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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Beans and Legumes >>  Tempeh


Tempeh is the staple food of people in Indonesia for more than 2000 years and is a less common food found in the kitchens of United States. However it is gaining more popularity these days because of its nutty flavor. It can readily absorb the flavor of other foods and seasoning in which it is cooked and is available in the markets throughout the year. Tempeh is made from fermenting soybeans it is high in protein and many times used as a meat substitute.

Health benefits of tempeh

  1. Tempeh is comparatively very easy to digest than other beans and legumes and also makes the absorption of minerals like iron, zinc and calcium easier.
    Just 4 ounces of tempeh would give 41.3% daily value for protein with just the cost of 225 calories, 3.7g of saturated fats, 23.5% of the daily value for riboflavin, 21.9% of the daily value for magnesium, 72.5% of the daily value for manganese and 30.5% of the daily value for copper.
  2. As tempeh is very low in sodium, unlike miso it is ideal for people on low sodium diet. Rhizopus mould used in the fermentation process for tempeh produce natural antibiotics that destroy the disease causing organisms.
  3. In many studies soy protein have been shown to decrease the risk of getting heart disease by lowering total cholesterol by 30%, LDL cholesterol by 35-40% (and produce larger LDL molecules which are less harmful) and raise HDL cholesterol significantly. Tempeh has good fats or omega 3 fats that help lower cholesterol, reduce platelets stickiness and decrease platelet aggregation Soy proteins are also responsible for increasing the nitric oxide levels in the blood which helps improve dilation of blood vessels and decreases oxidative stress by scavenging the free radicals. Moreover the tempeh is also a good source of fiber that is an important medium to lower the blood cholesterol and maintain blood sugar levels in the body by preventing high sugar spikes. Besides diabetes is more often associated with high blood pressure and heart diseases, soy proteins is also been proved beneficial in these conditions.
  4. Soy protein and fiber in tempeh are optimal for a healthy life and reduced the risk of colon, breast and prostate cancer.
  5. Isoflavones present in tempeh act as weak plant estrogens and bind to estrogen receptors in the body. This binding may help post-menopausal women to relieve the uncomfortable menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. Soy proteins may also help maintain the heart and bone health along with decreasing the risk of breast cancer in them.
  6. Tempeh is included under the foods that contain oxalates and also contain goitrogens that tend to interfere with thyroid gland functioning. Many people can also get allergic reaction to soy and its products so it is wise to consume soy and its products in these conditions with caution
Submitted on January 16, 2014