Culture/History Food/Drink

Key to longer lives – Part 3


Effect of fermented soy-bean foods on health

A lot of people in Japan know that “Natto”, Japanese fermented soy bean dish, has very good health benefits, which has now been officially confirmed by the research.

The National Cancer Center Japan (“NCC”) announced that based on its research, people who eat fermented soy-based foods such as “Natto” and “Miso” on a daily basis reduce the risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack by 10 percent. Researchers at the NCC monitored the health of about 90,000 adults over 15 years since 1995 and looked into a relevance between eating habits of fermented soy-based foods and risk of death.

The research found out that the group of males and females who consumed about 50g or more of fermented soy-based foods on a daily basis lowered their risk of death from certain diseases by about 10 percent compared with the group with the lowest consumption of the same type of food.


Natto is something that we eat with the white rice most of the time. If you buy a Natto package at a Japanese super market, it comes with soy sauce and karashi mustard which can be added onto the Natto before eating it. Some people like to add raw eggs or Japanese bunching onion onto the Natto. If you are new to Natto, you may get surprised at the smell and its stickiness. However, once you get used to it, you would appreciate the taste and health benefits that Natto brings to your body. Also, Natto is extremely cheap in Japan, which costs less than 100 yen for three packages on average.

Natto and white rice

For those of you who are hesitant to try Natto over rice, then try Natto rolls which can be purchased at a convenient store or at a super market; as they are easier to eat and have milder Natto tastes.

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