What is Natto? A Nutritious Fermented Soybean Superfood

Many Americans are dissatisfied with their current diet. The underlying issue is that even though the food typically bought tastes good enough for modern standards, much of it is lacking in nutritional value. The quest for healthier meals is an important one that can substantially improve a person’s quality of life.

This mission can take many people far out of their comfort zone, and even far from traditional American cuisine but the new flavor experiences can be rewarding and tasty. By going on a journey for a better life through food, you can discover new ways to enjoy food that is better for them but expand their understanding of what makes food delicious and nutritious.

This brings us to Natto, a fermented soybean packed with major nutritional benefits, that has been a long time a staple of Japanese meals. Our family business has gone a few steps beyond to mill this into a delicious nutty powder. We realized that while we know a lot about Natto, the online sources leave a lot to be misunderstood. This is why Food Healing has put together a short guide on the natto superfood. See the many reasons people around the world are incorporating it into their diets.

What is Natto?

Minamoto No Yoshiie, a famous samurai from Japan’s late Heian period, often receives credit for creating the natto superfood. The story goes that it happened quite by accident during the Gosannen War (also known as the Later Three Years’ War). An attack by enemy soldiers forced him and his troops to ride from their encampment. They had been cooking soybeans for their horses but hastily packed them in straw and forgot about them until a few days later.

When Yoshiie’s soldiers decided to try it for themselves, they discovered that something odd had happened to their soybeans: they had fermented. Almost a millennium later, researchers would discover that the culprit was Bacillus natto, a variant of a bacterium called Bacillus subtilis. All that the samurai knew was that their beans were sticky, stringy, and quite pungent in their smell. Whether in the spirit of discovery or because they lacked other options, Yoshiie’s troops tried it anyway. They liked it.

This traditional tale may be more rooted in legend than historical fact. However, it accurately describes the nature of natto. The soybean dish is notable for using a fermentation process, feeling rather slimy to the touch, and having a strong odor and flavor. It can be an acquired taste but the health benefits are some of the best. For many centuries, it has been and remains a part of a complete and balanced Japanese breakfast.

The Benefits of Natto Superfood

When we call natto a superfood, we do not use the term lightly. It's a SUPERFOOD! There are quite a few reasons including that it's fantastic for bone health, blood circulation, energy, brain function, and memory capacity. Regular soybeans aren't great for you and actually can negatively impact your hormones or thyroid. Natto continues to be widely consumed in Japan and has recently found a global audience. Eating it can give you a wide variety of extraordinary health benefits, especially if you make it part of your regular diet. Here are some of the most notable effects it can have.

Nutritious Beyond Belief

For starters, natto is excellently nutritious. In their regular form, soybeans are not super beneficial. Soybeans are jam-packed with nutrients but there is a lot of phytic acids that prevent the body from absorbing nutrients. However, in its fermented state, that negative and other harmful property is eradicated. The real advantages come about in this fermented state. Our natto blend is said to improve digestion, strengthens immunity, and more! When it comes to vitamins alone, one serving can net you most of the alphabet: B2, B6, C, E, and K. Vitamin K is great for bone health. Along the way, you also get sizable helpings of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, fiber, zinc, copper, and more.

Improves The Body's Quality of Life

As you can imagine, all those nutrients can seriously affect the body. What might surprise you is just how much it can affect. It is a probiotic, which means it kills harmful stomach bacteria and aids with digestion. This probiotic quality combines with fiber and other enzymes to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Natto can strengthen both your immune system and your bones. All told, people who eat natto may live longer lives. At the very least, they live much healthier lives.

Energy Boost

While natto can be eaten any time of day (any food can, if you care little for customs), it is a popular breakfast item for a reason. It gives people an all-natural, caffeine-free shot of energy that can sustain them through early morning school, work, and (of course) traffic. This happens because, among everything else mentioned earlier, natto is rich in saturated fats.

Add To All Kinds of Dishes and Desserts

Food Healing has redefined natto with the NeoBiotika Natto Powder. Our beans are sourced from the best farms using the best growing tactics and safest method of processing. It's grown with Basilica 258 as a non-GMO legume. After the harvest, they are quad washed with mountain water. Only after they are clean are they dehydrated and milled to a powder that can be used on all sorts of dishes.

How to Eat Natto

With all of the benefits mentioned above and more, natto is a must-have for health food connoisseurs. However, as we noted before, the scent and flavor can come off as quite strong, especially to first-timers. It is an acquired taste in its traditional form, but many more people prefer adding our Natto Powder as a topping or mixed into food. This product retains all the powers of the Japenese fermented soybean meal, but in a form that is more convenient for adding it to food and drink.

There are so many ways to enjoy the health and flavor of natto. Here are a few ways to incorporate it into everyday eating:

1. Eat Natto with Hot Rice

Eating natto with other food adds texture and flavor. The most common natto meal and one of the quickest to prepare is a fresh bowl of warm white rice. Naturally, you can still mix in additional ingredients like soy sauce or other condiments.

2. Mix Natto into Another Meal

Rice is by no means the only food to which you can add some natto. At breakfast time, you could eat it with a slice of toast, or with an omelet (the Western counterpart to tamagoyaki). Some folks in Japan like to wrap it with their sushi. Of course, you can get creative and mix it with the foods and flavors you like most.

3. Mix into Your Favorite Smoothie

In a busy world and a sometimes hectic life, drinking nutrients in the form of fruit and juice smoothies are a favored form of staying healthy on the go. It's super because kids like it too. It is a great way to get kids an extra boost of nutrition! No time for the blender? Make this even easier for yourself by getting natto in a powder form and mixing it around with your beverage.

4. Desserts! 

What is life without chocolate and ice cream? Natto powder sprinkled onto your favorite (non-dairy) ice cream takes on a caramel flavor. This really is the best guilt-free way to eat ice cream and enjoy it with your kids.

Got a savory-sweet tooth? Support your spirit with some excellent chocolate. Zen Chocolate bars are a raw, organic delight made with a variety of cacao grown in the jungle and wild-harvested for a robust, natural flavor and maximum nutrition. This cacao is processed at the source of dedicated, allergen-free equipment. All of our chocolate is prepared in small batches on dedicated equipment and is never exposed to dairy, soy, peanut, canola or other common fillers or allergens. 

How Much Natto Powder to Take Per Day?

Two tablespoons, or fourteen grams of natto, per day, can make you feel better than ever before. We have natto powder available in two sizes - 150g/5.29 oz and 330g/11.64oz

Natto is also available in our Vegan Performance Power Blend!

Give the natto superfood a try and live your best life every day!

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” - Dalai Lama