Is It Safe To Eat Tofu During Pregnancy?

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You might wonder, can you eat tofu while pregnant? This post will help you answer this question. Tofu is also a rich source of calcium which helps in the development of bones, in the body (1). It is a rich source of all essential nutrients that are needed in pregnancy. It is a high protein source that is important for ensuring the proper growth and development of the fetus. Read on to know more about the benefits of having tofu during pregnancy and a few possible side effects.

A Closer Look At Tofu

Tofu is a type of vegan cottage cheese that is made of soy milk. Here’s more information about this highly nutritious food item:

  • Tofu is derived from the milk of soybeans.
Can you eat tofu while pregnant

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  • The gelatinous texture of tofu does not have a flavor of its own. It easily takes the flavor of foods it is mixed with.
  • Tofu is low in fat and can be a good substitute for creamy cheese or eggs.
  • You can enjoy a creamier texture with silken tofu that can also be added to soups.

Health Benefits Of Eating Tofu During Pregnancy

Tofu is often considered a complete food as it has all the nine essential amino acids in it (2). According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, 100 gms of tofu contains 9.41 gms of protein (3).

Here is a closer look at the other nutrients:

  • Tofu is rich in copper and iron that must be present in a pregnant woman’s diet. Copper and iron helps in synthesis of hemoglobin in your body (3) (4).
  • It contains calcium in abundance that aids proper bone development in your unborn child. A 100 gms of tofu is said to contain 176 mg of calcium (3).
  • Tofu is a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids help prevent cholesterol from clogging your arteries (5).
Tofu may help prevent cholesterol clogging your arteries

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  • It is also a good source of selenium which helps prevent cancers (6) (7).

Negative Effects Of Eating Tofu While Pregnant

Despite the numerous benefits tofu has to offer, you may encounter some negative effects with its excess consumption. Here are some inconveniences caused by consuming tofu during pregnancy:

The soy protein may affect the function of the thyroid gland. Hence, if you have had previous thyroid malfunctions, it is safe to check with your doctor before consuming tofu (8).

However, you need to keep in mind that you can experience these negative effects only when you consume it in excess. Eating in moderation can help you reap amazing benefits from the food.

Sine tofu is made from soybean milk, it is essential you know about the negative effects of having soybean and its derivatives.

  • They are high in phytoestrogens that can cause hormonal imbalances in pregnant women.
  • They contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit digestion and absorption of protein.
  • They have been linked to breast cancer.
  • They contain lectins that bind to receptors on intestinal cells causing inflammation.
  • They contain antigens that may trigger an immune reaction in people who are allergic to soy.
  • They contain goitrogens that interfere with thyroid function.

Eat Well!

Tofu is a rich source of amino acids

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Tofu is considered to be a complete food. Since it is a rich source of essential amino acids, consuming tofu during pregnancy is good for your and your developing baby’s health. It is also rich in calcium, aiding in the bone development of your baby. However, ensure you consume it in moderation because excessive intake of the soy present in tofu may affect the thyroid gland and lead to complications. Therefore, consult your doctor to understand the right amount of tofu you should consume to be beneficial for you and your baby.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.

Reda Elmardi

Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. The 32-year-old is a certified nutritionist from the UNC's Online MPHwWith Nutrition concentration, with more than 10 years of experience. Reda has been an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Trainer since 2015 and owns thegymgoat.com. He shares sports nutrition tips and gives guidance on...
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