Guest Author - Jacqueline Rosenbalm
Everyone wishes to live as long as they can here on earth. Some of the longest living people have claimed that eating Natto is one way to do just that.
What is Natto?
Natto is a type of fermented soy bean that is consumed in Japan. Some medical professionals suggest that perhaps the extended length of life and lack of coronary artery disease in Japan can be attributed to eating Natto daily.
Why would eating fermented soy beans in the form of Natto be beneficial?
It is good for your bones, circulation and your heart. Its high in protein, a good source of fiber, rich in vitamins K2 and B2, contains the minerals calcium and iron and is gluten free. It also contains a beneficial enzyme called nattokinase. Studies have shown these enzymes to be effective and safe in dissolving existing blood clots and artery plaque preventing thrombus and inflammation in the body. It is also a way to maintain clear arteries, good blood pressure and keep inflammation and arthritis away as we age.
How does nattokinase work and why does it work so effectively?
Your liver produces both fibrinogen and thrombin. Together they are necessary for your blood to clot and your tissues to remain intact. But sometimes because your body is over loaded with fats or toxins it can interfere with the production of the amount the liver produces creating an imbalance of fibrin that can cause clots to form. Nattokinase is a strong fibrinolytic enzyme. That means it breaks the extra fibrin apart, literally dissolving clots and eliminating inflammation in the body.
This natural enzyme is created during the fermentation process of soy beans using bacteria called bacillus natto. You can make this in your kitchen for pennies. It is also available for sale in some health food stores or online. The best part is it works as effectively as any of the drugs currently available from the pharmaceutical companies for dissolving blood clots according to a study done in 1990.
How do you make Natto?
Buy a package of granulated bacillus natto or purchase a package of Natto and use it as a starter culture. Both can be purchased via the internet.
1) Soak the soy beans overnight in water.
2) Drain beans.
3) Boil or steam the beans until soft and tender.
4) Drain beans.
5) Pre-sterilize a glass pan and all mixing utensils with boiling water including a kitchen towel. Take care to only use non-metal utensil and pans.
6) Put beans in the glass pan while still warm; add 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and package of bacteria or natto. (prepare bacteria as directed on the package)
7) Mix well and spread out so beans are no deeper than 3 beans thick.
8) Cover with sterilized towel and then a lid.
9) Keep in a warm oven at lowest setting to ferment for 24 hours.
10)To stop fermentation refrigerate overnight.
11)Take the beans out of the refrigerator and stir well. It is now ready to eat.
What is the best way to eat Natto?
Eating a little bit at a time on a regular basis is the best way to achieve the benefits of eating Natto.
But be warned; to most Americans Natto is an acquired taste, so time and a variety of recipes may be required to make it palatable. It is said that you will either love it or hate it. It has a slippery texture and unique aroma that is hard to describe because nothing else smells or tastes similar.
Natto recipe ideas:
The flavor will vary somewhat whether it is fresh or frozen and the food you combine with Natto.
Traditionally, Japanese eat Natto for breakfast alone or combined with rice and a raw egg.
If you donít like eating raw eggs, try it combined with chopped green onion and soy sauce served over rice.
Another way to enjoy Natto is mixed with chopped onion, chopped tomato, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, Ĺ tablespoon white wine vinegar; salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bagel topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Natto can be eaten hundreds of ways with anything you care to combine with it. It can be made in a sushi roll or you can simply eat it on a potato chip! You are only limited by your imagination.