Health Benefits of Miso
Soybeans, the raw material of miso, are known as the "meat of the field" and consist of high-quality vegetable protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and more. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans. Therefore, in addition to the nutrients originally contained in the soybeans, large amounts of amino acids, vitamins, salt, minerals, potassium, and other nutrients are produced, transforming the soybeans into something with excellent health benefits. No other food contains so many nutrients like miso.
Not only does daily miso soup reduce the risk of stomach cancer by 33%, it also decreases the incidence of stroke and heart disease. Here are six typical health benefits. Regulate the intestinal environment Miso contains vegetable lactic acid bacteria, and it is said that vegetable lactic acid bacteria have a higher probability of reaching the intestines alive, compared to animal lactic acid bacteria such as yogurt. Therefore, it is expected to increase the number of good bacteria in the intestines and regulate the intestinal environment. In addition, miso soup contains dietary fiber, which promotes the removal of stools and thus improves constipation. Prevent stomach cancer In miso, a substance called ethyl fatty acid is formed by the action of enzymes and yeast. Ethyl fatty acid helps lose the potency of cancer-causing substances. In a nationwide survey of 270,000 people, data has been published showing that men who eat miso soup daily have a 33% lower mortality rate from stomach cancer than men who do not eat miso at all. Miso is a food that is fermented by the action of microorganisms. Therefore, miso is said to have a preventive effect against stomach cancer. Beauty Skin Effect Miso contains free linoleic acid, which prevents the synthesis of melanin that causes spots and freckles on the skin. Therefore, miso is said to have a skin beautifying effect. Anti-aging effect Miso soup contains vitamin E, soy saponin, and soy isoflavone, which have antioxidant effects. Antioxidant action is the function of removing active oxygen that causes the body to oxidize inside and out. Therefore, miso soup is expected to have anti-aging effects by inhibiting aging. Mental conditioning effect Miso soup contains tryptophan, which stimulates the secretion of serotonin, the happy hormone. Serotonin is believed to have the effects of restful sleep and calming excited nerves. Therefore, miso soup is said to have the effect of regulating mental health. Preventing lifestyle-related diseases Soybeans, the raw material of miso, contain lecithin and saponin. Lecithin has the effect of decreasing the absorption of bad cholesterol, which causes blood clots. Saponin has the effect of suppressing the rise in blood sugar, and is expected to prevent lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cerebral infarction, and myocardial infarction.
From a health standpoint, many people worry about consuming too much sodium with miso. However, there is no need to worry about it.
The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Heart Association all recommend keeping sodium under 2,300 mg per day. It is equivalent to about 5,750 mg of salt. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests aiming for about 1,500 mg or 3,750 mg of salt per day. (The interesting fact is that the target amount of sodium allowed per day established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan is 7,500 mg per day for adult men and 6,500 mg per day for adult women. Surprisingly, the number is higher for Japanese people.) A bowl of miso󠄀 soup contains about 1,300 mg of salt, which is not a large amount. It is actually only 1/4 of one serving of cup noodles.
If you are still concerned about the salt content of miso soup, it is a good idea to add green and yellow vegetables such as spinach or potatoes, which contain a lot of potassium that prevents the absorption of salt in the body. It is also a good idea to include high-fiber foods such as wakame seaweed, konnyaku, and gobo burdock root, which help to eliminate salt from the body.
In the past, it was once said that the salt content of miso can lead to high blood pressure. However, recent studies and research have changed the view that miso is nutritionally superior and that it is healthier to finish the dish, including the soup.
Miso Soup with Spinach and Potatoes
Miso Soup with Wakame Seaweed and Gobo Burdock Root
How to Store Miso
If the miso was sold at room temperature, there is no problem in storing it at room temperature. It is best to store it in a place that is not exposed to direct sunlight and where there are few changes in temperature and humidity. However, in hot environments such as summer, it is safer to store miso in the refrigerator even if it is unopened, as the temperature will change the color of the miso. Maido offers all the miso products except instant miso soup in the refrigerator, so please put them in the refrigerator or freezer after you get home.
After opening the package, store it in the refrigerator (41-46.4°F /5-8°C). Most especially, storing in a chilled room is recommended because of its low temperature fluctuation. Also, covering the surface of the miso paste tightly will prevent it from oxidizing. Cover the surface of the miso with plastic wrap and keep it covered until you finish using it. You can also use a white sheet that originally comes with in a miso container to cover it. Use a clean spoon to remove the miso when using.
Miso won't freeze in the freezer
It is said that miso does not freeze in a home freezer (about -4°F /-20℃). If you consume miso slowly, we recommend you to preserve the quality by freezing.
Recently, there are an increasing number of low-sodium miso products and miso with dashi that are vulnerable to damage, so freezing may be a safe way to preserve miso.
We will introduce a recipe for homemade instant miso soup in the next blog post.
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