Miso and health
Miso is a healthy food that represents Japanese cuisine. This fermented food has been eaten by Japanese people for a long time, and it’s recognized to have high nutritional value. It supports the people’s health for having longevity, and there is a saying, “If you have miso, you don’t need a doctor.” Research is also progressing from a nutritional and medical point of view. The evaluation of nutritional value is drawing more attention.
What is the primary nutritional value?
Miso can be divided into rice miso, wheat miso, bean miso, and mixed miso, a mixture of two or more koji and miso types, depending on the ingredients. Since the ratio of soybeans and the raw materials rice, wheat, and salt are different, the nutritional values could also be significantly different. The main ingredients are water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, ash, vitamins, and minerals. The salt content is around 12% for ordinary miso and 5 to 7% for white miso and Edo sweet miso. Bean miso and sweet miso are slightly lower than this. In general, miso with many soybeans has many proteins, lipids, and inorganic components, and miso with many rice and wheat has many carbohydrates.
The effect of Miso on health
Miso is an excellent source of protein because it has a balance of amino acids in soybeans. The main ingredient has a state where it is easily digested and absorbed by protein and enzymes’ actions. Miso contains various excellent health elements and attracts attention as a food with a tertiary function and nutritional value. In recent years, researchers have published many papers that elucidate the role of miso. The main ones are as follows.
- Miso reduces the risk of cancer
● The incidence of miso soup and breast cancer is reduced by 40% for more than three cups a day.
● The reason why “few people who drink miso soup every day have cancer.”
● Regular smokers eat miso soup every day to reduce mortality.
- Miso reduces the risk of lifestyle-related diseases
● Miso reduces the incidence of stroke, dementia, heart disease, etc.
● Meal pattern with miso soup is useful for osteoporosis.
● Soybean has seven components of suppressing cholesterol.
- Miso prevents aging
● Miso’s raw material “soybean ingredient” suppresses the onset of stroke and contributes to longevity
● Fermentation creates an aging control function in miso
● Miso has created a substance that enhances antioxidant power during the aging process.
Currently, the number of Japanese lifestyle-related diseases is increasing rapidly. Initially, the Japanese and Europeans have different genotypes and different digestive functions for different kinds of food. Since Europeans have been accustomed to eating meat for a long time, they have the function of properly decomposing and ingesting meat. Still, it has not been long since the Japanese started eating meat. They are not physically adapted to eating meat than Europeans.
Conversely, East Asian people, including the Japanese, have a genotype that is resistant to hunger. This type is vulnerable to overnutrition, so overeating can easily lead to obesity, and mild obesity can also lead to diabetes and heart disease. The basics of Japanese food, “rice and miso soup,” are a combination that is nutritionally very compatible. It’s a basic Japanese food that looks simple at first glance, but it makes sense and is an essential factor in building a healthy body.