Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Although it is common in Japan, it is not popular due to its unique consistency and smell. It is sticky and gooey and has a strong smell that reminds some people of old cheese or socks. All that said, you may wonder why bother eating it at all if it’s so unappealing, but in truth, natto offers much nutritional value if you can acquire a taste for it.
Benefits of Natto & Nutritional Facts
- 100g of natto contains 5g fiber, 18g protein, and 14g of carbs, and 8.6mg of iron making it a great food choice to help fill any nutritional deficiencies
- Contains loads of necessary minerals including: manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and selenium
- Rich in Vitamins K1 and K2 which help prevent blood clots
- Full of antioxidants and contains Vitamin C to help with skin ailments and increased autoimmune support
- With its high fiber value, natto can also aid digestion and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients
- It is a great source of natural probiotics to aid constipation and reduce gas, bloating, and diarrhea
How to Eat Natto
Natto is usually sold in a pack of small, sealed, square packages that are portioned per serving. To prepare it, you peel back the plastic seal and mix the fermented soybeans vigorously until the natto has a sticky and stringy consistency. Some even like mixing it until there is white foam since they believe it will be healthier that way.
Natto packages will usually come with two sauces to mix with it - usually japanese mustard called karashi and another special sauce. Different people have different preferences for how they put in the sauces because the natto may actually taste different depending on when the sauces are mixed in. Some like to mix it in after the natto has been mixed and is sticky, while some prefer to put the sauces in before mixing the natto.
The most common way natto is eaten is over rice or by itself, but you can also try it mixed with toppings like vegetables or spices. The toppings can help distract from the unique smell of natto for those that may be more apprehensive about it. Try natto paired with green onions, kimchi, an egg, cheese, or even mayonnaise!
Because it has a nutty taste, many chefs have experimented with natto in Western dishes. It also surprisingly goes well in dishes with mushroom or cheese like in pastas, thick-cut toasts, or even pizza!
Check out this Natto Spaghetti recipe by TabiEats.
Supplementing with Natto
If you’re looking to supplement with natto, you may have heard of nattokinase enzyme, which is an enzyme derived from natto. As an enzyme, it has the ability to speed up biochemical reactions and nattokinase is believed to be a potent method to reduce blood clots and thus help treat cardiovascular diseases. However, natto is not only useful for treating cardiovascular diseases.
D3 + K2
Because natto offers a large variety of nutritional benefits, natto is also a viable supplement for daily health. ProFormulations offers D3 + K2 Elite formulated with natto. It is designed to maximize the synergies between Vitamins D3 and K2 as vital fat-soluble vitamins to help achieve nutritional wholeness, enhance cardiovascular health, joint and bone health, and the immune system.