Japan at its best
Saturday April 19th 2014

Natto, 10 Medical Benefits

Natto doesn’t have the most popular smell in the world!! but I wonder how many people know of the health benefits that natto is purported to have? Perhaps, the smell of natto can be forgotten if you think about the following 10 suggestions promoting natto as a health food ……?


Natto is one of my favourite foods!

1. Did you know that natto’s distinctive smell comes from the compound pyrazine which reduces the likelihood of blood clotting?


2. And a 2009 study in Taiwan suggested that natto could provide treatment for amyloid-type diseases such as Alzheimer’s!


3. Another really interesting point about nattō is that it contains large amounts of vitamin K. Great for helping to prevent osteoporosis.

4. Natto also helps suppresses excessive immune reactions, due to the large quantity of polyamine.

5. Nattō contains many chemicals alleged to prevent cancer, for example natto has daidzein, genistein, isoflavone, phytoestrogen, and the chemical element selenium.

Perfect for mixing sticky natto
Perfect for mixing sticky natto

5. It is suggested that nattō may have a cholesterol-lowering effect.

6. Nattō is also said to have an antibiotic effect

In 2007 there was a ‘run’ on natto when these health benefits were ‘leaked’ on Japanese television !!!

Apologies because the shop has run out of natto
Apologies because the shop has run out of natto

7. Nattō is claimed to prevent obesity

A natto felt bean!
A natto felt bean!

8. It is claimed that natto helps improve digestion – although the felt variety probably won’t do the job!!

9. Natto reduces the effects of aging – good to hear!!!

10. It helps in hair loss in men due to its phytoestrogen content – spread the word?

Nattō is also sometimes used as an ingredient of pet food, and it is claimed that this improves the health of the pets. Interesting stuff!

Have you tried a natto memo pad?!
Have you tried a natto memo pad!!!

Thanks to Wiki some insights into natto! Do you like natto?
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19 Comments for “Natto, 10 Medical Benefits”

  • bloglinkjapan says:

    Natto, 10 Medical Benefits http://bit.ly/w3oBh #JBlogs

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • whipcracker says:

    Never had natto before. After eating natto, does it produce any gaseous side effects in the lower regions? LOL ^_^ Looks like an all purpose ingredient you have their.

  • Ella says:

    As bad as it smells and tastes, I was surprized not to get a sick stomach after eating it. No gastro problems after eating it either.

    I mash a small amount with a fork and mix mustard into it. Then I take a chick pea size amount on the end of a spoon and swallow it followed by some water, I do this until it is all gone. I dont chew or breathe while it is in my mouth.

  • Bobby M says:

    You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Despite all the criticisms about the smell and the taste, I bought some Okame NATTO and had it for breakfast yesterday. It wasn’t bad at all. Actually putting on the paquets of soy sauce and a little mustard it was pretty palatable. Today I had it for lunch and am now wondering what all the fuss about taste was about. It does not taste any worse than a strong Camembert cheese from France (which I enjoy as well). But it’s not for everyone. I personally enjoy it and it gives you extra energy to boot….

  • Jasja says:


    I love natto! It is a bit beany, and I guess it is not for everyone, or an acquired taste.

    Also good to see you liked my natto photo enough to use it in your blog. You probably missed that I have it on an “attribute” creative contents. Please could you refer to me and the source of the photo!


  • Ride says:

    Natto is an acquired taste that really isn’t that difficult to acquire. If you mix it with the mustard pac that comes with it and a sprinkle of Braggs liquid amino’s it is a tasty snack. You will probably want to ditch the savoury flavour sachet that comes with it as it is loaded with MSG. As a profolaxis it is of tremendous value.

  • Naomi says:

    In Japan, we add soy sauce, chopped green onions, dried bonito flakes, and crumbled seaweed on top. We eat it with hot steamed rice and it is yummy! I love the stuff and have eaten it since I was a little girl. It is more of an acquired taste.

  • chris says:

    Does nattou honestly have such a bad smell? Or is it people overreacting? People do seem to overreact, even more over the internet.

    In all the nattou I’ve consumed there has never been an issue of odour. I don’t know whether or not the “foot smell” trait is some cultural myth or that the odour is something I’ve been used to enough not to even notice.

    P.s. mixing the nattou into rice will result in slimy rice; leaving it on top (like furikake) and taking a small amount with a mouthful of rice will keep the texture of the rice and retain heat better (cold nattou on hot rice, mix them together and the temperature is brought down faster then at room temp).

  • Sara says:

    I love Natto. If you think it tastes so terrible that you can’t chew or breath while you eat it, then don’t eat it. I think It’s wonderful, I don’t use the flavor packettes that come with it, I like it with a little soy sauce and hot chilies. I am a big fan of strong flavors, so natto is perfect for me! The health benefits are just a very welcome bonus.

  • L.E. says:

    Started on it yesterday. – 2 boxes a day for health.- Trying to lower cholesterol. Conventional drugs do not work. – Was worried about the taste but it is fine. Take it on steamed rice with the sachets of sauces, it is great. – Hoping it does the job I require it to. – Rgds.

  • Rya says:

    I LIKE NATTO VERY MUCH!!! Hehehehe one of my favorite food from Japan :D

  • Jovi says:

    Dear Ella,
    You might miss the whole point and might have destroyed the acid polymer which is responsible to the hairy, rubbery strings. if you mix it with bacteria phages (which you must have done because they exist everywhere), they will destroy the poly-acid-hairs which are in charge of the smell and which are responsible for the health benefits.
    If you got to be that corrages to taste it, then with a bit of philosophy you can learn to bare the taste and even love it.
    It looks like that in Asia they do miracles with Soy just like they do them in the west with milk- all the cheeses, yougourts, fermantations and stinking cheses.
    Only, it is known now that cow milk protein (Kazaine) is harmful to human health, so Soy wins as it is a non animal protein. It builds the body slower but healthier and stronger and in a natural way.
    Same like you would not want your home to be built with used material of other homes which were demolished- so would you not like to build your body with proteins of other lives which were slaughtered. You would like to build your healthy proteins from scratch using pure foundation substances from nature.
    Soy wins over Cows. Instead eating animals which eat herbs like soy, eat the soy yourself, in the forms which a human can best digest.
    Get used to soy products and their taste including NATTO
    You will hardly see doctors, for unnescessary deseases, in your life

  • Liza says:

    First time I try natto powder this morning in my cereal and I was really Disapointed of the taste. But with all the positive comments and feedback I will give myself one month of try to see how it goes

  • Mai says:

    The real way of eating nato is that you mix it thoroughly first until it goes white then u add an egg, soy sauce and mustard and mix it well. Then you add spring onions and dried fish flakes. You serve it with rice and nori (seaweed). You can wrap it in seaweed like sushi.

  • JR says:

    I’m quite ‘addicted’ to Natto now ;) I didn’t have any problems eating it the first time, as other have. It’s not the best tasting/smelling food, but it’s not as bad as how others put it either. I eat it as a dessert snack now, putting coconut oil, honey, &/or cinnamon, etc. I’m eating it to treat my hemorrhoids and keloids, and it seems to be working.

  • Kimonobox says:

    Don’t think so …..

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