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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is Miso Soup ?

[This is an article written by Barbara L. Minton, a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature. I have extracted it from the web page of  www.naturalnews.com to share with everyone]





Miso is a delicious fermented food that has been eaten in China and Japan for many centuries. Today it is a favorite of health minded people in the West because of its many anti-aging benefits. Miso and other fermented foods and drinks help build up the inner ecosystem and assure the digestive tract is amply supplied with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria help digest, synthesize, and assimilate nutrients so necessary for good health and anti-aging. They also strengthen the immune system, keeping it at the ready to fight infection and cancer.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste with a salty taste, a buttery texture and a unique nutritional profile that make it a versatile condiment for a host of different recipes, and a foundation for traditional miso soup. In addition to soybeans, miso can include rice, barley or wheat.

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.



Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.

Many studies have shown the health benefits of miso on humans and animals. Benefits include reduced risks of breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer, and protection from radiation. Researchers have found that consuming one bowl of miso soup per day, as do most residents of Japan, can drastically lower the risks of breast cancer.

Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties.

Miso helps the body maintain nutritional balance. It is loaded with other nutrients along with its beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso provides protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, linoleic acid, lecithin, and dietary fiber. Its high content of the amino acid tryptophan makes miso a good choice right before bedtime. Tryptophan is nature's sleep inducer.

Miso helps preserve skin beauty through its content of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps skin stay soft and free of pigment.

Miso is a good choice for women with menopausal complaints because it is able to fill estrogen receptors and produce some of the actions of estrogen in the body.




The long, slow process of fermentation needed to break down soy requires more hardy bacteria than is used for other fermented products, contributing the special health benefits of miso. Dr. Hiro Watanabe, an expert in developmental biology and cancer prevention in Japan, conducted several animal and human studies using freeze dried rice miso. His goal was the understanding of how miso protects against cancer, radiation and other diseases.

Dr. Watanabe's studies showed that for cancers like those of the breast and prostate, the ideal length of fermentation was between 6 months and 2 years. He found that miso fermented for 180 days is typically a rich color and has plenty of healthy microflora.

According to Dr. Watanabe's studies, the sodium in miso did not produce adverse effects in people with salt sensitivity and hypertension. For cancer, Dr. Watanabe recommended 3 cups of miso a day. For high blood pressure, he recommended 2 cups, and for relief of menopausal symptoms, he recommended 1 to 3 cups per day. His maintenance amount is 1 cup per day. He noted the beneficial effects of replacing the salt used in food preparation with miso.

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