Health Benefits of Natto: The Powerful Nutrient That No One Talks About
This special enzyme is responsible for the health benefits of natto, as well as its distinct flavor and smell. When bacteria are used to ferment soybeans, they cause natto, which gives the meal its cheese-like taste and a variety of scientifically proven health benefits.
High natto use has been attributed to longer average lifespans and lower incidence of chronic disease in the Japanese community. Studies have also shown that people who consume a diet high in natto have a reduced risk of dying from heart failure.
Natto has been consumed in East Asia for thousands of years. Nattokinase is also available in several convenience stores and niche health food stores throughout the globe. You may also purchase nattokinase as a supplement or make your own natto kits.
What Is Nattokinase or Natto?
Natto is a popular Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans with a slimy, oily, and stringy appearance. The brown, oily concoction has a distinctive scent that can be likened to pungent cheese and is commonly served as a breakfast meal.
The strong flavor is sometimes characterized as earthy or nutty, with a hint of bitterness. Although the product is more widely eaten in Japan, owing to its health benefits, it is increasingly finding its way through markets in the United States and other western countries.
Natto is recognized as a superfood for a variety of causes, one of which is its possible digestive benefits. Soybeans have many health advantages that have been well reported. The effects of nattokinase on mental health and well-being are also being investigated.
Natto is usually eaten with fried rice in Japan and is seasoned with soy sauce, mustard, chives, or other seasonings.
Natto was traditionally produced by wrapping boiling soybeans in rice straw, which normally includes the Bacillus subtilis bacteria Bacillus subtilis on its top.
Scientists discovered and extracted the B. subtilis bacteria at the turn of the twentieth century, modernizing this form of preparation.
Nowadays, rice straw has been supplemented with Styrofoam frames, through which B. subtilis can be applied directly to boiled soybeans to initiate the fermentation phase.
Nutrition Facts of Natto
Natto is a nutrient-dense soybean paste. It has adequate amounts of several nutrients that are important for good health. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of Natto provides the following element by the USDA:
- Carbohydrate:14 grams
- Protein:18 grams
- Fat:11 grams
- Fiber:5 grams
- Vitamin C:22% of the RDI
- Vitamin K1:29% of the RDI
- Iron:48% of the RDI
- Copper:33% of the RDI
- Magnesium:29% of the RDI
- Calcium:22% of the RDI
- Potassium:21% of the RDI
- Manganese:76% of the RDI
- Zinc:20% of the RDI
- Selenium:13% of the RDI
- Calories:212 Kcal
Natto also includes antioxidants and other useful plant substances, as well as a lesser quantity of vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenic acid.
Natto often has fewer antinutrients than most foods.
Carbohydrates: The carbohydrates in natto come in a variety of forms. Each form has its own set of advantages.
If you eat one cup of natto, you’ll absorb about 6 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Sugar that appears naturally in foods is not as harmful as sugar that is introduced to food as part of the packaging phase (called “added sugars”). Sugar gives the body the energy it needs to go through its everyday activities.
Fiber is another form of carbohydrate found in nattokinase. When you eat a whole cup of fermented fruit, you’ll get about nine grams of it. Adults can eat 28 grams of fiber a day, according to the USDA.
Fiber consumption not only increases metabolism and regularity, but it also has a number of other health advantages, such as a lower incidence of death, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. 2
Natto’s leftover carbohydrate is starch, which is broken down to produce energy for the brain and muscles.
When one cup of natto is eaten, the glycemic load (GI) is calculated to be nine. When calculating a food’s effect on blood sugar, the glycemic load considers the portion size. However, rice, which has a higher glycemic index, is often served with natto.
A 150-gram serving of white rice and natto, according to the University of Sydney, has a glycemic load of 24. Foods with a glycemic load of 20 or more are classified as high glycemic.
Fats: In a one-cup serving of nattokinase, there are just under 19 grams of fat. Polyunsaturated fat accounts for the majority of this fat. Polyunsaturated fats may further lower the risk of cardiac attack and stroke by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Natto often contains around four grams of monounsaturated fat, which is regarded as “good” fat. In addition, nattokinase contains slightly under three grams of saturated fat.
Protein: Natto has a high amount of protein. When you eat a whole cup, you’ll increase your plant-based protein consumption by 34 grams.
