How Doenjang Benefits Your Health
Coronary heart disease used to be a ‘rare’ condition. Nowadays, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US (and most of Europe). That’s not good.
You want to hear something that is good? The FDA has recognized since 1999 that soy protein reduces the risk of the disease.
You want to know something else that’s good? The protein content of soybean is about 40%, the highest level among all crops. On top of eight essential amino acids. MIC DROP.
But protein how? Not like meat protein? Well, actually, kind of yes.
Compared to animal protein, it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and its saponin and Vitamin E content prevents liver spots and helps blood circulation.
But that’s not all
Research also shows that soy beans:
Promote bone health
Minimize or prevent altogether menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
Play a role in prevention and treatment of a wide range of cancers.
Sounds too good to be true.
But it is true. And it’s waaaaay better than good.
The health benefits of soybeans are increased – significantly – by fermentation.
But I guess by now you already knew that, huh?
Here is how the absorption rate for beans differs, depending on how the beans are prepared:
Uncooked beans: 55%
Boiled beans: 65%
Fermented beans: 85%
It’s all down to the lovely micro-organisms and their natural enzymes, which help dissolve the hard-to-digest proteins into a more palatable form.
They also get rid of elements that get in the way of digestion. You know, like trypsin. Which sucks.
Another great thing about fermented foods, is that the fermentation process continues even as the food is being prepared, up to the moment it is sitting on the plate.
And more fermentation = better taste, more nutrition, more health benefits!
Over the course of one year, for instance, the levels of amino nitrogen (makes the taste better, just trust me on this) in fermented soy sauce increase 16 times over.
Wait, did you say soy beans help prevent cancer?
Yes, and fermentation amplifies these effects.
Which is probably not a surprise to you by now, I’m guessing.
Okay, then let’s talk science.
In 1999, Professor Kun-young Park of Pusan University performed an experiment with mice injected with Sarcoma 180 cells.
The aim was to determine which diet would fight the cancer and prolong life the most. Here were the results:
Raw soybeans: 11%
Miso (Japanese soybean paste): 41%,
Soybeans + fermentation = better cancer prevention.
Okay, that must be it.
Yes, except…not. There’s still more.
Fermented soy food has also helps to prevent obesity.
Back to the lab, then?
In the same research, two mice, each weighing 143 grams, were fed with high-fat food for 30 days.
The weight of the first mouse increased to 288 grams.
The weight of the second mouse, whose diet consisted 10% doenjang, increased to only 247 grams – 41 grams lighter than the first mouse.
Not only that, but the cholesterol content in the mouse’s liver was also much lower.
This means that fermented soybeans not only counteract obesity but also help to lower the fat in the intestines.
All in all, it looks like doenjang is pretty good for you.
So eat your doenjang, live long, prosper and be awesome!