Benefits of Tofu During Pregnancy

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Tofu, the versatile and delicious soy-based protein, is often a star player on vegetarian and vegan plates. But did you know it can also be a valuable addition to your diet during pregnancy? Packed with essential nutrients and unique health benefits, tofu can be a powerful tool for supporting you and your growing baby throughout this incredible journey.

This blog delves into the health benefits and harmful effects of eating tofu while pregnant and its nutritional facts.

What is Tofu?

Also known as bean curd, tofu is a popular soybean food. Originating in China, it is prepared by curdling fresh soya milk grounded in water, heating it, and coagulating it with minerals like magnesium or calcium salt. 

It is then pressed into a block and cooled. Different varieties of tofu, such as extra-soft, medium, and extra-firm tofu, are available in the market.

Can I eat tofu while pregnant?

Generally, tofu is safe to eat during pregnancy as it is a complete food packed with vital amino acids and iron. However, tofu consumption during pregnancy should be within the limits as it might include certain risk factors.

Being a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, tofu in pregnancy can help lose weight and prevent cancer with antioxidants and low calories. 

Nutritional facts of tofu

Tofu, a meat substitute abundant in protein, offers various types such as regular, silken, firm, super-firm, and extra-firm. Below is a compilation of the essential nutrients 100g of raw and firm tofu contains, which can significantly contribute to meeting your overall nutrient needs with tofu during pregnancy.

Vitamin A166IU

* Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Health Benefits of Tofu in Pregnancy

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s FoodData Central, 100 gms of tofu contains 9.41 gms of protein. Here are some of the health benefits of eating tofu during pregnancy:

1. Protein Powerhouse

First and foremost, tofu shines as a plant-based protein champion. Aiming for at least 60 grams of protein daily during pregnancy is crucial, and tofu offers an all-in-one protein source containing all nine essential amino acids. This is especially useful for vegetarians and vegans requiring extra protein support.

2. Nutrient-Rich Bounty

Beyond protein, tofu boasts a treasure trove of nutrients vital for pregnancy:

  • Iron: Crucial for preventing anaemia, a common concern during pregnancy.
  • Calcium: Supports healthy bone development in both mother and baby.
  • Folate: Plays a key role in preventing birth defects.
  • Mono-unsaturated fats: Promote heart health and contribute to baby’s brain development.
  • Copper: Aids in red blood cell production and iron absorption.

3. Potential Perks

While research is ongoing, some studies suggest tofu consumption during pregnancy might offer additional benefits:

  • Reduced risk of gestational diabetes: Soy protein may help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Lower risk of depression: Studies suggest soy intake might have a protective effect against pregnancy-related depression.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: The healthy fats in tofu can contribute to good heart health.

4. Delicious Versatility

Tofu’s mild flavour and spongy texture make it a culinary chameleon. The possibilities are endless, from creamy scrambles to savoury stir-fries and crispy nuggets to silky soups. This allows for easy incorporation into various dishes, ensuring you don’t get bored and keeping your meals exciting.

Considerations before having tofu in pregnancy

While generally safe for most pregnant women, moderation is key. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions. Additionally, be mindful of processed soy products high in sodium or unhealthy fats.

Consuming all food items in moderate quantities is recommended to avoid potential consequences caused by excessive consumption. Pregnancy is a time when you need to make wise dietary choices. Hence, evaluate the risks carefully before the consumption of tofu in pregnancy. Here are a few points to be kept in mind:

  • Phytic acid content in tofu inhibits the absorption of crucial minerals.
  • The large amounts of anti-nutrients in tofu can interfere with the digestive enzymes in the body.
  • Tofu might possess a risk of high levels of aluminium accumulation.

Tofu Dishes That Are Safe to Eat in Pregnancy

Incorporating tofu into your pregnancy diet will unlock a wealth of nutritional benefits and delicious culinary possibilities. Remember, a varied, balanced diet is key, and tofu can be a powerful plant-based ally on your journey to a joyful and healthy pregnancy.

Tofu dishes that pregnant women can have:

  • Smoothies
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Stuffed parathas, etc.
  • It can be an excellent substitute for eggs and paneer

Tofu Recipes that you can try during pregnancy

Here are some healthy pregnancy-friendly recipe ideas to incorporate tofu into your daily diet:

1. Stir-Fried Vegetable Tofu Salad


  • Boiled beetroot and potato
  • Boiled sprouts
  • Grated carrots
  • Finely sliced bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes (handful)
  • Lemon (half)
  • Oil
  • Tofu – 1 cup
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coriander for garnishing
  • Green chilli – 1


  • Add oil to a pan and allow it to heat
  • Add the potatoes, beetroot, bell peppers, and stir fry to get cooked.
  • Cube some firm tofu and saute it with the sprouts and veggies.
  • Add salt and stir occasionally. Cut the cherry tomatoes and chilli and add it to the vegetables.
  • Squeeze half the lime and mix again. Sprinkle pepper powder and garnish it with coriander leaves.
  • Your dish is ready to serve!

2. Sandwich wraps

Cube your tofu, coat it in a dry spice mixture, cook it, and serve it as another meat in sandwiches or collard lettuce wraps.

3. Tofu quinoa bowl

Combine a medley of vegetables and quinoa, then top it off with sizzling tofu cubes to create a wholesome and satisfying one-bowl dish.

Precautions While Consuming Tofu During Pregnancy

During the tofu production process, soybeans undergo high-temperature exposure, eliminating heat-sensitive bacteria before pasteurization. Nevertheless, adhering to certain precautionary measures when consuming tofu during pregnancy is crucial.

  • Heat tofu for at least 15 seconds to ensure food safety. It should hit an internal temperature of 74 degrees C / 165 degrees F.
  • Eat it before it cools down completely (within 2 hours) once cooked.
  • Like other perishables in the refrigerator, tofu should be refrigerated at 4 degrees Celsius or less. Store it for up to 7 days in this condition.
  • Pre-cooked tofu may get contaminated with germs. Ensure it is served hot if you plan to order in a restaurant.
  • People eating home-fermented tofu are more prone to episodes of illness.

Therefore, stick to top brands rather than homemade varieties while purchasing tofu during pregnancy. Always thoroughly cook the tofu before eating. Eating raw tofu during pregnancy is not safe.


Like any other food consumed during pregnancy, tofu is a remarkably nutritious meal when consumed in moderation. However, excessive intake can lead to severe ailments like protein indigestion, pancreatic dysfunction, diarrhoea, and constipation.

To better understand how tofu affects your body and to include it appropriately in your pregnancy diet, it is advisable to consult a dietitian. They can provide you with valuable insights and guidance.


1. What are the suggested amounts of tofu for pregnant women?

Consumption of four to six ounces of soy seeds, soy products, and nuts per week as a plant protein supplement is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

2. What are the different types of tofu?

Tofu is categorized as firm, silken, regular, extra-firm and super-firm.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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