Tempeh is a plant based source of protein, made from whole, fermented soy beans and comes packed with multiple health benefits. It serves as a superior source of nutrition, offering fiber, protein, plenty of vitamins and minerals and a decent dose of healthy fatty acids.
Studies have shown that tempeh helps to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol, strengthen bones and improve brain function. It also boosts immunity, reduces the symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), fights inflammation and lowers blood pressure.
You can find tempeh in multiple supermarkets today, usually tucked away in the freezer section. Two types are common: “pre-cooked”, which is ready to eat, and “raw”, which needs to be cooked first. Cooking is as simple as steaming, simmering, frying or adding it to your favorite sauces and dishes. It offers has a firm texture and offers a rich, meaty flavor.
Here are 12 health benefits of tempeh:
1..It Restores Balance in Your Digestive Tract
Because tempeh is a fermented plant-based food source, it contains a decent dose of probiotics, which helps to restore the balance of intestinal flora in your digestive tract. This helps to prevent candida overgrowth, bloating and diarrhea, as well as eliminating any harmful bacteria in the gut.
2. It Helps to Lower Cholesterol
Tempeh is high in fiber, as well as containing powerful isoflavones and Vitamin B3, which work together to lower cholesterol. Studies have proven that tempeh, eaten a few times a week, can significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, restoring balance and reducing the risk of heart disease.
One cup of tempeh meets 16% of your daily recommended amount of calcium, as well as offering a good dose of Vitamin K. This combination helps to repair brittle bones as well as keeping bones strong and hard.
4. It Reduces Muscle Spasms
Potassium and magnesium are found in tempeh, which helps to reduce muscle cramps, tension, and fatigue. They also improve circulation, which helps muscles to recover quicker, especially after a workout.
5. It Boosts Red Blood Cell Count
Tempeh is a rich source of iron, which helps to boost red blood cell count and leads to increased oxygen levels in your body. One cup meets 25% of the daily requirement of iron, which makes tempeh one of the highest plant-based sources of this blood-healthy mineral.
6. It Promotes Weight Loss
The high fiber and protein content of tempeh makes it an excellent food source to support weight loss. It promotes regularity of bowel movements, releasing excess waste and toxins, as well as containing natural diuretics such as potassium and magnesium to eliminate excess fluid.
7. It Manages Hypertension
Low sodium intake is important for managing high blood pressure, which makes tempeh an excellent choice for reducing the symptoms of hypertension. It offers a low dose of sodium and contains potassium, iron, and magnesium, which have been proven to reduce blood pressure.
8. It Reduces the Symptoms of PMS
Tempeh contains powerful isoflavones, which have been proven to reduce the hot flashes, cramping and bloating associated with pre-menstrual syndrome. The high dose of magnesium further helps muscles to relax and improves blood flow, helping to prevent cramping and pain associated with menstruation.
One cup of tempeh provides 31 grams of pure, plant-based protein, which makes it an excellent supplement in repairing and building muscle tissue. It also contains zero cholesterol, which makes it a better choice than meat for creating lean, mean muscles.
10. It Prevents Diabetes
Manganese is an essential mineral in reducing the risk of developing diabetes, as well as managing it if you are already its victim. It helps to increase the amount of digestive enzymes produced during the digestive process, which improves nutrient absorption, but also limits the rate at which carbohydrates and sugar are absorbed into the blood.
11. It Reduces Inflammation
A delicious slice of tempeh contains magnesium, potassium, antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds that reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is usually a sign of poor health, which makes tempeh a great ally in restoring your body to a healthy state.
12. It Boosts Brain Health
The rich source of iron combined with incredible antioxidants helps to increase oxygen flow to the brain, as well as preventing oxidative stress. This helps to improve cognition function and memory retention. The potassium, magnesium, protein and highly alkalizing compounds of tempeh make it a great source of nutrition for a healthy brain.
How to Have It: Pre-cooked tempeh can be eaten as is, or can be given a light steam just before serving. Raw tempeh needs to be rinsed and added to a shallow pan of water to simmer for 8-10 minutes. It can then be eaten or can further be baked, grilled or fried- add some salt, pepper, spices and whatever you desire for flavoring. Because it is a firm, block-like item it can be sliced, crumbled or cooked whole. It serves as a meat replacement in multiple dishes and be used as creatively as you wish.