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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Beans and Legumes >>  Miso


Every individual loves variety in their diets, especially with modern transportation import of healthy foods around the world has become simpler these days. Miso is a famous salted Japanese soybean fermented paste increasingly becoming popular in the west. Miso soup is generally served in breakfast in Japan and contains various seasonal vegetables. Although soybeans are commonly used for miso, rice, wheat or barley can also be fermented with addition of yeast. The fermentation time would depend largely on they type of miso to be produced and can range from weeks to years.
After the fermentation process is completed the fermented raw material is ground in to a paste which has a similar texture of that of nut butter. The taste, color, texture and degree of saltiness would depend on the fermentation time and the exact ingredients used to prepare miso.

Miso – good choice for vegans

Miso is fermented with the help of B-12 synthesizing bacteria thus it is a very valuable source of vitamin B12 especially for vegans.

Miso nutrients

Miso provides good amount of sodium, 1 ounce miso contains 52% of the daily value for sodium. In addition for flavor enhancement, miso can be used in place of plain odd salt in cooking as it provides 52% of the daily value for sodium and an interesting nutrient profile. Only 15 g of miso or 1 tablespoon miso will give 2 g protein and just 25 calories. Moreover it would also provide other trace minerals like copper, manganese and zinc.
  1. Zinc, a cofactor in variety of enzymatic reactions is a critical mineral in wound healing and immune function. Manganese and copper are also the enzyme cofactors important in antioxidant defenses and energy production. Copper is also important for the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase that is involved in the process of cross-linking of elastin and collagen. Both of these provides a ground substance and ensures flexibility in the bones, blood vessels and joints. Besides iron, copper is also an important mineral in the synthesis of hemoglobin and iron cannot be utilized properly without copper in the red blood cells. Miso provides both these important minerals for hemoglobin synthesis.
  2. The consumption of miso in Japan was five times higher than the Japanese migrant to Hawaii. First generation Japanese migrants to Hawaii have a higher incidence of breast cancer compared to the subsequent generations. Researchers prove that many fermented soybean products like miso, soy sauce, natto may help contribute to lower risk of breast cancer.

Miso concerns

  1. Miso and other soy based products are commonly associated with allergic reactions. Although an allergic reaction can be a result of any food, it is important to recognize the allergen and avoid it as far as possible.
  2. Miso contains naturally occurring substances called goitrogens which tend to interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Submitted on January 16, 2014