Many of the benefits of fermented soy have been known in Asia for hundreds – if not thousands – of years as it is quite common in many of the diets from that region. Products such as tempeh, miso, soy sauce, fermented soymilk, natto and fermented tofu are often seen in homes and restaurants and have recently been studied by the scientific community.
The reason is that it appears as though there is a broad spectrum of benefits of fermented soy and the medical industry would love to be able to understand exactly what they are. This is especially true as unfermented soy products are considerably more common in the United States.
Knowing exactly what benefits of fermented soy can be expected from consuming those products could help to promote a very healthful food trend in the western world. That said, it is important for people with food allergies to consult with a doctor before deciding that these products would be a good addition to their diets. The reason is that soy is a common food allergen.
So far, studies have indicated that when soy products are fermented, the body finds it easier to absorb and convert minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc. Therefore, more nutrition can be gained from eating this form than the unfermented variety. The fermentation process can also boost the amount of total available vitamin and mineral content. Moreover, during this process, the yeasts that are used will frequently add additional large amounts of biotin, nicotinic acid and thiamin, which means that it actually contains even more nutrients than the unfermented variety.
It is also believed that some of the enzymes and other substances within fermented soy products can provide some people with medicinal benefits. Among them can be cholesterol reduction, hot flash control, and slowing atherosclerosis progression. It can also provide the body with added protection against some forms of cancer. It may help to improve the health of the digestive tract and intestines in some people, as well. As fermented versions of soy also contain hyaluronic acid, this can help to promote better joint lubrication and a reduction in arthritic inflammation. Studies are ongoing to further understand the benefits when it comes to improved heart health, reduction of the risk of prostate cancer and increasing overall bone strength.
With such a broad selection of benefits, this could be a healthful addition to the diets of many people in terms of better nutrition and improving quite a few medical conditions.