Nattokinase (natto) is a fermented soy-based food made by boiling or steaming soybeans and then fermenting them with the bacterium Bacillus subtilis natto. Its proteolytic enzyme has anti-clotting capacities whose basic function is to hydrolyze proteins. Since proteins are made up of complex organic amino acid structures, they require these enzymes to break protein molecules into absorbable and digestible amino acids.
Nattokinase has the unique ability to break down the adhesive substance that makes arterial plaque sticky and reduce the instances of blood clotting and plaque build-up in the arteries without many of the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. The main benefit is the all-natural enzymatic support that aids in deterring both heart disease and stroke.
Here are some of the other notable benefits:
- Decreases symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Eliminates migraines
- Improves libido
- Improves circulation and oxygenation to the brain.
- Improves vision by treating cataracts and eye floaters by dissolving proteins and fibers.
- Increases fertility
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Prevents deep vein thrombus formation.
- Prevents kidney stones
- Protects against osteoporosis
- Reduces and heals varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
- Reduces “brain fog” and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Relieves symptoms from joint swelling.
Nattokinase also breaks down wastes in the body such as toxins, cellular debris in the blood and undigested proteins in the gut. It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K2, which transfers calcium into the bones and protects the cardiovascular system by keeping calcium out of the arterial walls.
It’s important to note that this sort of soy is not the same as the GMO soy products you should always avoid. Because it is fermented, the natto soybean proteins are more easily digested and absorbed. It’s frequently consumed with miso, cabbage, eggs, salads and seaweed. It can be eaten as a condiment with raw veggies, crackers or spread on sandwiches.
If you are on blood thinners like warfarin or daily aspirin, you should not eat natto. Women sometimes find that the blood thinning effects of Nattokinase makes their periods heavier and may need to avoid it. But if you are trying to naturally to improve circulation, lower blood pressure and improve bone health, it’s a super food worth adding to your diet.