Natto comes with amazing health benefits which includes supporting stronger bones, promoting a health heart, a good source of probiotics, support a health digestion, contains vitamin C, promote weight loss, a good source of protein, supply the body with iron, serve as a blood purifier, and enhances the skin.
There are plenty of exotic fermented foods that people may not be able to try, the whole of their western lives. But, with a little research and some knowledge, you can end up having delicious foods such as Natto that is a treasure cove of nutrients.
The debate on whether soy is healthy for you has been ongoing in the world of health for quite some time. But, foods like natto make soy one of the healthiest foods on earth, given that you are eating it in the form of Natto.
For ages, soy has been marketed as a substitute for anything and everything. From tofu to soybeans being used as “fake meat” soy has been one of the most used core ingredients in most foods. However, the problem may lie in the fact that most of the commercially sold products in supermarkets may be prepared using crops grown using genetic modification. The traditional soy crop in Japan does not apply this technique which actually makes it healthy.
The fermentation process used in the preparing Natto results in one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Miso, tempeh, and Natto are prime examples of soy fermentation.
What is Natto?
Natto can simply be defined as fermented soybeans. Bacteria turn carbohydrates into acids or alcohol. To prepare fermented soybeans or Natto bacteria called Bacillus Subtilis is introduced into the prepared soybeans.
Natto is one of the most popular foods used in the Eastern Part of Japan whereas its popularity is comparatively low in West Japan. Natto is usually eaten as part of the first meal of the day along with rice, tofu, miso soup, and fish. Natto is also served as a snack in Japanese schools.
You will usually find natto in the tofu section of the market near the miso paste or similar items.
What does it Smell Like?
`The odor cannot be defined as the most pleasant among foods. If anyone were to describe it to you, they would say that it varies from the odor of old socks to molding cheese.
What is its Texture Like?
For anyone trying it out for the first time, the texture throws people off more than anything. It is a gooey mixture of fermented beans which is also quite sticky. It may not be the most appealing texture.
The taste can be defined best as a savory flavor coupled with hints of salt and a little barbeque depending on which type you buy. Natto is certainly is an acquired taste, but once you fall in love with this deliciousness
Nutritional Chart of Natto
Potassium 729 mg
Dietary Fiber 5g
Protein 18 g
Calcium 21 % of daily value
Vitamin C 21 % of daily value
Iron 47% of daily value
Vitamin B6 5% of daily value
Magnesium 28% of daily value
Vitamin K 40.4 MCG
The above given nutritional value is based on 100 grams of serving. The nutritional composition of Natto certainly delivers a healthy picture for whoever wants to try out this exotic food.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Natto
The nutritional combination of vitamins and minerals in Natto make it one of the most beneficial foods for the body. Following are ten benefits of this fermented dish
1. Stronger Bones
Natto contains almost 200% more vitamin K than cheese, and it contains significant amounts of zinc and calcium. As the human body ages, it becomes difficult for bones to retain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. The vitamin K in natto helps retain and absorb calcium much better and reduce the rate at which bone-density loss occurs.
2. Heart health
This is a complete food for heart health. The presence of potassium and zero cholesterol in this dish makes it one of the healthiest foods for heart health. The dietary fiber also helps keep the arteries clear of any fat that may accumulate along the linings. This helps in keeping the blood flow from and to the heart in check.
Bacteria are introduced into the soybean mixture and left to ferment over a certain period. The specific bacteria present in natto makes it one of the most powerful probiotic foods that keep the gut in healthy shape.
Natto contains probiotics and dietary fiber that makes it perfect for a healthy gut. Healthy digestion means overall health and natto ensures that the bacteria in the gut can protect it from diseases or infections.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most potent vitamins that act as an antioxidant which prevents any radical damage. It helps boost the body’s immunity and may even prove beneficial in the prevention of fatal illnesses such as cancer.
6. Weight Loss Food
The dietary fiber in natto, zero cholesterol and probiotics make natto one of the ideal foods for weight loss. It will keep you fuller for longer, and the nutrients present in this will help you stay energetic through the day.
Per 100 g of serving natto provides almost 18 g of protein which makes it a good substitute for any meat protein sources. Much like tempeh and tofu, this is ideal for vegans.
It is a good source of iron and is extremely healthy for people suffering from an iron deficiency. Adding natto to your diet can help maintain healthy levels of hemoglobin in the body. The presence of probiotics and iron makes this ideal for women who are expecting. Moreover iron also helps keep the mind and body energized.
9. As a Blood Purifier
The vitamin PQQ is found in large quantities in it. This can only be consumed through oral diet and helps purify them. Moreover, the presence of linoleic acid and lecithin help clean the blood of toxins and help absorb nutrients properly. This also promotes oxygenation in the body that helps provide organs with adequate oxygen.
10. Skin Benefits
The combination of nutrients present in it helps keep the bloodstream clean and oxygenated. Moreover, Vitamin C has anti-aging effects that help prevent the appearance of sun spots and wrinkles. The minerals such as iron and vitamin B helps keep the red blood cell count in check which results in a glowing, youthful appearance.
Natto is one of the healthiest fermented foods that have made its way to the western world. It is also a part of many celebrity-endorsed diets due to its nutritional composition. A helping of natto every day can slowly strengthen the body from within, and gut health is certainly one of the biggest positives of this dish.