Natto — or fermented soybeans — is an essential part of Japanese food culture.
In fact, you are sure to find it in the fridge of any Japanese family home. It pairs well with rice and is generally considered a breakfast food, but some people love it so much they enjoy it for dinner too.
Having said that, natto’s distinctive odor and stringy texture make it something of an acquired taste — many fans of Japanese food single this out as the one dish they just can’t stand!
Even more nutritious than its mother the soybean
But natto has recently started to be recognized for its superior health benefits, and many Japanese make a point of eating it every day for their health.
Natto is made by fermenting boiled soybeans with a particular strain of bacteria, a process which gives the already nutritious soybean an extra nutritional boost.
In addition to hormone-activating soy isoflavones, natto contains two or three times more calcium, iron and B vitamins than its mother the soybean.
These nutrients support the metabolism, helping to prevent hardening of the arteries and promoting weight loss.
Free up blood flow with Nattokinase
And let’s not forget about the enzyme Nattokinase, a byproduct of the fermentation process.
Nattokinase efficiently breaks down proteins in the blood, freeing up blood flow and helping to prevent clots. This is why natto is said to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia.
Natto also contains mucin, which, besides being responsible for that stringy texture, also protects the membranes that line the nose and stomach, making you less susceptable to colds.
In the modern world, where we tend to be overly dependant on medicine to keep sickness at bay, this is one nutrient we could all use more of!