What is Natto?| Health Benefits of Natto: There are several health benefits associated with Natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.
Natto is discussed in this article in terms of its history, production, and health benefits, as well as a few tips on how to incorporate it into your diet.
Traditional Japanese foods, such as natto, are made from fermented soybeans. While it appears slimy and sticky and has a strong, pungent smell, it is extremely nutritious and contains several health benefits.
It is our intention in this article to provide some insight into the history, production, and health benefits of natto, as well as some tips on how to incorporate it into your diet.
What is Natto?
A portion of traditional Japanese food made of fermented soybeans, natto is a type of Japanese food. There are several health benefits associated with it, but the smell and slimy, sticky texture may be off-putting to some people. However, it is also highly nutritious and provides several nutritional benefits.
History of Natto:
Japan has a long history of eating natto, with evidence of its consumption dating back to the Jomon period (14,000-300 BC). The original purpose of this preparation was to preserve soybeans, which were an important source of protein for the ancient Japanese.
Traditional methods of making natto involved steaming soybeans and burying them in rice straw or straw from the fields to ferment. A few more days were spent maturing the fermented beans after they had been removed from the straw.
Even though some small-scale producers still employ this traditional method of production, the majority of commercial natto is manufactured using a more efficient process that involves the use of fermenting tanks.
Production of Natto:
There are several steps involved in the production of natto. After soaking in water, soybeans are cooked until they reach a soft consistency.
Following cooling, the soybeans are mixed with a starter culture of Bacillus subtilis, a type of bacteria that aids in the fermentation process.
A special natto fermentation tank is then used to mature the fermented soybeans at a temperature of approximately 50 degrees Celsius for between 24 and 48 hours.
The Bacillus subtilis bacteria produce an enzyme called nattokinase during this time, which breaks down the soybeans and contributes to the characteristic slime of natto.
When the fermentation process has been completed, the natto is cooled and packaged for distribution. Japanese supermarkets and specialty stores typically sell this product in small, single-serving packets or containers.
Health Benefits of Natto:
Some several vitamins and minerals are present in Natto as well as high levels of protein and fiber.
The food is also a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help boost the immune system as well as improve digestion. There are several specific health benefits associated with natto, including:
- Cardiovascular health: There is good evidence that natto can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to its blood-thinning properties. Natto is a good source of nattokinase, an enzyme that has been proven to have blood-thinning properties.
- Bone health: The mineral composition of natto makes it a valuable source of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals essential for maintaining a healthy bone structure.
- Weight management: Natto contains a high level of protein and fiber, which can help you stay full and satisfied longer, which is beneficial for weight loss.
- Digestive health: Nato contains probiotics that may aid in improving digestive health and reducing the risk of certain digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How to Incorporate Natto into Your Diet?
Natto can be incorporated into your diet in several different ways if you are interested in trying it. The following are some suggestions:
- As a topping for rice or noodles: There is a common Japanese practice of serving natto as a topping for rice or noodles. Natto can easily be mixed with soy sauce and mustard and served over your favorite grain or pasta.
- In a bento box: A bento box (a traditional Japanese lunch box) can be enhanced with natto for a convenient and nutritious addition. To make it a balanced meal on the go, pack it with rice and other small side dishes.
- As a topping for sandwiches or wraps: Sandwiches and wraps can be enhanced with the addition of natto, a protein-rich and flavorful condiment. Natto should be mashed and spread over your choice of bread or wrap.
- In a smoothie: Those who do not like the texture of natto may want to blend it into a smoothie. The combination of natto, frozen fruit, and liquid (such as milk, yogurt, or coconut water) will make your favorite smoothie even more delicious.
- In a stir-fry: A protein boost can also be achieved by adding natto to stir-fries. To prepare this dish, simply stir-fry your vegetables and then add some natto at the end.
There is no doubt that natto isn’t for everyone, but it is a delicious and nutritious food that is worth trying if you wish to broaden your culinary horizons.
Whether you use it to top rice or noodles, as part of a bento box, or blended into a smoothie, natto can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. The only warning is to be prepared for the strong smell and slimy texture of this product!
There are several health benefits associated with Natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Natto is discussed in this article, along with its history, production, and health benefits, as well as some tips on how to integrate it into your diet.