Top 5 Health Benefits of Miso!

Miso (みそ or 味噌) is a traditional Japanese and Chinese fermented ingredient that has been used for centuries. Its paste is made by fermenting soybeans with koji (fungus) and salt (sometimes other ingredients like rice, millet and barley may be added). There are many different types of Miso mainly linked to regional cuisines, undergoing varying periods of fermentation which changes its flavour.

Some of the varieties are: Shiro (white miso) which is mildly salty, sweet and light in colour, Shinsu (yellow) which is fermented for slightly longer than the Shiro type and has a mild flavour, Aka (red) is a dark version that has a hearty flavour and is saltier; and it is fermented for a longer period (up to three years), Mugi (barley) has a longer fermentation period and a strong barley flavour but it is still sweet and mild in taste. Before we tantalize your taste buds any further, let’s get into these Top 5 Health Benefits of Miso!

1. Supports Digestive Health
As we have seen for kimchi and sauerkraut fermented foods are rich in probiotics (good bacteria) and enzymes that help in maintaining healthy intestinal flora, thus your gut health, regulating bowel movements , your digestive system.

2. Anti-aging
Miso also has great anti-aging properties thanks to its rich antioxidant content helping you to maintain a glowing, healthy skin as well as reduce premature aging.

3. Helps Protect from Harmful Radiation
According to a study carried out to research the radioprotective effect of this food, it’s been found that miso that has fermented for longer accumulates more effective protection properties against irradiation (damage).

4. Helps Reduce Risk of Cancer
According to a study conducted in Japan the regular consumption of miso soup could help in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Other research by the Department of Epidemiology, Radiation Effects Research Foundation suggest that frequent consumption of miso soup might well reduce HCC (Hepatocellular carcinoma – a common type of liver cancer) risks.

5. Mood-lifting
Consumption of miso soup that contains dried bonito (dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna) seems to be effective in improving conditions such as: anxiety, fatigue, depression and lack of energy.

To make the most out of Miso be sure to buy unpasteurised, non-GMO Miso. The colour will indicate the taste of it (the darker the colour the stronger and the saltier). It’s great served at the start of or alongside a meal. Love miso, how do you have it? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Why not try these other fermented foods: Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Apple Cider Vinegar and let us know how they help keep YOUR Fit ON!)

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