Natto: Fermented Soybeans Superfood For A Healthy Lifestyle

Natto: Fermented Soybeans Superfood

Natto: fermented soybeans as a superfood for a healthy lifestyle offers an array of nutritional benefits, from supporting gut health to preventing blood clots and more.

What is Natto?

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It’s a sticky, slimy, and slightly sour-tasting condiment that’s been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries.

Here’s how it’s typically prepared:

  1. Soybean Fermentation: Soybeans are soaked in water and then boiled to create a soft, cooked texture.
  2. Fermentation: The soybeans are then mixed with a type of bacteria called Bacillus subtilis, which ferments the mixture about 24 hours. This process creates compounds like nattokinase, vitamins, and minerals that give natto its unique properties.
  3. Straining: After fermentation, the natto is strained to remove excess liquid, leaving a sticky, slimy paste.

Natto has a distinctive appearance and smell, which can be an acquired taste for some people. However, its unique properties make it a nutritious and versatile ingredient that’s rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It’s often served as a side dish, used as an ingredient in various recipes, or added to traditional Japanese dishes like miso soup, sushi, and rice bowls.

Natto: Fermented Soybeans Superfood

Health Benefits Of Natto: Fermented Soybeans Superfood

Natto has gained popularity globally due to its impressive array of health benefits. This probiotic-rich superfood has been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries, and its unique properties make it an excellent addition to a balanced diet. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with natto:

1. Probiotics for Gut Health

Natto is an excellent source of live probiotics, which can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. This supports immune function, digestion, and overall well-being.

2. Blood Clotting Prevention

Natto’s unique compound enzyme called nattokinase, has been shown to prevent blood clots from forming, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes, and helps to lower blood pressure. This enzyme is heat sensitive, so if you want to cook with natto, add it to your dish after you’ve turned off the heat. (4)

3. High-Quality Protein Source

Soybeans are an excellent source of protein, making natto a great option for vegetarians and vegans looking to boost their protein intake.

4. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Natto is a good source of vitamins B2, B12, K, K2 (MK-7) and E, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.

“Fermentation of natto produces vast amounts of Vitamin K2 (MK-7); while miso and tempeh do not. Vitamin K2 can only be produced by certain species of bacteria, most prolifically by the natto-fermenting bacterial species Bacillus subtilis. Miso and tempeh fermentations are mediated by fungi (Aspergillus & Rhizopus genuses, respectively) that do not generate Vitamin K2.” (2)

5. Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidants present in natto help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

6. Inflammation Reduction

Natto contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like arthritis, asthma, and allergies.

7. Bone Health Support

The isoflavones present in natto may help regulate calcium metabolism, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

8. Cancer Prevention

Studies have shown that consuming natto regularly may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

9. Natto Could Help You Live Longer

A study showed that natto reduces the risk of death by heart attack, again thanks to its many nutrients and the nattokinase. No wonder Japan is ranked number 2 in the world for longevity (at the writing of this post)! (2)

How to Incorporate Natto, Fermented Soybeans Superfood into Your Diet

Natto is typically served over rice (natto gohan) or used in various dishes like soups, salads, and sauces. You can find natto at Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated or freezer section.

  1. Start with a Small Amount: Begin by adding a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) to your meals, such as salads or soups.
  2. Use it in Cooking: Add natto to stir-fries, sauces, or braises for an extra boost of nutrition and flavor.
  3. Make Natto-Based Dishes: Try making traditional Japanese dishes like natto soup, natto risotto, or natto-stuffed vegetables.
  4. Add it to Your Breakfast: Mix natto with raw egg yolk or scrambled eggs, toast, or oatmeal for a protein-packed morning meal.
  • Natto + kimchi: supports gut flora balance
  • Natto+ tuna: promotes blood circulation, reduces cholesterol levels
  • Natto + green onions or onions: increases vitamin B1 absorption, aids in recovery from exhaustion (6)

By incorporating natto into your diet, you can unlock its impressive array of health benefits and enjoy the unique flavor and texture this superfood has to offer.

The information here is provided for informational purposes only. It is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. (Read more)


  1. Natto: A medicinal and edible food with health function –
  2. “Eat Natto, Live Longer?”
  3. Association of soy and fermented soy product intake with total and cause specific mortality: prospective cohort study –
  4. Nattokinase – Uses, Side Effects, and More –
  5. Efficacy of Natto and Nattokinase –

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