The Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang: Blood Pressure Control and Cancer Fighting

Cheonggukjang, an extra-strong fermented soybean paste in Korean cuisine, has gained attention for its health benefits, particularly in blood pressure control and cancer fighting. Unlike doenjang, another popular fermented soybean paste, cheonggukjang undergoes a shorter fermentation process of just a few days, using the naturally occurring bacteria bacillus subtilis found in the air. Its pungent aroma and intense flavor, reminiscent of Japanese nattō but even stronger, make homemade cheonggukjang the preferred choice among enthusiasts. Korean researchers have conducted studies revealing the potential health-boosting properties of this fermented paste. To make cheonggukjang, special equipment such as a bamboo basket, electric mat, cotton cloth, and instant-read thermometer may be required. The recipe involves soaking the beans, cooking them, fermenting them for 48 hours, and finally processing and packing the paste, which can be used immediately or stored in the freezer for up to three months.


In recent years, there has been growing interest in the health benefits of traditional fermented foods. One such food that has gained attention is Cheonggukjang, an extra-strong fermented soybean paste commonly used in Korean cuisine. This article will delve into the various health benefits of Cheonggukjang, focusing specifically on its ability to control blood pressure and fight cancer.

The Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang: Blood Pressure Control and Cancer Fighting

This image is property of

What is Cheonggukjang?

Cheonggukjang, also known as “chung-kook-jang,” is a uniquely pungent and flavorful fermented soybean paste. Unlike its counterpart, doenjang, which is fermented for several months, Cheonggukjang undergoes a shorter fermentation process of just a few days. This results in a distinctive aroma and bold taste that is often described as similar to Japanese nattō, but more potent. The fermentation process is achieved using bacillus subtilis, a type of bacteria commonly found in the air.

Homemade vs. Store-bought Cheonggukjang

When it comes to Cheonggukjang, making it at home is preferred over purchasing store-bought versions. Homemade Cheonggukjang allows for greater quality control, ensuring that the fermentation process is carried out properly and that the paste is free from any unwanted additives or preservatives. In contrast, store-bought Cheonggukjang may contain additional ingredients or undergo a different fermentation process that can compromise its overall quality and health benefits.

Special Equipment Needed for Making Cheonggukjang

To successfully make Cheonggukjang at home, a few special equipment items are necessary. These include a bamboo basket, an electric mat, a cotton cloth, and an instant-read thermometer (optional). The bamboo basket is used for steaming the soybeans, while the electric mat provides a controlled temperature environment for the fermentation process. The cotton cloth is utilized to cover the soybeans during fermentation, allowing for proper air circulation while preventing any contaminants from entering. The instant-read thermometer can be used to monitor the temperature during the fermentation process, although it is not essential.

The Recipe for Making Cheonggukjang

Making Cheonggukjang at home requires some patience and attention to detail, but the process is relatively straightforward. First, the soybeans are soaked overnight to soften them. The next step involves cooking the beans until they are tender. Once cooked, the soybeans are transferred to a bamboo basket, where they are left to ferment for 48 hours in a temperature-controlled environment. After fermentation, the beans are processed and packed into jars to create the Cheonggukjang paste. This paste can be used immediately, or it can be frozen for up to three months for longer shelf life.

The Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang: Blood Pressure Control and Cancer Fighting

This image is property of

Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang

  1. Controlling Blood Pressure
  2. Fighting Cancer
  3. Other Potential Health Benefits

Controlling Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a significant health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. If left uncontrolled, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health complications. Fortunately, Cheonggukjang has shown promise in helping to regulate blood pressure levels.

Cheonggukjang contains high levels of bioactive peptides, which are proteins that have been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure. These peptides work by inhibiting the activity of enzymes known as angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE), which are involved in regulating blood pressure. By blocking the action of ACE, Cheonggukjang can help to relax blood vessels and reduce overall blood pressure.

In addition to its effects on ACE, Cheonggukjang is also rich in potassium and low in sodium. Maintaining a proper balance of these two minerals is essential for blood pressure control. Potassium helps to counteract the effects of sodium, which has been shown to increase blood pressure. By consuming Cheonggukjang, individuals can maintain an optimal balance of potassium and sodium, further contributing to blood pressure regulation.

Research studies have supported these claims, showing that regular consumption of Cheonggukjang can lead to significant reductions in blood pressure levels. In a study involving individuals with moderate hypertension, those who consumed Cheonggukjang for eight weeks experienced a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These findings indicate that including Cheonggukjang in a balanced diet can be an effective strategy for managing blood pressure levels.

The Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang: Blood Pressure Control and Cancer Fighting

This image is property of

Fighting Cancer

Cancer is a complex and devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Finding effective strategies for prevention and treatment is crucial, and emerging research suggests that Cheonggukjang may play a role in the fight against cancer.

Cheonggukjang contains various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, isoflavones, and phenolic acids, which have been shown to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds work together to neutralize harmful free radicals, reduce inflammation, and protect DNA from damage, all of which are critical in preventing cancer development.

Studies have shown that Cheonggukjang exhibits anti-cancer effects against various types of cancer cells. For example, research has demonstrated its ability to inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells. Additionally, Cheonggukjang has shown promise in preventing colon cancer and gastric cancer by suppressing the progression of tumor cells.

While further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which Cheonggukjang exerts its anti-cancer effects, the current evidence suggests that incorporating this fermented soybean paste into a balanced diet may contribute to reducing the risk of cancer development.

Other Potential Health Benefits

In addition to its effects on blood pressure control and cancer prevention, Cheonggukjang may offer several other potential health benefits. Some studies have suggested that regular consumption of Cheonggukjang may help improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and regulating intestinal function. This could have implications for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Furthermore, Cheonggukjang contains a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, all of which are essential for maintaining overall health. These nutrients contribute to a healthy digestive system, support immune function, and help to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

The Health Benefits of Cheonggukjang: Blood Pressure Control and Cancer Fighting

This image is property of

Precautions and Side Effects

While Cheonggukjang offers numerous health benefits, it is important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with soy allergies should avoid consuming Cheonggukjang, as it is made from soybeans. Additionally, those with a history of gastrointestinal issues or sensitivities should exercise caution when introducing Cheonggukjang into their diet, as its strong flavor and fermentation process may not agree with everyone.

It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.


Cheonggukjang, with its powerful flavor and unique fermentation process, is a versatile and nutritious food that offers numerous health benefits. From controlling blood pressure to fighting cancer, incorporating Cheonggukjang into a balanced diet may contribute to overall health and well-being. By understanding its origins, preparation, and potential health benefits, individuals can make informed choices about integrating Cheonggukjang into their culinary repertoire. As always, moderation and individual considerations should be taken into account, and consulting with a healthcare professional is advised for personalized dietary recommendations.

Read more informations