Miso. Does it sound familiar to you? If not, then here is an opportunity to get all the minute details about the fermented condiment that has been extremely popular throughout Asia. Now, it has extended its branches into the western world.
Though many are not aware of what exactly miso is, those who know it probably prefer to have it as Japanese miso soup. This soup is highly nutritious and has various health benefits to offer, such as stronger immunity and better digestion. Read on to know more about it.
What Is Miso?
Miso is a Japanese condiment that consists of a thick paste derived from soybeans that have gone through fermentation. You can use Miso paste to make spreads, sauces, or to pickle meat and vegetables. Its flavor is a mixture of salty and savory, and the color ranges from red, yellow, brown, or white.
However, that entirely depends on the variety. Although the extraction of miso is from soybeans, you can also use other types of beans. Some other ingredients that one might use to derive miso are rice, barley, buckwheat, rye, and hemp seeds. All these have an effect on the flavor and the color of the final product.
Miso Is Rich In Nutrients
Miso is laden with nutrients. It is a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds beneficial for the human body. One ounce of miso gives you 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, and 56 calories. Aside from these, you also get 5% of zinc, 6% of copper, 10% of Vitamin K, 12% of manganese, and 43% sodium. Additionally, miso also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and B vitamins.
Miso is also a great source of choline. The varieties of miso from soybeans are sources of high amounts of protein since all the essential amino acids are present. Miso is produced by fermentation, and therefore, it becomes easier for the human body to absorb all the nutrients it has.
Through the fermentation procedure, the growth of probiotics receives a boost. When you take all this into account, miso is quite salty. Hence, if you are taking salt within limits, talk with your doctor, and find out if adding miso to your diet would be a good idea or not.
Miso Improves Digestion
As you know, there are trillions of bacteria present in your gut. While some are good for your body, others might harm it. It creates healthy gut flora with the presence of the right type of bacteria. Healthy gut flora plays a significant role in protecting your body from harmful bacteria and toxins. Aside from that, it also boosts your digestion and reduces gas problems, constipation, and other issues.
The fermentation procedure also brings down the number of anti-nutrients in soybeans and aids digestion. Anti-nutrients are generally compounds that are naturally available in foods. After consuming the anti-nutrients present in soybeans and grains, they get stuck to the nutrients present in your gut, thus bringing your body’s capability to absorb nutrients down. The anti-nutrient levels in miso can be reduced by fermentation.
Miso Cuts Down The Risk Of Cancers
You might not have heard of this one before. Yes, miso does shield your body from certain cancers—for example, stomach cancer. Several observations have put forth a connection between high-salt food and stomach cancer. But the most surprising thing is that despite being high in salt content, miso doesn’t accentuate stomach cancer risk.
Salted fish, pickled foods, and processed meats are also widely popular as foods with high contents of salt. Consuming them might lead to a 24-27% increase in risks concerning stomach cancer. But, miso is exceptional. According to experts, this might be owing to the presence of beneficial compounds that are present in soy. These compounds counter the effects of salt that promotes cancer.
Miso has several advantages that can benefit your body, your digestion, and your immune system in a big way. However, a lot of research needs to be done in this area before we could reach to any conclusions. But yes, you can continue indulging in a hot bowl of Miso soup until then. We say so because it is laden with nutrients without a doubt, but is also undeniably tasty!