FoodTempeh: The Indonesian superfood redefining European diets

Tempeh: The Indonesian superfood redefining European diets

Tempeh - a product that may interest you
Tempeh - a product that may interest you
Images source: © Canva | BanarTABS

21 June 2024 09:49

Although this product may not appear very impressive to the European eye, its health benefits are certainly worth attention. Tempeh is an Indonesian soy product occasionally found in British stores. What benefits can regular consumption bring us? Here’s our answer.

It is often said that not everything that glitters is gold. In the world of food products, this saying should be taken with deadly seriousness. Colourful, bright, pleasing-to-the-eye items are mostly just nutritional junk, while those that don’t visually impress—sometimes even repel—are a treasure trove of benefits for the body. And there’s probably no better example of this than tempeh.

Tempeh — a remarkable product from a distant land

The tradition of making tempeh in Indonesia is about 500 years old. Thanks to immigrants from the island nation, this product reached Europe in the mid-20th century. Initially, the inhabitants of the Old Continent were sceptical of tempeh, but eventually, they opened their own companies to produce it on a larger scale. The Dutch have particularly become market leaders.

What exactly is tempeh? It’s soybeans fermented using rice flour and Rhizopus mould. After the production process, tempeh can be served raw or cooked. It plays a vital role in many meatless diets, often becoming a frequent addition to salads, stews, or wok dishes. Many times, tempeh also serves as a meat substitute.

Tempeh — properties

Tempeh is a dish rich in protein, and this is precisely why it has found its place in modern vegetarianism and veganism. Approximately 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of the product is impressive, and it’s also worth noting that tempeh does not contain the cholesterol that is so common in meat.

Tempeh can be eaten raw or sautéed.
Tempeh can be eaten raw or sautéed.© Canva | Arisara_Tongdonnoi

Additionally, tempeh is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and isoflavonoids: chemical compounds with anti-cancer properties. This fermented product also contains a wealth of healthy unsaturated fatty acids, fibre, and folic acid. Regular consumption of tempeh supports the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol levels, strengthens bones, combats free radicals, and alleviates menopausal symptoms.

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