The ability to harness the benefits of nature for the benefit of humans and their health in a variety of fields, especially in the field of nutrition, has made many of our kitchens much richer. Each year new products are discovered that contribute much to the body.
The fact that more and more people are taking responsibility for their health makes these products a desirable commodity that does good for our bodies and benefits our overall health. One of these special foods is tempeh - a fermented soy product sold in health stores and used by many as a substitute for meat, and as an excellent base for surprising dishes with high nutritional values. After reading about 9 of its great health benefits, you’ll also be running to find some to add it to your dishes.
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product from Indonesia and is prepared through a number of different processes. After fermentation, the beans are lumped together into a cube of sorts, reminiscent of a cube of cheese, which is used to prepare a variety of dishes and foods that can also be vegetarian versions of favorite meat dishes.
Tempeh has a dry and firm texture, and thanks to its ability to absorb liquids and the flavor of spices, it can be used in cooking, baking, frying and more. The unique taste, texture, and benefits of Tempeh have made it a favorite meat substitute, and even people who are not vegetarian or vegan use it to make a variety of tasty and healthy foods.
9 Health Benefits of Tempeh:
1. Balances the microbes in the gut
The fermentation process that soybeans undergo to prepare tempeh naturally dissolves bacteria and yeast found in beans. In addition, the phytic acid found in soybeans also breaks down and becomes more effective during digestion and absorption of food in the stomach and intestines.
In addition to relieving the digestion system and making it more efficient, the fermentation also leads to the creation of probiotics - bacteria colonies that benefit the body and fight infection. Maintaining the balance of bacteria in the stomach and digestive system is extremely important, and therefore it is recommended to consume tempeh and enjoy the array of probiotics it contains.
2. Eases the digestion process
Fiber is an essential component of all of our diet and it helps the digestion of food and also regulates bowel movements, but many of us don’t consume enough of it. Insufficient fiber intake causes gas, stomach pain, and physical discomfort caused by improper digestion of food. In addition, irregular bowel movements can cause an increase of bacteria in the intestines, leading to various infections in the digestive system, which are unpleasant, to say the least. Luckily, tempeh can help with this problem because of its high fiber content, which helps our bodies effectively break down food, digest it and ultimately remove waste so that it doesn’t cause the unpleasant effects described above.
3. Provides essential proteins to the body
The most important building blocks of the body are the proteins, which are responsible for a variety of essential functions, such as maintaining normal brain and heart function, producing antibodies, building muscles and many others. Many people's diets don’t provide them with the amount of protein their bodies need, but these deficiencies can be supplemented by consumption of tempeh.
Only 100 grams of the product, which is about half a cup, contains 18.5 grams of protein - 37 percent of the recommended daily amount. In addition to the importance of proteins regarding vital processes in the body, a study published in 2015 found that consumption of soy-based snacks and foods causes a feeling of satiety over time. This means that the proteins in tempeh not only benefit the body but can also help curb increased appetite and help you lose weight.
4. Reduces cholesterol levels
Many of us deal with the wrath of our doctors after getting our blood test results back because of high levels of cholesterol that many people suffer from today. Unfortunately, many of us also dismiss the high numbers in our test results as temporary or "because we ate pizza" two days before the test, but as time passes, cholesterol sinks into the walls of our blood vessels and its high levels become chronic.
The damage of high cholesterol levels starts with an abnormal passage of the blood in the veins and arteries and can end in stroke and death, so it isn’t recommended to take this issue lightly. In order to lower your cholesterol levels before they get too high and you need to take medications to treat the condition, it is recommended to incorporate tempeh in your diet, and both you and your doctor will see the difference over time. Tempeh contains ingredients called isoflavones that lower total cholesterol levels in the blood, especially levels of LDL - the bad cholesterol that causes quite a bit of trouble in the body.
5. Strengthens bones
A healthy diet contributes to strengthening the bones, but there is one vital ingredient that we all need to keep healthy bones - calcium. This essential mineral strengthens the bones, and we should consume it daily by eating foods rich in it, in order to prevent bone loss that can lead to fractures in the body.
Calcium is found in abundance in milk and dairy products, but many people can’t incorporate these products into their diet because of lactose intolerance or because of dietary habits. For those who avoid dairy products for any reason, 125 grams of tempeh will give the body close to 20 percent of the recommended daily intake, so you should give this wonderful food an opportunity to be part of your diet.
6. Reduces the risk of cancer
In our bodies, amazing processes take place at every moment, including, among others, the production of new blood vessels - angiogenesis. When this process goes out of control and blood vessels develop in unnecessary areas, tumors can form, and even be regularly supplied with blood because of these blood vessels. In a study published in 2005, researchers found that tempeh intake directly contributes to a reduction in abnormal blood vessel production, which can prevent the development of dangerous tumors in the body fed directly by uncontrolled blood vessels.
7. Reduces symptoms of menopause
Menopausal women undergo a variety of physical changes that cause unpleasant symptoms, such as increased skin temperature, hormonal changes, and uncontrollable mood swings. For those suffering from these symptoms and many others, it is recommended to try tempeh that can relieve these symptoms. The isoflavones found in soy, and therefore, in tempeh as well, also help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes by balancing blood cholesterol levels and also regulating hormonal regulation that affects the overall mood of menopausal women.
8. Helps fight diabetes and prevent it
The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing over the years, and this is becoming a real epidemic in some areas. In a world flooded with industrial products and other high-sugar foods, it is important to do everything in our power to reduce the amount of sugar we consume and also to balance insulin levels in the body.
One way to do this is by increasing magnesium intake, which can be easily done with tempeh. In a study conducted in 2013, researchers found that giving magnesium to mice caused an increased secretion of insulin in the body that lowers sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes. 100 grams of tempeh contains 25% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, so it is strongly recommended to incorporate it in the menu to reduce the chances of getting this disease, which affects so many people today.
9. Reduces oxidative damage in the body
In the past, our environment was relatively free of pollution, but when smoke-generating factories entered our living spaces, the proliferation of foods containing harmful ingredients, and the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles by many, we became surrounded by harmful particles called free radicals.
These particles cause cellular destruction, which weakens our body, especially its immune system, and therefore we recommend neutralizing them. The healthy and natural way to do this is by consuming foods rich in antioxidants, with tempeh being one of the best. Tempeh is rich in isoflavones, making it a particularly effective food in fighting free radicals that harm our bodies, and researchers at the Institute for Physiological Nutrition in Germany have found that these plant particles do so very effectively.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it is recommended to eat up to 25 grams of soy products a day, which is exactly 125 grams of raw tempeh.
image source: FotoosVanRobin