Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

How is it good for me?

A very healthy food

Miso is one of the healthiest foods to come out of Japan and has truly taken the world by storm over the past fifty years. With so many health benefits, it is loved by so many and with a taste that is extremely soothing, itfs a favourite for so many. Letfs look at what makes miso unique and why it is so good for our bodies.

 

First of all, letfs look at what miso actually is. In itfs standard form, miso is fermented soy beans. The key ingredient to miso is soy beans, but in actual fact miso can be made from almost anything. In fact itfs possible to find miso products made from combinations of soybeans, rice, wheat, buckwheat, barley and millet. Soybeans are fermented together with salt and a fungus for days to create a thick and strong tasting paste called miso. Most of us are familiar with a dark brown coloured miso but in actual fact there are many variations on miso, each being a difference in the base ingredients, fermentation times as well as cooking methodology.

 

The process of making miso is very long and the basic method is as follows. To begin, whole soybeans are soaked in water for a few hours, this process turns the hard small soybeans into large soft beans with a lot of moisture. The soybeans are then put into pressure cookers and cooked until the soybeans become completely soft. The beans are then transferred to colanders and the water they are boiled in retained. Following this the soybeans are then made into a puree. The beans are then cooled down to around 40 degrees celsius. The next step is to dissolve salt in the water that the soybeans were soaked in, add this to the mashed soybeans mix and mix in. Koji is then broken up and added in and the total mixture is mixed together until there is an even mixture of all the ingredients. This mixture is then put into special ceramic containers lined with salt for the fermentation process. The miso is leveled out and has extra salt put on the surface to ensure unwanted bacteria is kept out. This is then covered up well and left to ferment. These containers are kept in temperature controlled rooms that sit around 20 degrees celsius. Fermentation starts immediately and after about six months the end product is ready to be eaten. it really is a long process to make miso but this is so crucial in making this very, very special food.

 

So, how is miso good for us? One of the health benefits is that It contains a lot of zinc which is a mineral that helps to make our immune systems strong to help us heal ourselves. Miso is also rich in copper and manganese, these two minerals are said to be good for cleansing our bodies from free radicals and giving us energy.

 

Miso has lots and lots of fibre too. It contains lots of dietary fibre which really helps to keep our digestive systems healthy. Miso helps the body to produce digestive fluids that the stomach needs and is said to strengthen our blood also. Another important health benefit is that it helps to maintain our digestive systems because of the good bacterias found in miso. The key to misofs health benefits is in the process of fermentation which it goes through. Just like with other foods that are fermented like natto, miso contains very large concentrations of bacteria that actually help the digestive tract in our stomach. Miso is fantastic for this reason as it really does help digestion of food, helping to maintain our stomachs and also making our immune system stronger. The good points donft just stop there though. Miso contains lots of antioxidants, antioxidants are very important for removing free radicals from our bodies. Free radicals are believed to be linked to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and also aging. It is believed that the antioxidants in miso actually work to slow down the growth of and spreading of cancerous cells in the body. Miso is believed to reduce the chances of getting lung, prostate, colon and breast cancer. It is said by some professionals that miso can actually help to prevent womenfs risk of breast cancer and control estrogen in womenfs bodies.

 

Some of the health benefits come from other foods added to it. Because miso usually contains a type of seaweed called wakame it is also extremely good for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It is said by some people that miso is actually a really good food to consume for smokers as it naturally fights off some of the illnesses that can come from smoking.


So many nutrients

Miso is really so rich in nutrients for our bodies. As mentioned above, the fermentation process is crucial to this. This process breaks down the proteins and carbohydrates in soybeans into forms that we can easily digest. One of the great things about miso is that it actually increases our bodies ability to absorb more nutrients from foods that we eat. Miso contains iron, potassium, choline, vitamin B2, vitamin K, calcium and potassium also. One of the great things about miso is that it is high in polyunsaturated fats which help to lower cholesterol. It also also believed that miso helps to keep our skin soft through the linoleic acid present in miso too.

 

Given all these great health benefits, itfs easy to see why Japanese people regularly eat miso soup. Not only does it help us to keep our bodies healthy but it is also delicious and goes with so many different types of food which helps our state of well being psychologically too.

 

So, as we have seen, miso is truly a unique food given itfs method of preparation and the incredible health benefits that go with it. Itfs no wonder that miso soup has been such an important soup for the Japanese race for centuries given how much it does for our bodies. In essence, miso is a delicious tasting, easy to prepare soup that can be easily found and if had regularly can help us to live healthy lives.