Natto is a traditional, yet still a common daily Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It has a distinctive pungent smell, like of aged cheese, and stringy consistency due to the beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis. So many people in the West tend to NOT like it…
However Natto is being slowly introduced to the West and becoming more popular due to its many health benefits:
- One of the best source for vitamin K2 (helps build strong bones, antioxidants, helps cardiovascular health)
- High in well balanced protein, iron, manganese, magnesium, and calcium
- Contains Nattokinase, which has been shown to dissolve the blood clots
- Because of fermentation, natto can enjoy the benefit of soy such as cancer prevention, with much reduced amount of “anti-nutrients” that soy has
- Enjoy all the benefit of beneficial bacteria (read more from here)
- Also there are more nutrients in natto yet to discover (such as vitamin PQQ etc), and has a potential benefit in Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, cardiovascular health, and stroke
How do you eat it?
Traditionally eaten with rice (natto sushi rolls are also common!), it is also possible to mix with more western foods as well such like pasta, salad, etc. You can find your best way to eat it! I found for the beginners, mixing natto with shallot or chive, vinegar, salt and olive oil and have it like a salad is nice way to eat it.
Where can you buy it?
Find them in Asian grocery stores in your area. Try to get the non-GMO, organic types as often as possible. Most of natto comes with sauces or brines that can contain high fructose corn syrups and the like. So do not use the syrups, you can simply use soya sauce, or salt.