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Soy Sauce, Tamari & Aminos

Updated: Feb 26


Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, first soaked in water over an extended period and then steamed at high temperatures. Carbohydrates contained in wheat are the components that give soy sauce its aroma and add sweetness. Wheat is roasted at high temperatures, and then salt brine is used to control the propagation of bacteria during the fermentation process and act as a preservative. Soy sauce is known for containing high amounts of sodium and is rich in antioxidants, isoflavones, protein, and some fiber.

 

There are hundreds of varieties in Asia, which differ depending on the ingredients, method of production, and region. The main varieties in the US are usually light, dark, and low sodium.

 

One tablespoon of soy sauce contains roughly 11 calories, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 1006 mg of sodium. Unopened soy sauce is shelf-stable and can be kept in a cool, dark place. Once opened, soy sauce should be kept in the refrigerator to preserve its optimal flavor.

 

Tamari is soy sauce made without roasted grains (wheat), and although most are gluten-free, you need to look carefully at labels if this is a concern. Tamari also contains more proteins and manganese than regular soy sauce, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. 

 

Coconut Aminos is soy and gluten-free and made from coconut tree sap and salt. These are popular for those who avoid soy for health reasons. Coconut Aminos are still dark in color and have a similar taste but are milder and slightly sweeter.  It's soy-, wheat- and gluten-free and much lower in sodium than soy sauce, making it a good alternative.

 

Coconuts, an Ayurvedic Perspective

Coconuts are sweet, cooling, sattvic, heavy, and oily.  Coconuts are great for stomach acidity, and green coconuts are alkaline contain the full spectrum of B vitamins and amino acids, and are a natural electrolyte replenishing with many minerals and salts. The amino acids and fats boost serotonin levels, nourish our neurotransmitters, benefit anxiety, and lubricate the dryness of the gastrointestinal tract.  In addition, coconuts have high levels of lauric acid and caprylic acid, which are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial, making coconut effective topically for fungus and yeast.

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