To day we will talk about miso, especially about Health benefits of Miso. Before we come to this talking, lets us know about what miso is? Miso is a very healthy food ingredient, this is a famous fermented spice in Asia which is now starting to be recognized by most of them in all parts of the world. Maybe if you already know miso, you must have tasted it, in Japan this food is enjoyed in the form of Japanese miso soup.
It is stated that miso has nutrition and it is good enough for health. Among the health benefits of miso is that it improves digestive health and is good at increasing the body’s health. Ok, now let’s look at the understanding of miso in more detail.
What is Miso?
Miso is a traditional Japanese spice, thick in shape and made from fermented soybeans with a starter of koji and salt. This koji contains Aspergillus oryzae fungus.
So what are the benefits and where is the miso used? Miso serign is used as an ingredient in soups, sauces, spreads of soup broth, and for making pickled vegetables and meats.
Miso flavor is often described as a savory flavor with a blend of salt. While the color can vary between red, white, brown, yellow, and this of course really depends on the type of Miso itself.
Indeed, the traditional Japanese miso ingredients use fermented soybeans, but some also use other ingredients such as peas and beans. The different ingredients used in making miso cause different colors from one another.
There are many ingredients in making miso. Apart from using soybeans, salt, koji, they also use ingredients such as barley, rye, rice, rye, flaxseed, buckwheat. All of these ingredients will give the Miso color changes and differences.
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Miso Nutritional Value
Why is miso good and has so many health benefits? This is because this fermented spice contains vitamins, minerals, and several other compounds. Below we see the nutritional profile of miso with a size of 28 grams.
- Calories: 56
- Fat: 2 grams
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Manganese: 12% of the RDI
- Sodium: 43% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 10% of the RDI
- Zinc: 5% of the RDI
- Copper: 6% of the RDI
Apart from the nutritional value above, miso also contains other nutrients but in smaller amounts. These are B vitamins, calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and choline. Interestingly, the miso variety made from soybeans has complete nutritional value. So, if you buy miso, go for the one made from soybeans, not the one made from peas or beans.
Also, Miso which contains soy is said to be rich in amino acids. This essential amino acid is a type of substance that is needed by the human body.
The benefits of miso are also because this spice makes it easy for our bodies to absorb other nutrients. So, consuming miso can improve body function and maximize the performance of the organs in the body in taking nutrients from a variety of foods that we consume.
In addition, the process of making it through fementation has its own health benefits for miso. Fermentation makes miso a platform for the development of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria for health. Among the probiotics is A. oryzae. This is the main probiotic present in miso. Thus it is stated by healthline.com
One other thing you should pay attention to is the very salty taste. Some people say miso is very salty. So, this is important for those of you who limit your intake of salty or sodium. So, before adding it to food, you should consult a nutritionist first.
Best Health Benefits of Miso
1. Miso Improve Digestive Health
Our intestines are home to trillions of bacteria, some of which are beneficial to health and some of which are harmful. Having beneficial bacteria can increase gut flora and this improves our digestion. Fermented foods are one of the causes for the appearance of good bacteria, which is why it is recommended to consume them.
Healthy gut flora is quite important because it protects the body from toxins and fights off harmful bacteria in our digestive system. Healthy gut flora also reduces gas, constipation, and promotes overall digestive health.
As we mentioned that A. oryzaemiso is the main strain in Miso with all its advantages. Research says that the probiotics in miso provide benefits such as reducing inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive symptoms. In addition to producing profitable bacteria, the fermentation process in seasonings (Miso) is also able to reduce antinutrients in soybeans.
Antinutrients are substances that are naturally present in food. Including miso, antinutrients will bind nutrients to the intestinal wall and this is not good for health because it will reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. So, the fermentation process provides benefits in reducing these antinutrient substances.
2. Useful for reducing the risk of certain cancers
Miso is good for health, among other things because it can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. One type of cancer that can be prevented is stomach cancer. In an observational study states that a diet high in salt can reduce the risk of certain cancers.
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In the statement, although miso is high in salt, it does not cause stomach cancer and even reduces the risk. So, this is different from the salt content in other foods which is a driving force for stomach cancer.
In comparison, a study compared miso to foods high in salt, such as salted fish, pickled foods and processed meats. Salted fish, pickles and salted meat were associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer in particular, while miso (a salty food too) was not associated with this cancer.
Why is that? This is believed by experts due to the presence of anti-cancer compounds in soy (again I recommend buying miso with soy ingredients). These compounds are useful in fighting the anti-cancer effects of salt.
This is directly proportional to research conducted on animals, where animals given miso can reduce the risk of lung, stomach, colon, and breast cancer. So, it is increasingly convincing that miso can indeed reduce the risk of cancer, especially if it is fermented for 180 days or longer.
The Miso fermentation process can take from three weeks to several years. The longer the fermentation takes, the darker the miso color will be and the stronger the flavor.
A study in humans who consume miso is said to reduce the risk of liver cancer and breast cancer by about 50% to 54%. For women after menopause it is very good in preventing breast cancer. So the consumption of miso is highly recommended for women with past menopause.
Miso also contains antioxidants, which are compounds that are useful for fighting free radicals that are already in the body. So, one of the big benefits of these antioxidants is to prevent cell damage due to free radicals that exist. However, more research is needed that mentions to get clearer conclusions.
3. Strengthens immunity
The next health benefit of miso is to strengthen the body’s immunity. This is thanks to the many nutrients present in this food spice. For example, the probiotic content in miso is useful for nourishing the intestines by nourishing the flora in the intestine. When the gut flora is healthy, it will be good at fighting bad or harmful bacteria. So, in turn will strengthen the immune system.
Consuming probiotic rich foods like Miso can improve the intestines and prevent the intestines from harmful toxins. In addition, the benefit is to accelerate healing from infections in the intestine. All of these effects will provide the best benefit for the immune system.
Other Miso Potential Benefits
Apart from the health benefits of miso that we have mentioned above, there are a number of other potential benefits that can be obtained by consuming Miso. Are as follows:
4. Improve heart health
Healthline.com says this miso soup can reduce the death rate from heart disease. So, consuming miso can be healthy for the heart. However, the protective effect of miso for the heart is small, and this can only be seen if we consume miso regularly in the right amount.
5. Reducing cholesterol levels
There are studies done on animals and it was found that animals that have been given miso regularly can reduce levels of bad cholesterol in their bodies.
6. Reducing blood pressure
Another health benefit of miso is reducing blood pressure. This has been in animal studies. The results in humans are still under further research. But until now there have been the same impacts or potential benefits as in animals.
7. Prevent type 2 diabetes
Research says that fermented soy products provide benefits for preventing type 2 diabetes. However, in this case there are other studies that are contra. So, it still needs a lot of other research to be able to find results that can be justified.
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8. Improve brain health
Another benefit of miso is that it helps improve brain health. Foods rich in probiotics are good for the brain, it will improve memory, and reduce symptoms of fatigue, stress, autism, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
So, this added benefit provides a breath of fresh air for humans. But to be clearer about the health benefits of miso, much more research is needed. To the extent that what has been done in animals, it has shown good benefits, but for us to relate it to human health, we still need a lot of research because considering the structure of the human body is more complex.
Is Miso Safe?
In general, miso is safe for most people to consume. However, it should be noted because miso is a food with a high salt content. Salt is a dangerous product for the heart if it is taken in excess.
Therefore, for a patient who needs to limit salt, he should stay away from these foods so as not to cause dangerous side effects.