. Drink the soup and eat the fish meat. You can also substitute fish for squid, beef or pork (cooking times may differ).
Effects: Balancing the ying and yang after labour, promoting breast milk. This soup can be eaten everyday or every second day whilst breast feeding.
ii) Bean Curd, Spring Onion Salad.
This dish is very popular in Beijing, during summer and is easy to cook.
2 Pieces of tofu (4 x 4 cm)
3 tbsp Spring onion
1 tbsp Coriander
Mix with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of soy sauce.
Effects: Cooling and clearing heat from the body and intestine area. Moisturizing skin.
i) Avoid eating bean curd if you have boils.
ii) Don’t eat too much bean curd at once as it causes stomach bloating. It is better to eat small amounts frequently.
iii) If you are unsure whether your should eat bean curd, please advise your experienced TCM practitioner.