Health Benefits of Natto
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming natto:
Promotes Heart Health: Natto is rich in vitamin K2, which helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by preventing the accumulation of calcium in the arteries.
Aids Digestion: Natto contains a powerful enzyme called nattokinase, which helps to break down proteins and improve digestion. It also helps to regulate bowel movements.
Boosts Immunity: Natto contains a compound called lecithin, which helps to strengthen the immune system and protect the body from infections.
Improves Bone Health: Natto is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for strong bones and teeth.
Lowers Cholesterol: Natto contains a substance called soy protein, which has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Overall, natto is a highly nutritious food that can provide numerous health benefits when consumed regularly. However, it is important to note that natto is an acquired taste and may not be suitable for everyone’s palate.
Factors to Consider When Buying Natto
If you’re interested in trying natto, it’s important to consider a few factors when purchasing it. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Quality: Look for high-quality natto that is made from non-GMO soybeans and is free from any artificial additives or preservatives. Also, check the expiration date to ensure that the natto is fresh.
Brand: Choose a reputable brand that specializes in the production of natto. This ensures that you’re getting a product that has been made with care and attention to detail.
Texture: Natto can have a slimy and sticky texture, which some people may find unappealing. Look for natto that has a texture that suits your taste preferences.
Fermentation period: The longer the fermentation period, the stronger the taste of natto. If you’re new to natto, it’s recommended to start with a shorter fermentation period and work your way up to longer periods.
Price: Natto can vary in price depending on the brand and where you’re buying it from. Consider your budget and shop around to find the best value for your money.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that you’re buying high-quality natto that meets your taste preferences and nutritional needs.
Places to Buy Natto Online
If you’re unable to find natto at your local grocery store or Asian market, you can easily purchase it online. Here are some online retailers where you can buy natto:
Amazon: Amazon offers a wide variety of natto brands and flavors, and you can easily filter your search results based on your preferences. Plus, with Amazon Prime, you can receive free and fast shipping.
Asian Food Grocer: Asian Food Grocer specializes in Asian foods and ingredients, including natto. They offer a range of natto brands and sizes, as well as other Japanese foods.
Japan Centre: Japan Centre is a UK-based online retailer that offers a large selection of Japanese foods, including natto. They offer both fresh and frozen natto, as well as other Japanese ingredients and snacks.
Natto Ninja: Natto Ninja is a US-based online retailer that specializes in high-quality natto. They offer a range of flavors and package sizes, and their products are made using traditional Japanese fermentation methods.
The Japanese Pantry: The Japanese Pantry is a US-based online retailer that offers a curated selection of Japanese foods and ingredients, including natto. They offer both fresh and frozen natto, as well as other Japanese pantry staples.
By purchasing natto online, you can access a wider variety of brands and flavors than what may be available in your local area. Plus, with online shopping, you can easily compare prices and find the best deals.
Places to Buy Natto Locally
If you prefer to purchase natto in person rather than online, there are several places where you can find it locally. Here are some options to consider:
Asian grocery stores: Many Asian grocery stores carry natto, as it is a staple in Japanese cuisine. Check your local Asian market to see if they carry natto.
Health food stores: Some health food stores carry natto in the refrigerated section, as it is a fermented food that is rich in probiotics and other nutrients.
Japanese restaurants: Some Japanese restaurants may offer natto as a side dish or topping for sushi rolls. You can ask the restaurant if they sell natto to take home.
Farmers’ markets: Some farmers’ markets may have vendors who specialize in fermented foods, including natto. Check your local farmers’ market to see if any vendors offer natto.
Online directories: You can use online directories, such as Yelp or Google Maps, to search for Japanese grocery stores or health food stores in your area that may carry natto.
By exploring these local options, you can support small businesses and potentially discover new brands or flavors of natto that you may not have found online.
How to Store Natto
Proper storage is important to maintain the quality and freshness of natto. Here are some tips on how to store natto:
Refrigerate: Natto should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage. Once opened, natto should be consumed within a few days.
Keep dry: To prevent the natto from becoming slimy or mushy, it’s important to keep it as dry as possible. Pat dry any excess moisture with a paper towel before storing.
Use airtight container: Store natto in an airtight container to prevent any outside odors or flavors from affecting the taste of the natto.
Keep away from direct sunlight: Natto should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, as sunlight can cause the natto to spoil more quickly.
Don’t freeze: While natto can technically be frozen, it is not recommended as freezing can alter the texture and flavor of the natto.
By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your natto stays fresh and maintains its texture and flavor for as long as possible.