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Miso, The Miracle Soup!

Updated on November 8, 2011

Miso is truly a miracle soup! It tastes good too!

If you’ve never had Miso soup, you are missing out on a Japanese/Chinese culinary delight. What’s more, Miso soup has been known for many years by master herbalists to have medicinal qualities and health benefits. In recent years scientific studies have proven the medicinal attributes of this soybean and grain, doubly-fermented food. Miso is known to remedy low sex drive, chemotherapy illness, allergies, chronic pain, lowered cholesterol, high blood pressure, tobacco complications, digestive problems and even some types of cancers. Best of all, Miso is a beautiful looking soup and tastes absolutely delicious!

Miso is the delicious miracle soup of master herbalists!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoosvanrobin/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoosvanrobin/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

Miso!!!


The origins of Miso come from China through Chinese Buddhists who first cultivated this soy food. Along with the import of Buddhism into Japan, those same Chinese Monks also brought Miso with them. Today Japan regards Miso preparation as a fine art form! Miso is made in three typical ways. The first is the traditional method which unfortunately, is the most difficult to find yet has the most medicinal benefits. Here cleaned organic soybeans are mixed with “Koji” a grain that has been inoculated with Aspergillis culture, similar to sour dough traditions. These cultures have been handed down for centuries from family to family. Pure sea salt and the cleanest water is found and the enzymes in the Koji help to break the mix down as it is slow cooked. This version of Miso is unpasteurized and left to age in old, seasoned wood barrels. It is the closest you will find to true organic miso.

Naturally aged Miso is the second type where the Koji portion of the process is more automated and the enzymes are more homogenous and less wild than in the traditionally made Miso. Naturally aged Miso is a manufactured product and as such is made in a very uniform manner.

The last type of Miso, also the least medicinally beneficial but most abundant, is temperature controlled Miso. This Miso, just as many of the processed foods today, is made mainly for profit. Whereas traditionally made Miso needs at least a few months to age, temperature controlled Miso, with the aid of commercial yeasts and lactic acid, is done in a day or two! So do your best to first find traditionally made or at least Naturally Aged Miso!

Studies establishing the benefits of Miso fighting cancer are ongoing. One well known soy expert Seiichiro Yamamoto a PhD epidemiologist who works for the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Japan published the results of studying the diets of over twenty thousand women between the ages of forty and fifty-nine. The results showed that beneficial isoflavones in Miso resulted in lower breast cancer rates among woman who consumed soy and Miso regularly. Isoflavones are a naturally occurring plant hormone that has similar properties to estrogen. The results showed that the Asian women who consumed the least amount still had over two hundred and fifty times more isoflavones in their diet then women from the United States who had much higher breast cancer rates. Another study by the Japanese Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Company and The Gifu University Faculty of Agriculture found that daily consumption of Miso reduced cholesterol significantly even after only consuming the soup for three months! Yet another study by the University of Shizuoka in Japan identified antioxidants in Miso known to neutralize free radicals in the body, thereby countering the ill effects of air pollution, television monitor radiation, alcohol and other toxic chemicals in the modern industrial environment. The health benefits of Miso are seen by individuals that eat at least one cup a day.

Miso can be made at home and bought in restaurants. It is a popular beginning to many sushi dishes where it often includes seaweed! Miso can be made into: a salad spread, hummus, tofu cheese and even gravy! Over two thousand years of Oriental Buddhist tradition can’t be wrong! Do your body and your taste buds a favor, the next opportunity you find to try some, give Miso a chance! You will feel better and your healthy body will thank you!

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    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you DDE, I love it. I have to drive about a half an hour to get to a world market to buy miso paste but it is worth it!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A wonder soup indeed and look a delicious and simple soup to make thanks for this hub.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I've never heard that before John, I did some research and supposedly miso provides amino acids that are supposed to help insomnia. I wonder if you had any green tea with your meal? There's some caffeine there, though not nearly as much as coffee. Anyway, thanks for your food for thought, I occasionally have insomnia, so I will watch and see if I notice anything, please feel free to comment back if you find out more!

