Delicious, Nutritious Miso!
If you're not on the miso bandwagon already, jump on! You might remember miso soup from your last trip to a Japanese restaurant. A bowl filled with dashi stock, silky tofu and seaweed is set in front of you. Inside that bowl floats a cloud of flavor, a fog of salty richness that disperses with a gentle stir of your chopsticks. That, my friends, is pure delicious and nutritious miso.
Have you heard about how the residents of Okinawa island are the longest-living people in the world? Here are some facts about the Okinawans from About.com. Okinawans have...
- more people over 100 years old per 100,000 population than anywhere else in the world
- the lowest death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke (the top three killers in the US)
- the highest life expectancy for both males and females over 65
Research has attributed the incredible good health of Okinawans to a positive attitude, not smoking, lots of exercise and a healthy diet rich in soybeans - and miso is made up of fermented soybeans! The typical Japanese breakfast staples include rice and miso soup.
However, miso soup is very salty, so you don't want to consume more than one cup a day. In this article we'll also discuss other alternatives.
The Benefits of Miso
A daily serving of miso increases healthy hormones, which helps to prevent the onset (or should we say onslaught) of menopause. It also prevents breast cancer and is rich in antioxidants, proteins, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and protective fatty acids. Miso is recommended for colds and a host of other illnesses in Japan just like chicken soup is recommended in the Western world.
The Japanese add wakame seaweed to their miso soup, making the dish more nutritious. Wakame seaweed helps to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. A combination of wakame seaweed and miso is supposedly an effective remedy for nicotine-related health problems.
How to Use Miso
Vegans often use miso to flavor dishes, instead of using meat stock. It's great for marinating tofu. A cup of miso can also be poured into rice before it's finished cooking to let it soak into the rice grains. Be creative and try miso with all varieties of fish, beans and grains. I've also tried grilled miso chicken, which has a surprisingly deep flavor.
Miso soup is often sold pre-packaged in packets - just add water! You can also buy fresh miso in the supermarket, sold in blocks, or in paste form in the Japanese food section of the grocery.
Super Miso, or Miso-so?
What do you think about miso? Was this article helpful? Comment below.
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.