Natto is a fermented soy product, similar to miso or tempeh. It’s a traditional Japanese breakfast food. Natto is produced by soaking whole soybeans, boiling them, and then fermenting them for a day in the bacteria called Bacillus subtilis (a probiotic).
Natto has a stringy, sticky texture and an ammonia smell. While many people find its taste and smell unappealing, natto still remains a popular food in Japan. Natto also has tremendous nutritional benefits that can help improve overall health levels.
Natto Health Uses and Health Benefits
Natto health benefits include primarily being a rich source of protein, yet low in calories. Natto is also extremely high in manganese, iron, copper
The combination of vitamins, minerals as well as the probiotic used for fermentation, make natto extremely beneficial for improving health. Being high in vitamin K, natto can help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, as vitamin K has shown to prevent arterial hardening.2
Because natto is fermented in Bacillus subtilis, it’s also good for digestive health. Bacillus subtilis has shown to help improve digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. By improving gut health, natto can also contribute to a reduced risk of developing colon cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.2