Fermented soy sauce is the authentic kind. The traditional way of manufacturing this sauce is brewing soybean and wheat in brine. The fungi typically used for the fermentation are Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae.
The non-fermented and modern method of making soy sauce is through acid hydrolysis of the soybeans. This is a much faster process as it may only take days while fermented soy sauce takes at least 6 months. But it necessitates additional stabilizing and flavoring ingredients.
The advantage of fermented soy sauce is that it contains a wider variety of nutrient substances. Hydrolysis is too thorough a process that the soybean protein is immediately decomposed into amino acids and very little of anything else beneficial remains.
However, due to the kind of food fermented soy sauce is made from and the other compounds it may contain, the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends it for moderate use only.
Continue reading to figure out the pros and cons of fermented soy sauce and its proper place in your quest to Become Superhuman…
Fermented Soy Sauce Benefits:
Soy sauce contains an adequate amount of protein. This isn’t really unexpected given that the raw material of this sauce, soybeans, is a known abundant source of protein. One tablespoon of soy sauce can provide around 3 – 4 % of the body’s daily need. Besides this important class of nutrients, the sauce also provides Vitamin B3 and manganese.
Fermentation already breaks down the carbohydrate and protein compounds in soybean and wheat into smaller units. This relieves some of the work off the digestive system since such compounds in fermented soy sauce are more easily absorbed by the body.
One particular type of carbohydrate subcomponent called oligosaccharides promotes the growth of good intestinal flora like lactic acid bacteria. They’re considered “good” bacteria because they maintain the chemical balance in the large intestine and aid in the further breakdown of nutrient substances in food.
You’ve probably heard that red wine is a good source of antioxidants. Well, according to a National University of Singapore study, the dark-colored type of fermented soy sauce could actually have 10 times more antioxidant compounds than red wine. These come in the form of phenolic acids and, depending on how the soy sauce was filtered, isoflavonoids.
Fermented Soy Sauce Risks:
Various types and brands of fermented soy sauce offer different shades of flavor. But the one taste they all have in common is salty. A tablespoon of soy sauce can typically contain around 1,000 milligrams of sodium. In the earlier article about regular table salt, the need to limit sodium intake was discussed. As a high-sodium food, soy sauce should only be used in moderation.
Wheat and soybeans are the main raw materials of fermented soy sauce. Unfortunately, there are people who are particularly allergic to these two types of food. If you happen to be allergic to either wheat or soybean, or both, you need to consult a medical professional before you significantly include soy sauce in your diet.
Another allergy-causing substance that’s frequently found in soy sauce is monosodium glutamate (MSG). Consumption of MSG, not necessarily excessive, has been known to lead to symptoms of nausea, dizziness and headache.
Fermented Soy Sauce Practical Uses:
Many countries in Asia have their own variations of fermented soy sauce. The differences in taste, color and thickness come from the specific way it was produced and if other ingredients were included for additional flavor.
There is for example a Chinese variety called “dark mushroom soy” which is aged longer, contains molasses for sweetness and thickness, and has some mushroom broth added in the later stages of the processing.
Then there is Japanese tamari, another variety that uses very little or even no wheat. This is why most tamari soy sauce is labeled “gluten-free”. On the opposite end is shiro or white soy sauce which is made mostly from wheat and has little soybean.
When it comes to the different types of fermented soy sauce, the dark and thick variations are more often added in the middle of the cooking process while the light ones are usually used as a dipping sauce.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar and how it should be used in moderation in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
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