A traditional, staple ingredient in Chinese and Japanese diets, miso is a popular fermented condiment that is packed full of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. In Japanese, miso means ‘fermented beans’ and people in Japan begin their day with a bowl of miso soup.
Health Benefits Of Miso
1. Supports digestive health
Miso is a great source of probiotics because it contains Aspergillus oryzae. And research studies show that probiotics help in maintaining a healthy gut flora, prevent gut inflammation and other gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, gas, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. May lower blood pressure
Animal studies have showed that miso can aid in lowering blood pressure even though it is high in salt. The study found that rats receiving 2.3 per cent of sodium chloride (NaCl) had a significant increase in systolic blood pressure, whereas rats receiving the same amount of salt from miso didn’t experience a rise in blood pressure levels.
3. Reduce cholesterol levels
A study published in the Japanese Pharmacology and Therapeutics showed that Japanese adults with high cholesterol levels who consumed miso soup for three months resulted in the reduction of total cholesterol levels and significantly lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to a placebo .
4. May help in weight loss
A 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients showed the anti-obesity effects of miso. The study found that consumption of miso suppressed the accumulation of visceral fat when combined with exercise. However, the study is done on animals further studies are needed on humans .
5. Boosts immunity
The presence of probiotics in miso can help in maintaining healthy gut flora, which in turn strengthens immunity and decreases the growth of harmful bacteria.
6. May manage cancer risk
Studies have showed that the intake of miso soup may lower the risk of colon cancer . Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that consumption of miso soup may lower the risk of liver cancer .