Tempeh offers many health benefits and is a wonderful staple to include in your diet. In addition to being high in protein and containing many important vitamins and minerals, tempeh supports health and wellness in a number of other ways.
1.Fermentation Itself Has Benefits
The very fact that tempeh is a fermented food means it offers a number of health benefits such as kimchi, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup to name but a few.. Fermented foods, such as tempeh, are excellent probiotics. The microflora that results from the fermentation process introduces healthy bacteria into the digestive tract and fights pathogenic factors.
Fermented foods generally strengthen the immune system, are effective anti-inflammatories and can even help control your appetite. There are many reasons to choose fermented foods, and tempeh is a good option (5).
2.Tempeh Reduces Cholesterol
A number of studies suggest that tempeh can be helpful in reducing cholesterol, something that many in the Western world struggle with (6). It’s believed that it’s the naturally occurring niacin in tempeh that supports cholesterol control (7). Additionally, tempeh is rich in isoflavones (more on that later!) which have been associated with significant reductions of triglycerides and LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, while increasing HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
3.Tempeh Supports Healthy Bones
Tempeh contains calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K, all necessary for healthy bone density. Additionally, tempeh contains copper. Studies suggest that copper supports bone health by supporting the healing of bones (8). In addition, copper deficiency has been linked to brittle bones.
4.Tempeh Provides Significant Amounts of Protein
Tempeh provides just as much protein as many types of meat, with a single serving from a tempeh recipe providing about 37% of an adult’s recommended daily intake. Additionally, because tempeh is fermented, the digestive system can convert protein to useful amino acids more easily than many other protein sources (9). As you probably know, protein is necessary to building and maintaining muscle, and high-protein foods, such as tempeh, can promote weight loss.
5.Tempeh Contains Manganese, an Essential Mineral
Tempeh contains a significant amount of manganese per serving, nearly 65% of the daily recommended value. Manganese is an essential mineral that, among other things, helps to naturally balance hormones. Additionally, manganese has been demonstrated to help fight diabetes by naturally increasing insulin production while improving glucose tolerance (10). If you are facing diabetes or pre-diabetes, tempeh could be an important addition to your diet.
6.Tempeh Supports the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Studies demonstrate that the isoflavones found in soy products, including tempeh, may help prevent cancer (11). In fact, these same isoflavones have been demonstrated to help treat cancer (12). Isoflavones are a type of phytochemicals found only in plants. They resemble human estrogen to some degree. Soybeans have a higher concentration of isoflavones than most other legumes and offer many disease-fighting benefits (13).
7. Tempeh Is an Important Anti-Inflammatory
The isoflavones found so abundantly in tempeh also function as an effective anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is at the root of many ailments, and tempeh has the potential to support healing from conditions related to inflammation.
8. Tempeh Can Treat Menopausal Symptoms
Because the isoflavones found in tempeh mimic human estrogen, tempeh and other soy products work as a kind of natural hormone replacement therapy, providing relief from many uncomfortable menopausal symptoms (14).