Miso is a Japanese word which translates to “fermented beans.” It is basically soybean paste made by fermenting soybeans with grains (including barley, buckwheat or rice, ), salt, and koji, which is a type of yeast produced by a fungus known as Aspergillus oryzae.
Miso is known to be one of the best condiments to keep in your kitchen because it is versatile in recipes and loaded with amazing health benefits.
It is widely known in the Western world as the key ingredient used in making miso soup. This miso paste has been used traditionally to help battle health conditions.
Health Benefits of Miso:
1. Anti-aging Benefits
A lot of emphasis is place on the skin products, creams, and other modern or scientific forms of treatment. What most people may not be aware of, is that sometimes, these modes of treatment contains some side effects, which may be harmful to the user.
Buts, this is not the case with Miso soup, as it is mostly prepared using naturally acquired ingredients including soybeans, which exist in their natural forms.
The anti-aging property of miso is linked to its high antioxidant content, which plays a key role in reducing premature aging. Also, it helps in maintaining healthy, glowing skin.
2. Bone Health
Miso is a n excellent source of isoflavones, calcium, and vitamin K, which all help in maintaining and promoting good bone health. Also, it reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
3. Boost Your Immunity
Since 80% of immune system cells can be found in your gut, foods that contain probiotics, such as miso, are essential for strengthening immunity. The essential mineral and vitamins present in miso also provide an immune system boost.
Not only is gut health directly associated to your immune system, but it also influences your skin, which is known as the gut-skin axis, and your brain, the gut-brain axis. This means miso also help improved your cognitive function and promote healthy skin.
4. Contains Beneficial Probiotics
Miso is fermented and have live active cultures, therefore, it is acting similarly on your digestive system as yogurt. But, one of the benefits of fermented miso, is that it has no dairy and is a suitable source of beneficial probiotics for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities to foods such as yogurt, kefir, and cultured cheeses.
The probiotic bacteria that is present in fermented foods thrive in your gut microbiota, therefore, increasing your immunity and improving digestion.
In recent years probiotics have been tied to health factors which include; appetite control, better cognitive health, enhanced digestion, improved immune function, lower risk for obesity, lower incidences of allergies, mood regulation and more.
5. Prevents High Blood Pressure
Although miso is high in salt or sodium, it has been associated to prevention of hypertension or high blood pressure, according to both experimental and epidemiological evidence.
The researchers at Hiroshima University, believe that the sodium that is present in miso might behave differently, as compared with sodium chloride (NaCl) alone. These biological effects were believed to be caused by longer fermentation periods of the barley, soybeans, or rice grains above 180 days.
6. Provides Digestive Benefits
Soy miso is a food that has been known as “pre-digested.” That is because Aspergillus and other micro-organisms that were used in fermentation of soy miso can help in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, that are present in soybeans and transform them into smaller molecules that may be easily digested.
Also, depending on the fermentation and processing methods, some soy miso contain “friendly” bacteria including lactic acid bacteria (including various species of Lactobacillus), which may be helpful in supporting intestinal microflora.
7. Reduces Cancer Risk
A 2003 report that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, tracked 21,852 Japanese women for about 10 years and reported that eating 3 bowls (or more) of miso soup daily, reduced breast cancer risk by almost half. The results were found to be most dramatic for post-menopausal women.
MISO SOUP WITH TOFU AND GREENS RECIPE:
4 cups water
3-4 Tablespoonbsp white miso paste (fermented soy bean paste)
1 sheet or 1/4 cup nori (dried seaweed), cut into large rectangles (optional)
1/2 cup chopped Green onion
1/2 cup chopped Green chard or other sturdy green
1/4 cup firm Tofu, cubed
1. Put water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a low simmer.
2. Add nori, then simmer for 5-7 minutes.
3. Put 3 Tbsp of miso into a small bowl, then add a little hot water and whisk until smooth.
4. Add this to the soup and stir. This will make sure it does not clump.
5. Put the remaining ingredients to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or more.
6. Add more miso or a pinch of sea salt, if desired.
7. Serve warm.
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