The Japan Tofu Association is Japan's representative body of all domestic tofu producers.
The heat in summer causes a loss of appetite, and people lose the desire to eat fatty meats. However, protein is a necessary nutrient, and regardless of the heat the average adult must ingest about 50-80g protein per day.
Tofu, rich in protein
As you may already know, tofu is a soybean product rich in protein. Furthermore, with a high coefficient of digestibility, it is characteristically easy on the stomach. Although a plate of “hiya-yakko” (cold tofu with garnish and a dash of soy sauce) with a cold beer accompaniment is a simple culinary delight, it is actually a sensible means of ingesting protein.
In the summer, children tend to drink too many cold drinks and eat too many cold foods and frequently end up with upset stomachs. When this happens, a good way to speed recovery is protein. Tofu helps replenishes protein, and with 90% water content, it also helps to prevent dehydration. However, for hiya-yakko, a key point is to always blanch the tofu first.
An ancient Chinese text recommends boiling tofu, cutting into thin slices and applying to the skin as a remedy for a blotchy complexion after too much drinking. Although this may not be particularly effective, there are also old Japanese texts that recommend tofu as a remedy for excessive drinking. According to the book “Honcho-Shokkan” written in the Edo period (1603-1867), “Tofu relieves alcohol poisoning”. Alcohol is broken down in the liver, so tofu may be of indirect benefit as good quality protein aids weakened liver functions.
Tofu is known as a health food because, after protein, it is also rich in vegetable fat. Vegetable fats consist of unsaturated fatty acids which act to reduce cholesterol. Although the word “fat” may be the same, animal fats contain saturated fatty acids, which act to increase levels of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is the cause of many lifestyle related diseases in adults such as obesity, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, etc. Tofu is also a good means of resolving obesity in growing children. For protein, a ratio of one part animal to two parts vegetable is considered most beneficial.