Eat your Natto

People enjoy pointing out that human ancestors used to eat meat. What they don’t tend to like is when you point out to them what sort of meat our ancestors on the plains of Africa used to eat. You can look at our unusually low stomach PH, to find out that our ancestors most likely had a diet that was full of bacteria that had to be killed. This implies that we were scavengers: We wandered around on the plains of Africa, hurrying to scoop up decaying corpses of other animals before the vultures could get to them.

And so when it comes to what your body is missing, I wouldn’t look for “protein”. All evidence suggests most people receive far more protein in their diet than we need. We benefit from low protein high carbohydrate diets, in other words, the exact opposite of what Americans like to think is good for them. Even strength training athletes don’t need a lot more protein, as the body gets more efficient at utilizing protein.

Rather, what the body is really missing, are microbially fermented foods. In nature, everything you eat would have been covered with fungi and bacteria. There would’ve been worms in the fruit you eat and those worms would have had bacteria that help them metabolize the fruit. What sets our food apart is its sterility. This brings me to Natto, my favorite microbial fermented food.

A lot of people these days will take Nattokinase to reduce their risk of blood clots. My honest advice would be to just stick to Natto instead. The reason is because Natto contains a cocktail of microbial products that serve to help the Bacillus subtilis digest the soybean and keep out other microbes that might want to take over the tiny little ecosystem they inhabit:

-Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2), to remove calcium from your blood vessels and strengthen your bones.

-Isoflavones naturally present, to heal your endothelium

-Nattokinase, to break down fibrin.

But these are just the basics. As bacteria, you can’t break down a soybean with just one enzyme. Soybeans are how the soy plant reproduces, it will tend to protect these beans quite well from microbial decay. There are other proteolytic enzymes these Natto bacteria produce too.

But the bacteria do more. About 10-15% of their spores are made up of dipicolinic acid. Dipicolinic acid has an important effect when it enters our blood vessels, it causes your own human cells to produce more of the thrombolytic enzyme tPa. There are multiple substances in natto responsible for fibrinolysis. The nattokinase is heat-sensitive, but the dipicolinic acid’s effect should survive the heat.

I think one of the main causes of human aging, is the buildup of “molecular junk”, that is, stuff we produce that never gets removed and thus degrades our tissues. The body has never had a strong Darwinian incentive to remove such junk and thus it can readily build up. When it comes to the junk that builds up that would normally have been broken down by our exposure to bacteria in rotting meat, the incentive moves even further towards tolerating the accumulation of this junk.

One such type of molecular junk would be fibrin. Its accumulation seems to play a role in Alzheimer’s.

I feel like showing you one of my inspirations, the 86 year old Japanese bodybuilder Toshisuke Kanazawa:

What does he eat? Mainly rice, natto, and miso soup with eggs. He doesn’t eat meat or fish. The people using “soyboy” as an insult on Twitter and 4chan tend to look worse at twenty than this guy does at 86.

14 Comments

  1. TBH eggs do everything the meatbros say liver does, also you do not have to have phd to notice that entire chick is made from egg, but nothing other than maggots/flies can be made from only liver/other animal tissues.

  2. I think the Japanese also eat fish. So do Mount Athos Monks.

    Luckily the soy products are fermented which neutralizes the estrogenic compounds for that man.

  3. Thank you for the recommendation – have followed it. I’ve always liked fermented things. Here in Finland fresh natto made from peas can be bought in some shops. Interesting food, but one gets into it pretty quickly. Finished my stock recently, now missing it, and the shops selling it are only in bigger cities.

    I am thinking about sourdough bread: it is a fermented food, too, though baking kills the fermenting bacteria. But my feeble attempts to find research on how sourdough bread differs from yeast raised bread have yielded pretty much nothing. But I know the difference in my belly.

    • >But my feeble attempts to find research on how sourdough bread differs from yeast raised bread have yielded pretty much nothing.

      Make no mistake, the difference is massive because you get fermentation products like butyric acid.

      It’s very healthy.

      • Wheat and grains are terrible for humans, for all sorts of reasons, but with the right yeast strain, many of those “reasons” (toxins) are broken down, eg in good sourdough. Still won’t eat it, no need, but if you are going to eat bread, sourdough, esp homemade, is better. Marksdailyapple.com had some posts about it (and Mark looks just as healthy if not more so, on plenty of meat, animal fats, and vegetables, (including natto apparently for the k2), than your Japanese guy, though much respect to the Japanese guy too, certainly impressive)

        As to your bullshit about milk: milk means healthy, pastured, grass fed cow or small number of cows, fresh, non pasteurised, non homogonised.

        Pretending the white stuff in the supermarket from cows fed things they did not evolve to love off is the same thing, and speaks to the “general lack of health of dairy intake” is like pretending the Roundup drenched Dandelion growing out of the freeway drainage ditch, beside the petrochem factory refinery, is a good example of vegetables, and speaks to the lack of health of dandelion consumption…

        Stop pretending that because factory farm “meat and dairy” is shit (and cruel), real meat and dairy is shit. I don’t pretend that because the pesticide covered nutrient free “vegetables” at the supermarket are shit, that vegetables grown with actual care and common sense are also bad, and if you think monoculture crops don’t wipe out nature, you really have been brain damaged by lack of absorbable animal form nutrients.

  4. I wish I had eaten natto. I was a strict vegan for 19 years, and I ended up with cardiac calcification, probably due to the lack of K2. Natto has lots of K2. But that problem wasn’t known when I was vegan. That is why funny diets are a bad idea; there is not enough long term data. Since I was vegan out of pity for animals, rather than for my health, it wasn’t a total waste, but there is no way I am going to be vegan now; I don’t know what else I’d be fucking up. But I won’t eat pigs or sheep or ducks.

    Natto is really expensive and hard to find, even in Silicon valley. You can buy it on Amazon for a fortune, or at a local Asian food store for not as much (but still a lot) but it is in little plastic tubs that sit forever and doesn’t look like food. It is possible to make but it a real process involving sterilizing utensils and more kitchen space than I have.

  5. I ate it for about three weeks (the frozen packet stuff) without any problems. Unfortunately the shop ran out and had to try a different brand from a different shop and was so violently ill I’m wary of trying it again. It could be that the Natto had defrosted and gone off on it’s journey from Japan to the UK and the shop then refroze it. Fuck knows.

  6. Important to remember most carbohydrate grown in North America is dried on the field with glycosphate. This has gotten into everything. It messes up our ability to properly use carbohydrate.

    Ethical sceptic has a good thesis on this.

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