Miso Soup Benefits

Miso soup is named for a popular seasoning that is used in many soups, stews and sauces in Japanese cuisine. It is made from fermented rice, soybeans, barley and salt. The soup has been eaten as a vegetarian dish but can also be eaten with dashi, fish stock or flakes that add a little more to the soup for those who are not on a vegetarian regimen.

One of the keys here is the fermented rice. This fermented grain is considered a source of probiotics. As you might know, probiotics are healthy bacteria that inhabit the intestinal tract of the digestive system. Here, these “good bacteria” boost immunity, help with absorption of nutrients into the blood, help with vitamin synthesis, and clean out the digestive tract.

To that end, here are some of the benefits of miso soup.

* Lowers high blood pressure – This may be hard to believe since it contains salt, but in the presence of the other ingredients in miso, the salt doesn’t seem to raise blood pressure in those who are eating it. People who already have high blood pressure do need to monitor their intake of miso soup. A few teaspoons of the seasoning can be added to hot water to make a tasty drink as an alternative to eating the soup.

* Prevents aging – These good bacteria that the fermented rice provide can help retard the aging process. As an antioxidant substance, it fights free radical damage in the body.

* Helps with menopausal symptoms – Miso can be made with fermented soy. Soy products contain plant estrogens which can minimize hot flashes in women who are pre-menopausal.

* Nutrient rich – There are many nutrients found in miso that are beneficial to the body. You can get a dose of potassium, vitamin E, fiber, tryptophan, B vitamins and protein. It is considered a superfood because of all the benefits that can be provided without adding anything to the food.

Drinking miso soup every day can increase your health benefits. If you make miso at home or buy it in the store, be sure that you use fermented products. It is the fermentation process that produces the healthy bacteria your body needs.