Why The Japanese Eat Miso Soup Daily

Feb 17, 2016 04:20 AM EST | By Chandan Das

For most Westerners, miso may be an unfamiliar food. However, this thick, brackish condiment is extensively used in Japanese culinary. In fact, most Japanese begin their day with a bowl of homemade miso soup. Moreover, they add miso to various foods to enhance their flavor.

Preparation of miso is a rather complex process. The ingredients required to prepare this fermented food include soybeans and sometimes grains like wheat or rice. Subsequently, salt is added to all these ingredients to create a mould culture. Then, it is placed in cedar vats for aging for about one year to three years. Miso is basically a brewed paste containing cultured rice (called koji in Japanese), beans and right amounts of salt.

Since, the process of preparing this food is complex and time consuming; people in Japan usually purchase it from local health stores. Depending on the ingredients used and the time for which they are fermented, miso has different flavor, aroma, and color. Even the texture varies.

Miso is a very healthy food because it encloses isoflavones, saponins, and soy protein. Unpasteurized miso also contains live enzymes. Several studies have established that women who consume three or more bowls of this food daily face reduced risks of breast cancer. In fact, their chances of developing breast cancer drops by 40 percent, reports the World's Healthiest Foods.

Since miso has high levels of an assortment of vitamins, such as vitamins B and K, protein and dietary fiber, in addition to bacteria and enzymes, consumption of this food promotes digestion and absorption of a variety of nutrients by the body. Scientific studies have established that miso helps to ease fatigue, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion and reduce the chances of developing cancer. Miso is also effective for preventing premature aging.

Japanese like miso and take it every day after their meals. Perhaps this is the reason why the Japanese enjoy a sound health even at old ages. Consuming miso soup every day helps to build as well as reinforce the immune system.

According to Care 2, Consumption of miso soup regularly helps to combat various infections and diseases. No doubt, the Japanese have been traditionally using miso to treat common cold. It is consumed much in the same way as people in the West consume chicken soup to treat cold.

Last, but not the least, consuming miso soup also helps to provide relief from hangover. This food possesses diuretic properties and, hence, it replenishes water, sodium and various other nutrients, which are depleted owing to the adverse effects of alcohol.

The only downside of consuming miso soup is its salt content. So take care if you have hypertension.

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