5 powerful health reasons to eat miso soup everyday
(NaturalHealth365) While colder weather makes warming up with a nice bowl of hot soup particularly inviting, there is at least one good reason you will want to enjoy its steamy goodness all year round. Adding miso to your soup, a traditional Japanese all-purpose seasoning, can transform a simple serving of steamy soup into a powerful boost to your health.
Miso has been enjoyed on a daily basis by generations as a flavorful and essential component of traditional Japanese cuisine, revered for its health-promoting attributes. Thanks to its generous store of friendly bacteria, essential amino acids, digestive enzymes, vitamins and absorbable protein, miso has been effectively used to treat a host of diseases and conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
A great example of ‘food as medicine’
Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director, St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki, describes the fermented food miso as belonging to the highest class of medicines, those preventing disease and strengthening health over time with continued usage. While there is some scientific research on the benefits of miso, most proponents have allowed long-held traditions be their guide in enjoying the many benefits of miso.
Here are five of the many powerful health reasons to consume miso soup every day:
1. Give a boost to the immune system
Much like any fermented food, miso improves the population of good microflora in the digestive tract. Not only does miso act as a natural antacid, reducing the chance of digestive upset, but good microbes help to support a healthy and effective immune system. A healthy gut is essential for protecting you against disease because of its pivotal role in the body’s immune system.
2. Protect against harmful effects of radiation
Exposure to radiation is inevitable. Increased use of consumer electronics, medical testing procedures, and home radon are just a few of the many culprits behind your likely exposure to radiation on a daily basis. But studies have shown miso to be effective at preventing radiation sickness in those exposed to potentially dangerous levels.
A Japanese study conducted over the course of 25 years found miso to be effective as a means to prevent cancer from radiation exposure, and even useful in healing radiation burns when applied directly to the skin as a paste.
3. Prevent breast cancer
The soy isoflavones that exist in miso have been shown to be effective in preventing breast cancer, according to The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study on Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases. Fermentation is believed to be the key, as the study included subjects consuming regular soy products as well as fermented ones, such as miso.
The latter group was found to have a reduced risk of breast cancer, even when other contributing factors were taken into consideration.
4. Guard against colon cancer, intestinal disease
Miso may also give relief to patients suffering from Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Studies have also shown some promise that miso may be helpful in preventing colon cancer. Results published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Toxicologic Pathology showed laboratory animals fed three-month fermented miso did not exhibit precancerous changes or colon cancer after they were exposed to a carcinogen.
5. Remove the ills of smoking
Miso has even been used by smokers in Japanese culture as a means for quickly removing nicotine from the human system. So powerful, miso broth is routinely used in Japan to clean tar from smoker’s pipes.
A perfect food for ‘preppers’
Miso is also the perfect “long-term storage” food. According to South River Miso, the seasoning isn’t technically even a perishable food, and therefore, manufacturers aren’t required to put an expiration date on the label.
Whether opened or unopened, South River Miso keeps nearly indefinitely. The company claims to have kept some miso for as many as 20 years without spoilage, even though the product was not refrigerated. You can expect miso to darken with age and grow less sweet to the taste. Well-aged miso is especially prized for its medicinal attributes.
How to add miso to your daily diet
Use miso in small amounts, but on a regular basis, for best results. Consider a few teaspoons a day to be average use, though the most beneficial amount will vary from person to person, depending on body type, size, activity level and age.
Begin your miso regimen by adding a small amount—one to two teaspoons—per cup of soup. Add more as needed for desired taste so that the miso flavoring mingles, but does not overpower, the taste of the soup. Less is needed for aged miso.
Miso made in the traditional method at South River Miso has a chunky texture with visible chunks of whole soybeans and koji, and is regarded as having the best flavor. It is fermented more slowly—anywhere from six months to three years—at natural temperature of its environment. It is never pasteurized and made from natural ingredients only.
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