Tofu packs way more than just a ton of protein—it also contains an ingredient that could help lower your cancer risk: Soybean peptides may slow cancerous growths, according to a new study published in the journalFood Research International.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville isolated soybean peptides (short chains of amino acids linked by a specific type of bond) by removing the oil, fiber, and carbohydrates from soybeans. They then added the peptides to well-developed cancer cells. The result: Soybean peptides slowed colon cancer cell growth by 73 percent, liver cancer cell growth by 70 percent, and lung cancer cell growth by 68 percent.

One possible reason for these cancer-fighting benefits: Soybean peptides might block one or more of the pathways in cancerous cells where the exchange of gases and nutrients the cell needs to grow and develop take place, says Navam Hettiarachchy, PhD, a professor of food science at the University of Arkansas and one of the study authors. And although these researchers used a concentrated form of soybean peptides, Hettiarachchy says it’s possible that consuming more soy might also help slash your cancer risk.

Up your intake by whipping up one of these tasty tofu recipes:

Zesty Tofu and Quinoa



Soy Milk Berry Smoothie



Tofu Scramble



Roasted Lemon-Herb Tofu



Curried Tofu



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