Don’t let this vegetarian-acclaimed food staple deter you from incorporating it into your diet. Tempeh is for vegetarians and carnivores alike! The reason being the myriad of health benefits it brings to the table.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh, pronounced ˈtempā, is comprised of fermented soybeans and fungi, where it is then cut into blocks and used in cooking. Its nutty undertones and firm texture lend it to a number of dishes, serving as an excellent salad or soup topper. It can also be enjoyed in a stir fry, on a sandwich, or even starring as an imitation meat in your favorite entree.
Why Eat Tempeh?
Aside from being a savory soy-based alternative to classic meat offerings, this food all-star is as rich in nutrition as it is in texture. Let’s start with the obvious reason we’re fans. It begins with a ‘p’ and ends in an ‘s.’ Yup, probiotics strike again. Staying true to its Indonesian roots, tempeh is typically created from a Rhizopus oligosporus starter, a beneficial strain of fungi.
Need some convincing? Don’t take our word for it. Upon fermentation, the R. oligosporus in tempeh produces something pretty incredible. “Rhizopus oligosporus produces a type of antibiotic that is effective against certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus which can cause pneumonia and sepsis. The amazing thing about this natural antibiotic is that it is heat resistant and can withstand a wide range of pH levels,” explains The Concious Life. Because of its impressive self-preservation properties, a great deal of self-reported data supporting fewer instances of intestinal infection has been documented.
And if that wasn’t cool enough, there’s more. But first, we should warn you that what is dense in calories, is chalked full of other benefits. Weighing in at a whopping 15.4 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber per half cup, this works to control satiety while keeping your digestion on track.
Health benefits aren’t restricted to your digestive health. Tempeh will even make your brain feel good! Give you brain a detox as the high manganese counts work to deplete glutamate, a nerve toxin, from your brain. Then, give it a much-needed boost. In just one serving, you’ll meet your recommended daily dose of copper, which promotes cellular communication in the brain.
Fast Mineral Facts
Mineral amounts as daily value of 100 g cooked tempeh:
|Mineral||% of Daily Value (DV)|
Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010)
Food for Thought
In its raw form, tempeh is rich in live fungal cultures. However, some of these culture counts are depleted upon cooking. So, to maintain perceived health benefits, avoid heavily processing tempeh. Like anything, moderation is key. But because this is a soy-based product, women and men prone to breast cancer should consult a physician before making this a staple in their diet as soy tends to have higher estrogen levels than other foods.
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