The other day, someone on my Facebook page posed a question to me about tempeh (pronounced “temp-a”). Honestly I didn’t know much about the product, but always heard the health benefits of tempeh are plentiful. As opposed to many other soy foods tempeh is made from whole soybeans, and possesses all the health benefits of soybeans. Also the tempeh fermentation changes the properties of the soybeans. So lets take a closer look at this nutritional powerhouse!
Tempeh And Protein:
Looking to add protein to your diet, then tempeh could be the perfect choice! Each 1-cup serving of tempeh contains 31 grams of protein, which is 55 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 67 percent for women, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tempeh contains high-quality complete protein and provides all the amino acids you must obtain from your diet. Its protein content helps you maintain muscle tissue, and also make enzymes your cells need to function. Tempeh is also easily absorbed and utilized as protein from animal sources, such as eggs or meat, so it makes a particularly welcome addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.
Tempeh & Blood Sugars:
The protein source is excellent for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, who tend to have problems with animal sources of protein. Like the majority of protein sources, the protein and fiber content in tempeh can also help in regards to ones blood sugar by keeping levels under control by preventing rapid spikes in one’s glucose. Why is this? Simply stated, the 31 whopping grams of protein in just one cup!
Just make sure your looking at the fermented tempeh vs non-fermented as fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates the probiotics, the “good” bacteria the body is absolutely dependent on, such as lactobacilli that increase the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body.
Many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy, which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures-aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease.
I will definitely be checking this out on my next trip to the supermarket!
Tempeh And Probiotics:
Tempeh is full of healthy probiotics or “good bacteria” which you would typically associate with yogurt because it’s fermented. The enzymes produced by tempeh’s fermentation process helps your body fight bad bacteria, better absorb important nutrients like iron, and aid in the digestive process. Not only does tempeh’s fermentation process produce natural antibiotic agents, but it leaves desirable soy isoflavones intact. Soy isoflavones have many health benefits such as strengthening bones, easing menopausal symptoms, and reducing risk of coronary heart disease and some cancers.
Buying and Storage:
We need to remember that eighty-five percent of the United States’ soybean crop is genetically engineered (bad, bad bad!). To avoid genetically engineered ingredients, its imperative to choose tempeh made from certified organic non-GMO soybeans, no exceptions!
As with other aged or fermented products (such as cheese), a little black on the surface of tempeh is normal. Dark spots are just the natural “blooming” of the culture. The more black spots, the stronger and sharper the flavor. Select lighter-colored tempeh for a milder taste and darker varieties for a stronger flavor.
Refrigerated tempeh should be used or frozen by its “best used by” date. Frozen tempeh keeps well for several months and it’s texture is not altered. Plus you can cook it just about any way you choose; baked, broiled, deep-fried, grilled, pan-fried, sauteed or toasted.
Great ideas for cooking:
- Stir fry with vegetables and rice
- Crumble or grate it for fake ground beef
- Baked with barbecue sauce
- Marinated in soy sauce and grilled
Since it lasts so long in the refrigerator, it’s a good idea for anyone on a plant-based diet to keep some of this product on hand at all times. You can freeze it or just keep it cool and pull it out whenever you need to.
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