It’s incredibly nutritious and linked to a variety of health benefits, including better digestion and a stronger immune system.
What Is Miso?
This traditional Japanese condiment consists of a thick paste made from soybeans that have been fermented with salt and a koji starter.
The starter usually contains the Aspergillus oryzae fungus.
Miso paste can be used to make sauces, spreads and soup stock, or to pickle vegetables and meat.
People generally describe its flavor as a combination of salty and umami (savory), and its color can vary between white, yellow, red or brown, depending on variety.
Although miso is traditionally made from soybeans, certain varieties use other types of beans or peas.
Other ingredients may also be used to make it, including rice, barley, rye, buckwheat and hemp seeds, all of which affect the color and flavor of the final product.
It’s Rich in Several Nutrients
Miso contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. One ounce (28 grams) generally provides you with (1):
- Calories: 56
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Sodium: 43% of the RDI
- Manganese: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 10% of the RDI
- Copper: 6% of the RDI
- Zinc: 5% of the RDI
Interestingly, the varieties made from soybeans are considered to be sources of complete protein because they contain all the essential amino acids needed for human health (1).
The fermentation process also promotes the growth of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that provide a wide array of health benefits. A. oryzae is the main probiotic strain found in miso (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
That said, miso is also very salty. Thus, if you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to ask your health care practitioner before adding large quantities to your diet.
Miso Improves Your Digestion
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria.
Some are beneficial, while others are harmful. Having the right type of bacteria in your gut helps you maintain a healthy gut flora.
Having a healthy gut flora is very important because it helps defend your body against toxins and harmful bacteria. It also improves digestion and reduces gas, constipation and antibiotic-related diarrhea or bloating (6Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
A. oryzae is the main probiotic strain found in miso. Research shows that the probiotics in this condiment may help reduce symptoms linked to digestive problems including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (10).
In addition, the fermentation process also helps improve digestion by reducing the amount of antinutrients in soybeans.
Antinutrients are compounds naturally found in foods, including in the soybeans and grains used to produce miso. If you consume antinutrients, they can bind to nutrients in your gut, reducing your body’s ability to absorb them.
Fermentation reduces antinutrient levels in miso and other fermented products, which helps improve digestion (3Trusted Source).
May Reduce The Risk of Certain Cancers
Miso may offer protection from certain types of cancer.
However, despite its high salt content, miso doesn’t appear to increase the risk of stomach cancer the way other high-salt foods do.
For instance, one study compared miso to salt-containing foods such as salted fish, processed meats and pickled foods.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-miso-is-healthy#section4
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