The traditional "brewed soy sauce" takes two summers to create.
On the other hand, there are soy sauces that appear on market shelves within 4 months or even 20 days. However, from these soy sauces, we cannot obtain the benefits of soy sauces produced by longer fermentation, such as new metabolites or physiologically active substances.
Here we are not concerned with the quickly produced soy sauces. What we would like to talk about is the authentically brewed soy sauces, which have surprising health benefits.
The health benefits of soy sauce.
As mentioned in "A secret of UMAMI in soy sauce", the steamed soybeans and roasted/crushed wheat are mixed with the Koji mold. The Koji mold’s enzymes help to change the proteins in soybeans to amino acids and also to peptides. A peptide is one step before amino acid changes from proteins. The benefits of peptides are the speed of absorption.
While amino acids are absorbed one by one, peptides are absorbed at once in a batch.
Expected effects are said to have an effective effect on the diet, such as reducing bad cholesterol, increasing good cholesterol, promoting energy metabolism, promoting fat burning.
In addition, soy peptides are also attracting attention for their ability to improve exercise capacity, such as preventing muscle damage and repairing them more quickly and preventing or enhancing muscle fatigue.
Koji mold produces angiotensin I, which is a converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor peptide that has been receiving increased attention because of its ability to prevent hypertension.
Most people know that health, disease, beauty, aging, lifespan and other factors are closely related to oxidation. Red wine and vitamin C are famous antioxidants that fight against this oxidation. However, it is also a fact that soy sauce is a wonderful antioxidant that is about 10 times more active than red wine and 150 times more active than vitamin C.
Koji mold also produces kojic acid, which is used in skin care products in Japan because it effectively inhibits the activities of an enzyme that promotes melanin production. As mentioned on the "Secrets of Umami" article, the fermentation and brewing process of soy sauce is the result of the long-term efforts of the microorganisms to survive. That environment, which is good for microorganisms under these special conditions, is also good for human beings.
People naturally think that food is tasty when it is good for their health. This is called ishoku-dogen(医食同源, a term meaning medicine and food have the same origin) in Japan. This is the umami of authentic soy sauce.
Concerns about the high salt content.
High salt content is perhaps the most common individual concern related to the intake of soy sauce. However, as mentioned above, soy sauce may be different from other high-salt foods with respect to blood pressure and cardiovascular health. When soy sauce is fermented in the traditional way, many of the proteins found in the soybeans get broken down into smaller molecules called peptides. Also, there are also soy sauce products which are produced in the same traditional ways with reduced salt in the final products. If you have to be concerned about your intake of salt, that might be your best choice!
Soy sauce is a truly comprehensive health food of which Japan is very proud. We hope you are now a little more aware of the wonderful functionality and health benefits of authentically brewed soy sauce.
Example: 50% less salty compared that in regular soy sauce
* Refer to the A secret of Umami page for details.