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 HEALTH BENEFITS OF MISO

Miso is famous for its powerhouse of nutritional benefits. Indeed in Japan, the daily dose of fermented soy that is full of antioxidants is thought to be one of the key secrets behind the long and healthy lives of the Japanese.

Miso is naturally rich in protein, vitamin B12, vitamin K, and fibre. Studies have also discovered that miso contains enzymes and bacteria that aid digestion and the absorption of nutrients, so it’s perfect for enjoying at the end of meals. Other studies indicate that miso helps with fatigue relief, cholesterol reduction, improved digestion, anti-aging and a reduced cancer risk.

The Japanese love to enjoy miso soup every day, from morning breakfast to a digestif at the end of a heavy meal in the evening. Enjoyed regularly, miso soup helps to build and strengthen the immune system so that the body is more able to fight infection and disease.

The June 2003 issue of Journal of the National Cancer Institute includes a study showing miso’s preventive effects against breast cancer. Involving over 20,000 Japanese women, the study highlighted that those who consumed miso regularly had a 40% reduced risk of developing the disease.

 Remedy for the Common Cold

In Japan, miso soup is a traditional treatment for a common cold. Miso soup is said to be most effective at the onset of a cold, within the first 4-6 hours of symptoms. The Japanese drink miso soup when they are unwell, just as chicken soup is drunk in the West when feeling under the weather.

Depending on what type of cold you have, different types of miso soup are recommended. If the cold feels weak and deficient, it is advised to go for a dark, longer-fermented variety of miso such as red aka miso. To alleviate a cold that feels hot and feverish, a lighter, sweeter miso is recommended, such as a white shiro miso.

Secret Hangover Cure

Miso soup is also a popular hangover cure in Asia. Water, sodium, and other nutrients are depleted by the diuretic effects of alcohol: miso soup will replace all of these.

Too much alcohol is known to disrupt the stomach’s lining: as a fermented food that contains healthy bacteria, miso soup will help the settle the stomach and will stop you feeling queasy. Choline, one of the B vitamins in miso, helps to prevent the build-up of alcohol in the liver and speeds up the discharge of alcohol from the body, alleviating the effects of a hangover.

The high levels of umami in miso also means its smell and flavour will help you regain your appetite!

 


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