Is tofu a complete protein? Protein content in tofu
Vegans often wonder – “Is tofu a complete protein?”
Protein is an important nutrient that our body needs to maintain the health of tissues. It also helps build healthy muscles.
This is why the question on whether tofu is a complete protein or not comes up among many plant-based enthusiasts.
If you are wondering about tofu’s protein composition, or if it is indeed a complete protein source, then you should keep reading. We are here to lay the facts out on what really tofu contains and whether it is a great source of complete protein or not.
Is Tofu A Complete Protein?
Tofu is one of those foods that stacks up when it comes to protein content.
But the question is – does it have complete protein?
First of all, complete protein refers to a food that has all the 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce naturally. These are isoleucine, lysine, leucine, histidine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine.
The amount of these amino acids in foods vary. Some foods have all 9 while others are missing. This is why it is important to know which ones are the best to eat for your essential amino acid intake needs.
When it comes to tofu, it is one of the best options for complete protein sources. In fact, soybeans, along with their derivatives all have complete proteins. These include edamame, tempeh, and tofu.
For instance, tofu has 20 grams of protein per one cup of serving, along with all essential amino acids. As for edamame and tempeh, there are 17 grams of protein and 31 grams, respectively. They are also complete proteins.
Increasing Your Complete Protein Intake
So, yes, tofu is definitely a must-have when you want to eat more foods with complete protein.
But you do not have to limit yourself to this food. In fact, there are other plant-based foods that also have complete protein such as hemp seeds, amaranth, spirulina, nutritional yeast, quinoa, Ezekiel bread, buckwheat, and chia seeds.
Additionally, you can plan your meals, so that the food combinations can give you a complete protein meal. Combining beans with rice, or whole grain bread with peanut butter, should provide you with all 9 essential amino acids.
Complete Protein For A Vegan Diet
Overall, you need complete protein to make sure you are getting all the amino acids that help build muscles and promote healthy tissues in your body. It is why vegans should consider planning their meals well to achieve this.
Fortunately, this is something that you don’t need to compromise on a vegan or plant-based diet. Tofu is an excellent source of complete protein, along with other foods. With the right food combination and consuming foods made from soybeans, you can supply your body with complete protein that it needs to thrive.