Miso is a nourishing, high energy whole food that can help maintain health and vitality.
All dark varieties of Clearspring miso are made using cereal grains and whole soya beans, so the nutrition of these whole foods is fully available in the finished miso.
Production of miso begins by cooking soya beans and combining them with koji (grains or soya beans inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae mould spores), salt and water. This mixture is then fermented and aged over several months in large cedarwood kegs.
Over time, the enzymes from the koji, along with naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria, gradually break down the complex grains and beans into readily digestible amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars, making miso an excellent food for strengthening digestion.
The same enzymes that help with fermentation during the making of miso can also help with digestion of a meal that includes miso, and can even destroy substances in food that cause food allergies.
Miso also acts like a digestive tonic, and once established in the intestine, the acid-loving bacteria found in abundance in unpasteurised miso promote health and stamina.
Beneficial bacteria found in the small intestine are also effective in fighting conditions such as constipation, yeast infections (candidiasis), and lactose intolerance. New research is also beginning to suggest that some friendly bacteria strains may combat more serious diseases such as coronary heart disease and cancer.
Miso as a health protector
John and Jan Belleme, who are authors of The Miso Book and have been researching miso for twenty five years, say that using miso regularly is the best health insurance you can have. Much more than a proverbial 'apple a day', a daily bowl of miso will not only keep the doctor away, it will add vitality to your life. Without a doubt, miso is a culinary treasure - the world's most medicinal everyday food.
In some parts of China and Japan drinking miso soup every day is still associated with a long, healthy life. Starting the day with miso soup is said to alkalise the body and help neutralise the acidity caused by the over consumption of meat, sugar and alcohol.
Miso was touted for centuries as a folk remedy for cancer, weak digestion, tobacco poisoning, low libido, and several types of intestinal infections. Recently, some scientific studies have shown that miso really is effective against atomic radiation, heavy metal poisoning, cardiovascular disease, many forms of cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and food allergies.
Many of miso's reputed health properties have been associated with a group of biochemicals found in soya called isoflavones. These are compounds that have a similar shape to oestrogen and which various scientific studies have indicated may be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. They are believed to help fight cancer as they slot into the body’s oestrogen receptor sites, thereby preventing cancerous tumours from being supplied with the hormone required for their growth. (1)
Research has also shown that fermented soya products contain much higher levels of isoflavones than raw soya beans, and in particular genistein, a plant isoflavone that is a potent anti-cancer agent. Studies have shown that the occurrence of certain types of cancer is lower in countries that have a tradition of consuming soya based foods, such as Japan, China and Singapore. (2)
- From ‘Foods To Fight Cancer’ by Professor Richard Beliveau and Dr Denis Gingras
- From ‘Japanese Foods that Heal’ by John and Jan Belleme
Also read: Miso Soup Cuts Breast Cancer Risk