Vitamins and minerals: Natto is high in vitamins and minerals. A serving of natto contains 2.7mg of manganese, which is equivalent to 134 percent of the daily prescribed manganese intake. Manganese is needed for enzyme function as well as other bodily functions such as blood clotting and metabolism.
You’ll also get 15 grams of iron (84 percent of your daily needs), 1.2 milligrams of copper (58 percent of your daily needs), 201 milligrams of magnesium (50 percent), 1,276 milligrams of potassium (36 percent), 5.3 milligrams of zinc (35 percent), 305 milligrams of phosphorus (30 percent), and 15.4 milligrams of selenium (15.4%). (22 percent).
The vitamins in natto would also be beneficial to you. The diet is rich in vitamin C, delivering about 23 mg, or nearly 38% of your daily requirements. Vitamin C aids in the strengthening of the immune system, the formation of collagen, and the synthesis of iron from plant-based foods.
It’s also an antioxidant that will aid in the restoration of free radical damage to your body.
Natto has 0.3 mg of thiamin (19% of your daily requirements), 0.3 mg of riboflavin (20% of your daily requirements), vitamin B6, folate, and choline.
Finally, natto is frequently mentioned as one of the best sources of vitamin K, especially vitamin K2. Vitamin K is essential for the formation of bone and the prevention of blood clotting.
Adult women should get at least 90 micrograms of vitamin K per day, while men should get at least 120 micrograms per day, according to the National Institutes of Health. About 40 micrograms of vitamin K are included in a one-cup serving.
Natto is a great source of probiotics: What’s the best way to boost the overall health of your gut? It’s by consuming healthy bacteria-containing foods like the right probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your body. You can pick them from foods that you eat like yogurt and kefir.
Probiotics are important for maintaining a healthy gut and are good for overall health. It’s been proven that probiotics promote overall digestion and have a strong correlation with good digestive health. Soy is a great source of probiotics. Its high fiber content and ability to absorb water making it a great source of probiotics.
Soy foods are not only high in soy, they are also high in lysine, which is an essential amino acid. Lysine can help promote healthy gut function. Natto contains plenty of probiotics.
Health Benefits of Natto
Though natto is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, the majority of its health benefits are attributed to the food’s potent nattokinase enzyme. Natto is the only type of nattokinase in bread, although it is also available as a substitute. According to research, supplementation is just as effective as natto use.
Natto has a number of beneficial effects on your health, including the following described below:
Natto can help reduce blood pressure
Natto contains fiber and probiotics Natto is high in vitamin C Natto protects against stomach ulcers and has anti-diabetic properties 3. A Quick Fix for the Modern Diet By the mid-20th century, Western diets were high in animal fat and sugar, containing saturated fat at an alarming rate. These diets led to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and these medical issues contributed to heart disease.
Natto is high in saturated fat. While that’s not good, the saturated fat in Natto is healthy saturated fat, according to recent research. Studies have shown that saturated fat does not make you fat. It may even help you lose weight because it helps you feel fuller longer.
Natto can help lower the risk of heart disease
A study on almost 47,000 Japanese men and women revealed that those who regularly consume natto had a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease. The participants had a 47 percent lower chance of suffering from metabolic syndrome. The study further revealed that people who regularly consumed natto had a 42 percent lower chance of dying from a stroke or coronary heart disease.
Natto contains a substance called nattokinase which is an enzyme produced by fermenting soybeans. It helps in improving glucose metabolism in the body. This compound helps in preventing type 2 diabetes. Eating natto regularly can help boost the immune system and protect against cancer. It also helps protect against stomach ulcers.
Natto is good for digestion
Natto is rich in glutamine. Glutamine helps in boosting the body’s immune system and fighting viruses and bacteria. Natto is a source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals In addition to the health benefits, natto is also an extremely good source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Natto contains beneficial amino acids such as niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, zinc, vitamin C, and copper. It is a good source of iron and potassium. A few recommendations regarding natto According to Juntendo University, where researchers have been studying natto for the past 20 years, the amino acid and protein content of Japanese fermented foods can increase several-fold when raw.
This is because fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria. These bacteria help digestion.
Cardiovascular health is improved
Nattokinase is an enzyme that is produced during the fermentation of natto. It works as a natural blood thinner and helps to prevent the formation of arterial plaque.
