Natto "The Fermented Soy Superfood"
K 2 - Protein - Manganese - Iron - Copper - Magnesium - Calcium - Potassium - Zinc
What is Natto?
Natto is a traditional food usually consumed at Japanese breakfast tables together with miso soup, fish, and rice. Tofu, tempeh, miso and natto are all whole food forms of soybean. The key to natto's health benefits is that it is fermented. Natto is made by soaking whole soybeans, then steaming or boiling them, and afterwards adding the bacteria Bacillus subtilis to the mixture.
Natto is as an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the Bacillus subtilis in natto creates an enzyme called nattokinase, which produces vitamin K2
One cup of natto provides the following vitamins:
(in daily recommended values)
Vitamin K: 51%
Vitamin C: 38%
Vitamin B6: 11%
Pantothenic Acid: 4%
The nutritional profile of just one cup of natto include:
Protein: 31.0 g
Loaded with Vitamin K Benefits
One of the main reasons natto is so good for you is because it is rich in vitamin K. In fact, the Department of Public Health reports that Natto contains 100 times more vitamin K2 than cheese! The importance of K2 is profound because, according to the National Institutes of Health, it is a key component in maintaining the bone mineral density of postmenopausal women suffering from osteoporosis. As described by the George Mateljan Foundation:
"There are three basic types of vitamin K. Their common names are K1, K2, and K3. The K1 form of vitamin K is found in plant foods, and many of our best sources of this vitamin are green vegetables (including 16 excellent sources); this makes good sense since K1 is required for green plants to conduct the process of photosynthesis. The K2 form of vitamin K is made from K1 and K3 by bacteria and other microorganisms. It can also be made in the human body through a conversion process involving K1 and K3."
This is especially good news for vegetarians and vegans because vitamin K2 is generally obtained by eating meat and other animal products.
The first key vitamin K2 benefit is heart health. K2 has been shown to help prevent hardening of your arteries, which is prevalent in coronary heart disease and heart failure. Dr. Weston Price observed that it may even reverse arterial calcification. Also known to prevents age-related neurological degeneration, vitamin K2 helps prevent kidney stones.
Also, because it is fermented, natto has a completely different nutritional makeup from raw soy beans. On one hand, when natto is fermented the soybean loses vitamin A, several other vitamins and minerals, and decreases in calorie content and sodium. But what it gains from the process more than makes up for these nutrition losses. Natto is a superior source of nutrients.
Due to fermentation, soybean proteins are more easily digested and absorbed, which is especially good news for those who normally suffer gut issues when eating legumes. One reason natto doesn't trigger gastrointestinal discomfort like soy traditionally does is because of the enzyme nattokinase. Created during the fermentation process, nattokinase is used for a variety of medicinal purposes.
Beriberi (B vitamin deficiency)
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Another key to natto's health benefits is its rich probiotics content. Bacillus subtilis, (also referred to as Bacillus uniflagellatus, Bacillus globigii, and Bacillus natto), is the bacteria added to soybeans and then left to ferment in order to create natto. It's key function is that it produces enzymes, which are used to reduce blood clotting and produces vitamin K and B vitamins. At one point in its history, it was even used as a broad spectrum antibiotic!
Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that supplemental Bacillus subtilis improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used for:
Treating gastrointestinal conditions.
Prevent allergic disorders.
Increasing immune reaction of intestinal cells.
Subsequently, when natto is eaten on a regular basis, these are some of the more common health benefits you can expect.
Effective against high cholesterol.
Effective against osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Fights against fibromyalgia.
Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
Less risk of colon cancer.
Less risk of breast cancer (as soy appears to lengthen the menstrual cycle).
Prevents stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
Prevents vitamin-deficiency disease.
Reduces the symptoms associated with menopause.