The All-Natural Food That’s Better Than any Cholesterol-Lowering Drug — and Also Wards off Cancer, Kills Bacteria, Prevents Senility, and Builds Bones
Natto, a high-protein, low-calorie fermented soybean dish, has a long history as a super food. This little-known Eastern health secret has been a staple in the Japanese diet for more than 1,000 years. Natto contains unique enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids that help fight heart attacks, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, senility, and intestinal disease.
Many of natto’s most potent health effects are related to fermentation. Top integrative physicians usually recommend against eating soybeans unless they are fermented. Fermentation improves the digestibility of soy and increases nutrient absorption by your body.
All fermented foods and drinks are good sources of probiotics—essential to optimal health, especially digestive health. A particularly powerful probiotic called Bacilus subtilis 1 is used to ferment the soybeans in natto.
If you want to increase your youthful longevity—and gain more beautiful skin, a healthier heart, stronger bones, and a sharper mind—you might want to make Japan’s best-kept health secret a regular part of your diet.
The Long Healthy Lives of the Japanese
The residents of Japan consume about 7.5 billion packets of natto each year. Meanwhile, the Japanese enjoy famously long lives—85 years for women and 78 for men. In comparison, American lifespans average only 79.1 years for women and 74.1 for men.
Additionally, statistics from the World Health Organization suggest that the Japanese experience better health outcomes than Americans by several other measures, including:
• A much lower risk of blood clots
• Far fewer deaths due to heart problems
• Japanese women in their 70s suffer a bone mineral density (BMD) loss of only 0.5% per year compared to their Western counterparts, who experience a 1.6% annual BMD loss
• A lower risk for certain cancers—especially of the breast and colon
Natto, K Vitamins, and Stronger Bones
Vitamin K1 (found in green leafy vegetables) makes up about 90% of the vitamin K in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Vitamin K2, unlike K1, isn’t produced in plants, but rather by various types of bacteria. Only about 10% of vitamin K consumption in the SAD is made up of vitamin K2.
Natto is a powerhouse source of K vitamins, particularly K2 (rare in other foods).
Vitamin K2 offers some outstanding health benefits. Importantly, vitamin K2 remains in the body for longer than K1, and is more effective at lower doses. Like K1, it helps with bone formation, and it may reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by as much as 80%.
Natto also contains olyglutamin acid, which helps you absorb calcium. Japanese research has demonstrated an association between eating natto and lower rates of cervical bone breakage, a common problem among older people suffering from osteoporosis.
Better than Blood Thinners for Preventing Devastating Blood Clots
Natto benefits offers supreme protection against blood clots and their potentially devastating effects. This superfood has a trifecta of nutrients that work together to:
• Increase circulation through restricted arteries
• Break up clots
• Keeps clots from forming
Natto’s blood clot-dissolving properties are said to rival those of $20,000 blood thinners used in the emergency room for heart attack patients—but with longer lasting benefits and no side effects.
Natto’s blood-thinning effects come in part from vitamin K1, known to reduce blood clots by slowing arterial calcification. However, two enzymes also play an important role: pyrazine and nattokinase.
The enzyme pyrazine prevents the formation of blood clots while giving natto its characteristic strong smell (more on that in the next section). Nattokinase is a clot-dissolving enzyme discovered and named in 1990 by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi. The combination of pyrazine and nattokinase can help prevent the devastating problems associated with blood clots.
Furthermore, natto benefits helps support all the other protections associated with improved circulation, such as warding off macular degeneration, senility, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Superfood of Renowned Doctors
According to the world-renowned doctor and natural health advocate, Dr. Joseph Mercola, natto benefits offers some truly unparalleled health , including the following:
• Works better than aspirin at preventing a heart attack due to the blood-thinning effects of nattokinase
• Prevents fractures and sustains bone mineral density in women with osteoporosis
• Keeps your gut running smoothly and keeps your tummy efficient and calm
• Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
• Fights cancer (especially breast cancer) and protects against heart disease due to its stores of phytoestrogens
• Provides additional anti-cancer effects from flavonoids and isoflavones in soybeans
• Suppresses immune reactions
Dr. Oz, another renowned and extremely popular integrative practitioner, has also enthusiastically endorsed natto as a top nutritional ally for those in pursuit of longevity and vitality.
Purifies Blood and Beautifies Skin
Natto benefits also provides lecithin, linoleic acid, and fiber, which purifies the blood and improves digestion.
Furthermore, natto is a great source of Vitamin PQQ. This little-known vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy skin, and must be obtained primarily through diet.
Finally, natto benefits have even been shown to help fight against pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella.
Acquiring a Taste for Natto is Worth the Effort
Most fermented foods and drinks require what’s known as “an acquired taste.” But natto may take even more getting used to than some other fermented options.
Natto is described as having a stringy texture and a strong, ammonia-like smell. Some even refer to it as “sneeze beans” due to its slimy consistency.
However, those who are willing to experiment have found that it is quite possible to greatly improve natto’s taste and texture by mixing it with other foods and condiments, such as:
• Cottage cheese
• Cultured vegetables
• White vinegar or apple cider vinegar (neutralizes the ammonia odor)
More Natto Tips
- Before consuming natto, pour it into a bowl and use a fork to whip it about 50 times until it becomes lighter and foamier
- It’s best to eat natto cold. If you do heat it, don’t exceed 150 Fahrenheit, because the enzymes lose their effectiveness.
- If you can’t acquire a taste for natto, some of the benefits may be attained via a supplement pill containing nattokinase. Most practitioners say the benefits of the pill fall short of those offered by the real food, but some people still report significant results from taking the supplement.
- You can find natto at Asian markets and some health food stores.
- Even if are sensitive to soy, you may find natto completely tolerable. That’s because the fermentation process breaks down the proteins that are difficult to digest, and that are the source of sensitivity for most people.
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