Necessary Natto

Did you know that natto is  the only safe way to eat soy other than soy sauce and miso? That is because natto is fermented, which degrades the phytic acid found in, unlocking the nutrients in the bean. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient – that is, it hinders absorption of nutrients in the stomach and is also toxic to humans, which essentially means that drinking soy milk and eating tofu is not only not healthy but a health hindrance! Add to this another problem – 75% of soy products in the U.S. (and that is a substantial amount of US imported soy products here in Canada) are GMO, which also makes them carcinogenic. Natto is traditionally eaten as breakfast by itself or over steamed rice in Japan. At first its taste may be intolerable, however, you may find that if given a chance, your taste buds will adapt as your body knows best what it needs! However, if you never acquire a taste for natto, there is another alternative and that is in supplement form.

A piece of information which you probably are not aware of  is that natto is the richest natural source of vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin which is now being increasingly supported by research to be crucial for prevention of osteoporosis and even cancer and diabetes.  Natto is rich specifically in MK7, which is a subtype of K2 (K2 is one of the two forms of vitamin K, the other being k1 which is vital for proper blood clotting). K1 is found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach, and also in broccoli and brussel sprouts.  k2 is found in fermented foods and also made by bacteria in the human colon, however it does not get absorbed from the colon but gets expelled and is thus unavailable to the body.  It is k2 that is crucial for guarding against cancer, osteoporosis and lowering the risk of diabetes and is now increasingly available in supplement form. You will need the MK7 form as the other form commonly found (Mk4) is synthetic and thus, not as readily bio-available.  Eating just 15 grams of natto a day will provide you with 200 micrograms of K2 (the minimum daily requirement is 150 micrograms/day). It’s definitely worth a try and it’s easily found in Asian and Japanese stores and markets.