Food is ‘love,’ but when it’s healthy, it’s ‘life.’ Japanese cuisine has long been regarded as one of the world’s most delicious and nutritious cuisines.
Japanese culinary culture is based on five essential ingredients: salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and miso. In addition to being highly nutritious, miso is a significant component of many traditional condiments. Incorporate miso paste or powder in delectable miso recipes to get its incredible health benefits.
Nevertheless, if you can’t cook the original recipe, try Sanraku for cherishing authentic Japanese meals like miso soup, sushi, sashimi, chirashi, rolls, Tako, and much more. Here you’ll learn the health benefits of miso soup and whether it’s good for you.
What is Miso Soup?
Miso soup is a traditional yet highly famous soup of Japanese culinary culture. It is made exclusively with dashi and miso. Dashi is a stock prepared with kelp, dried bonito flakes, and anchovy, while miso is a fermented paste of soybeans and rice koji seasoned with sea salt.
The rice koji, known as koji kin, contains the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. Typically, soybean is utilized in the miso recipe. However, one can go with millet, buckwheat, hemp seeds, or various grains. Thus, the taste and color of miso vary with the ingredient. It can be yellow, red, white, or brown.
The soup contains optimal ingredients like onions, garlic, carrots, ginger roots, mushrooms, tofu, noodles, shrimp, fish, and daikon that you can add according to your preference and regional taste.
Also, you can change the add-ons according to the seasonal demand to get more benefits from this soup.
Moreover, it’s best to prepare miso paste at home to get the original taste, but you can always have an instant miso option. Opt for the unpasteurized, enzyme-rich miso from the market to get maximum health benefits from the beneficial microorganisms.
The Nutritional Profile of Miso Soup
According to the Nutrition Data, one ounce or 28 grams of miso soup provides you with the following nutrients.
|Sodium||43% of RDI|
|Manganese||12% of RDI|
|Copper||6% of RDI|
|Zinc||5% of RDI|
|Vitamin K||10% of RDI|
Note- RDI means Recommended Dietary Intake
Miso also contains several vitamins and minerals in trace amounts, including B-complex, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and choline. Moreover, koji kin contains Aspergillus oryzae, which is a significant probiotic.
The Health Benefits of Miso Soup
The following are the incredible health benefits of miso soup. Know to include miso in your diet.
1. Strengthens Immune System
Since miso soup contains many healthy ingredients that provide various vitamins and minerals to our body, such as zinc and vitamin C, it strengthens our immune system.
Miso soup prepared with miso contains Aspergillus oryzae, a powerful probiotic that improves gut health and prevents the risk of many infections. Many scientific studies prove that consuming miso soup helps relieve the symptoms of the common cold and heals infections rapidly.
Moreover, according to research on Probiotics For Curing Acute Respiratory Tract Infections, the foods like miso soup enriched with probiotics reduce the requirement for antibiotics to treat respiratory infections by 33 percent.
2. Improves Digestion
Since oryzae strains in miso are powerful probiotics, they promote the growth of gut flora. Our digestive system naturally contains trillions of beneficial bacteria that help improve digestion and prevent bloating and constipation. Miso helps replenish the good bacteria in our digestive tract and aids in expelling harmful waste and toxins from our bodies. Some scientific evidence also claims to mitigate the symptoms of inflammatory bowel syndrome with the use of miso in the diet.
3. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Though miso soup contains a significant amount of salt, it does not increase the risk of stomach cancer as other high-salt foods do. The reason is the high benefit-to-harm ratio since soy in miso has numerous health benefits.
It contains antioxidants that kill harmful free radicals and abnormally proliferating cells in the body. In light of preclinical animal studies, miso soup prepared with miso fermented for more than 26 weeks significantly reduces the risk of stomach, lung, breast, and colon cancer.
Moreover, clinical studies conducted on human subjects provide evidence of reducing the risk of breast and liver cancer by 50 percent.
4. Regulates Blood Pressure
Since miso soup is a high-salt food comprising several minerals and vitamins, it is doubtlessly the best meal for hypotensive patients. Nevertheless, one should consume it carefully because of the high sodium proportion. Animal studies show a reduction in blood pressure; however, human studies did not provide substantial evidence.
5. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
According to food and nutrition research, preclinical studies suggest that soybeans in miso soup help reduce bad cholesterol and protect the liver against hypercholesteremia, fatty liver disease, and steatosis.
6. Promotes Brain Physiology
In light of A Review of Fermented Foods with Beneficial Effects on Brain and Cognitive Function, fermented miso alleviates the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It also improves the cognitive function of the brain and reinforces memory.
7. Fortifies Heart Health
Miso soup reduces the mortality rate due to heart disease. However, the evidence supporting this health benefit is insufficient, and few studies have been conducted on Japanese women to support the claim.
8. Helps with Menopause
Miso soup prepared with miso from soybeans containing isoflavones are potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agents. Isoflavones are proven to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes. Moreover, it reinforces women’s arterial health.
9. Manages Vitamin Deficiency
Since miso soup contains several healthy ingredients incorporating carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals in your body, it manages several vitamin deficiencies with regular use. Nevertheless, you can optimize the ingredients to replenish a specific vitamin deficit.
10. Protection Against Diabetes
Limited scientific evidence suggests fermented soy in miso soup also protects patients against the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Health Precautions of Miso Soup
Though miso soup contains several healthy ingredients, you should take specific preventive measures while consuming it regularly. Miso soup is a high-salt food, so people with hypertension, stroke, and heart disease should avoid eating it frequently.
Nevertheless, one can control the amount of salt added to the soup. Moreover, miso soup contains soy products that are goitrogens and can interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize the ingredients according to the required health benefits of miso soup.