Nattokinase has been discovered to have cardiovascular benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to researchers. According to several research studies, the enzyme has antihypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic, and lipid-lowering effects, as well as anti-platelet, anti-platelet, and neuroprotective effects.
Natto help your live longer
Researchers have also linked nattokinase to improved longevity because it has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. The leading cause of death in the world is cardiovascular disease.
“Natto consumption is believed to be a significant contributor to the longevity of the Japanese population,” according to the authors of a 2018 study. Recent studies demonstrated that a high natto intake was associated with decreased risk of total cardiovascular disease mortality and, in particular, a decreased risk of mortality from ischaemic heart diseases.
Sinus Health Improvements
Allergies, viruses, fungal diseases, or asthma may trigger chronic sinusitis, which is an ongoing inflammation of the sinuses. In adults, it is the most prevalent chronic condition. Chronic sinusitis patients can need surgery to clear their nasal passages at times.
Nattokinase has been shown in studies to shrink nasal polyps that cause blockages and thin mucus, increasing circulation thereby minimizing discomfort. Because of these results, scientists are continuing to study the enzyme and see how it can be used to relieve the symptoms of respiratory diseases like COPD and bronchitis.
The beneficiary for Gut health and metabolism
Nattokinase will help to maintain a healthy bacterial equilibrium in our stomach, also known as our microbiome. Poor gut health will compromise your immune system and put you at risk for a variety of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and cardiac disease.
The probiotic properties of nattokinase can help regulate and prevent metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes by boosting metabolism and reducing body fat.
May reduce the risk of certain cancers: Natto produces soy isoflavones and vitamin K2, all of which have been attributed to a reduced risk of cancers of the liver, prostate, reproductive system, and breast.
May help you lose weight: Natto provides a high volume of probiotics and fiber, which can help you lose weight by avoiding weight gain and maximizing weight loss.
May improve brain health: Probiotic-rich foods like natto can improve brain health by reducing stress, improving memory, and alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Health Risks of Natto
Natto is normally harmless, although the enzyme’s potent effects may create problems for people with some medical conditions. Before using the food or supplement in your diet, see the doctor to confirm you won’t suffer from any of the following health problems:
Interactions with different drugs: When you take nattokinase with such prescription medications, you can experience excessive bleeding. People taking blood thinners could be at an increased risk of bleeding since nattokinase may remove blood clots.
For patients at risk of heart disease or stroke, doctors often prescribe a regular aspirin regimen. However, taking nattokinase will intensify the effects of aspirin, potentially resulting in excessive bleeding.
Nattokinase can also assist in the reduction of blood pressure. Before taking nattokinase, speak with the doctor whether you have low blood pressure or are taking blood pressure drugs.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Although the anti-clotting properties of natto can help to prevent deep vein thrombosis, it should not be used as a treatment without consulting a doctor. Nattokinase has the potential to easily dislodge a clot, which may lead to complications.
Pregnancy: There is no evidence to suggest that nattokinase is suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to Prepare Natto Dish
Natto devotees say that the flavor takes some getting used to. Many who love this food, on the other hand, agree the extra work is well worth it. The diet produces glutamate, which is perceived as umami by the tongue. Umami is the fifth basic flavor, and it’s characterized as both savory and satisfying.
The majority of citizens do not consume nattokinase on their own. It’s usually served with white rice. Some people, though, but the food on toast or pasta and consume it that way. Miso broth, salads, and other Japanese dishes including tamagoyaki (omelet) and okonomiyaki will all profit from it (savory pancake).
To improve the taste of nattokinase, try incorporating ingredients. Mustard and a special Japanese sauce are commonly used when purchased in Asian grocery stores. Soy sauce, raw egg yolk, chives, green onion, sliced dried bonito, kimchi, wasabi, cheese, mayonnaise, seaweed, tomatoes, or tuna may all be added to the mix. The beans should be thoroughly mixed before consuming, according to natto fans. It is able to consume after it has developed a sticky texture.
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Natto is a nutrient-dense snack that is well worth getting a taste for.
It will improve your immune system and bones, protect you from heart disease, and make it easier to digest food if you eat it on a regular basis.
If you’re trying natto for the first time, begin with a tiny portion and incorporate lots of condiments while you move your way up.