Many consumers have prioritized healthy eating in an effort to improve their health, and a new study shows that a specific type of food could help us live longer.
According to researchers, fermented soy products should be the new thing that consumers incorporate into their diets. The team found that eating more foods with fermented soy could reduce the risk of death.
“In this large prospective study conducted in Japan with a high rate of soy consumption, no significant association was found between intake of total soy products and all cause mortality,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, a higher intake of fermented soy products (natto and miso) was associated with a lower risk of mortality.”
As the researchers explained, they conducted their study in Japan, including nearly 100,000 participants between the ages of 45 and 74. The primary factor involved in the study was the participants’ diets; the researchers then followed up with them over the course of 15 years to determine how their health fared in relation to their eating habits.
The study revealed that participants who were eating more fermented soy products lowered their risk of death from all causes by 10 percent.
The researchers were inclined to study this topic because experts have mixed opinions when it comes to the benefits associated with soy. However, they found that fermented soy -- which consumers can get through foods like tofu, miso, or natto -- has several nutritional benefits, including higher levels of potassium and fiber.
The researchers also found that participants who regularly ate natto, a Japanese specialty that is fermented with the probiotic Bacillus subtilis, specifically lowered their risk of cardiovascular-related deaths.
Moving forward, the team hopes to push these findings even further in an effort to “perhaps...inform the development of healthier and more palatable products. These efforts should be collaborative, including not only researchers but also policy makers and the food industry.”