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Miso: Japan’s superfood that is also gaining traction overseas

Do you drink miso soup every day? Miso (fermented soybean paste) is actually an exceptional Japanese superfood that is brimming with good nutrition!

2017.04.20

What is miso, Japan’s superfood?

Did you know that “washoku” (traditional Japanese cuisine) was registered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in December 2013?
With Japanese cuisine having been recognized worldwide, it needs to be noted that what is truly essential in washoku is miso, which is called a Japanese superfood.
Do you have a habit of drinking a cup of miso soup every day?
Aside from miso soup, do you also use miso as a seasoning?
Miso is made by fermenting and maturing a mixture of soybeans, koji (malted rice) and salt, so miso that is properly aged has superb nutritive value.
About 20% to 40% of the protein in miso is broken down ad transformed into amino acids or used to produce vitamins and minerals in the fermentation process.
Miso contains the following nutrients: protein, isoflavone, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, E, K, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin), inorganic minerals (sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, chromium and molybdenum), dietary fibers, free linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Miso is so good to your health that it is said to “keep the doctor away.”

What are the health benefits of miso?

Miso reportedly contains a lot of nutrients, but below is an explanation on the effects that you can expect if you eat miso.

・Promotes digestion
・Helps maintain beauty and beautiful skin
・Promotes smooth bowel movement
・Boosts basal metabolism
・Controls cholesterol level
・Helps prevent various kinds of diseases
・Helps prevent ageing

While you can expect cosmetic effects if you consume miso, the benefits are not limited to that, as it also helps strengthen your internal organs to prevent various diseases. It is definitely an almighty seasoning.
Further, it can help you lose weight as it promotes metabolism!

How to choose miso

You can get hold of miso anywhere, all you need to do is go to the supermarket.
However, are you properly choosing real miso?
Here are some points to keep in mind when picking out miso.

・The ingredients should only be soybeans, koji and salt
There is miso with dashi (soup stock) in the market, but this contains a lot of chemical seasonings, so it is not recommended.

・Do not buy miso if it uses alcohol based on the ingredients label
Alcohol may be used to stop fermentation, but if miso has gone through proper and sufficient fermentation, then alcohol components will naturally come out of the miso and they will stop excessive fermentation. Even from the perspective of flavor and nutritive value, it would be best to choose miso that does not use alcohol.

・Choose miso that has been aged for more than 3 to 6 months
Not a lot of miso in the market show the maturity period, but miso that is slowly fermented and aged in a natural temperature range will have live enzymes, so it will also have greater benefits to your health.

・Domestically produced soybeans
Please choose miso that uses domestically produced soybeans, even though it may not be easy to find, because miso is required to have a label about whether it is made with genetically modified soybeans or not.

What do you think now?
There may be some who are so busy every day that they barely have time to drink miso soup.
However, miso is such a wonderful food that it’s even called a Japanese superfood.
The superfoods overseas are also good, but it might be a great idea to try to shift your attention to Japanese cuisine, which has been drawing a lot of attention abroad, and then incorporate miso into your daily life little by little.

View more BIBEAUTÉ articles

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: BIBEAUTÉ / 梨田明希

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