What is miso?

Miso is a fermented soy food, usually made from cooked soybeans and grains like rice or barley. A staple of diet in Japan, it is considered a super food by some natural healers. Japanese population shows better general health in comparison to the North American - lower rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease and longer life, and daily bowl of miso soup is considered an important contributor to that as per research in both East and West.


How is miso made?

Cleaned and cooked soybeans get mixed with salt, water and koji, grain inoculated with natural fermenting agent. They are left to ferment for many months. During those months, fermentation will increase the quantity, availability, digestibility, and rate of assimilation of nutrients while promoting healthy Ph in the digestive system.

The result is a white, red or brown miso paste, high in minerals and antioxidants. Colour and taste of miso depends on the length of fermentation. Dark miso, or mix of dark and white, is usually used in the miso soup that many of us like to have along with sushi. organic artisan miso paste

How to use it in healthy cooking?

Miso is great in soups, sauces, marinades, dips and salad dressings. Combined with the bonito or kombu-shiitake stock, it creates that unforgettable miso soup taste that attracts many of us to the Japanese restaurants.

Miso can replace sour cream in creamy soups and dips, making them healthier by reducing fat and animal protein and increasing minerals, plant proteins and antioxidants.

Miso soup seems high in sodium. Will it raise my blood pressure?

In North America, foods that are high in sodium are not recommended for people with high blood pressure. High sodium content of food is considered to be a risk factor, along with obesity, diet, and genetics.

Miso tastes salty, yet for centuries, it was widely used as a powerful healing food in Japan, Singapore and China.

Recent medical research validates this tradition. More and more evidence shows that it is not sodium alone in the diet that affects blood pressure, but a balance of the minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. For example, adding potassium to the diet helps to relax blood vessels and remove sodium from the blood, showing the same effect as reducing sodium in one's diet.

Miso soup has shown to reduce blood pressure, and prevent it from occurring in people with normal blood pressure rates. This is due to its components, high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium: seaweeds, carrots, greens, shiitake and fish (bonito) stock.

Japanese studies show that daily bowl of miso soup can prevent the development of the high blood pressure. Another large population study showed that death rate from high blood pressure among those abstaining from miso soup was 3.5 times higher than miso soup drinkers.

A super food of the Orient

For centuries, preparation of miso was a form of art in Japan. Miso was praised for its unique medicinal properties. Current research supports its use as a therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of certain cancers, radiation sickness, heart disease and hypertension.

Get your daily portion of miso soup - it is a powerful way to fight off a number of health issues, including high cholesterol and extra weight. Miso soup is one of the easiest soups to make, so get miso paste in a health or grocery store and create your own. Don't worry about miso's sodium content; instead, target to include more whole foods into your menu.


Was this information about miso new, useful, interesting for you? I learned it directly from people who make miso. Please share it with your friends on Facebook and spread the word about health benefits of miso and easy ways to cook with it



John and Jen Belleme. The miso book.


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