      Ben

    • profile image

      John 

      6 years ago

      Can Miso soup cause insomnia?

      I had Japanese food for dinner last night and couldn't sleep until 4 am.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Wow thanks for the added history kerlynb! I wonder what natto is? I'll have to check it out. Japanese do live long lives, and here I thought they were just getting secrets from snow monkeys!

      Cheers

      Ben

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 

      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      It's just amazing how miso soup is so much a part of the Japanese cuisine. Japanese people like having it together with natto and pickles for breakfast. No wonder many of them have long lives. They've got a healthy diet!

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Laura, I agree. I've had some with giant kelp-like plants in the miso too, yum!

      Ben

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 

      7 years ago from Aurora

      It doesn't hurt that miso also tastes wonderful. Thx!

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks eventsyoudesign. Sad to hear about the pesticides but not surprised. You can buy organic and cultured soys and misos where I live at a few different places... (Woodmans and also at both the Jennifer and Willy Street Co-ops) I heard that cottonseed oil is the absolute worst for pesticides, hadn't heard of soy having that problem I'm surprised. If you find any research please post it here.

      Best,

      Ben

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      8 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      I like your article. Soy is supposed to have one of the highest levels of contaminates from pesticides. I am not an expert on soy, but I believe moderation is the key as soy is suppose to raise estrogen levels in men and women. There is a very big difference in the soy that the Japanese eat. Asian soy is “fermented” which is an extensive process that removes the soy toxins. It is better than many of the soy products that we consume in the USA. I do like miso soup though and eat it on occasion. I will read more. Teresa

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you Miss Willow, I hope you enjoy. (I wish I had some miso right now, insomnia tonight!)

      Ben

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the intro!

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 

      8 years ago

      Miso soup is really fantastic. One recipe I really love is miso soup with milkfish, tamarind powder and mustard leaves.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you for the generous anecote and affirmation about Miso honorourrelations!!!

      Fascinating and succinct that Cornell should have studied the effects of purification of radiation through Miso. My struggle now, is finding a place in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin that sells the best, old fashioned fermented soy type. Of to hunt Miso!

      Ben

    • profile image

      honorourrelations 

      8 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing the love and blessings of miso! I was first introduced to the miraculous stuff when studying natural holistic and spiritual health, by an elder whose been an organic vegetarian for over 25 years. He studied exclusively on radiation poisoning at Cornell University after coming to the States, and he informed me of the purifying and protecting benefits of a miso diet. I've never known anyone as spry and healthy at such an age as he; and the man lives with no electricity and hauls his water by hand! We would all do well to incorporate miso in your diet, as we are all constantly exposed to radiation and toxins and we would benefit greatly from its gifts.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      cosette: me too, yum yum yum!

      Trsmd: I hope you find some miso soon, it really is a tasty treat.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 

      8 years ago from India

      really mouth watering. thanks for sharing these good recipes.

    • profile image

      cosette 

      8 years ago

      oOo, miso hungry for some soup now ;)

      nice hub!

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Tim-tim I love hot and sour too!

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      I love Miso soup! Besides that, I like Chinese Hot and Sour Soup,yummy:)

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Hey Mag, I don't know if you are near Stevens Point in central WI, but they have a great sushi restaurant there and I'm 99% sure they have miso! Or of course, you can order it online! *wink wink*

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Living in rural Wisconsin, I have yet to eat Miso, and this is the first time i have even heard of it! It sounds like something that everyone should be eating.

      Thnaks for another great hub!

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I know what you mean 2besure, I started putting some in other soups I make too, it tastes delicious to me! Thanks for reading!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I just heard about the benefits of miso and when right out and got some. I put in in other food that I am eating. It doesn't taste bad at all.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      It's always good to have Buddha's blessing. When it hit's the fan, I tell myself, "Be like the Buddha" so I got that goin' for me. Hold onto that lady friend hombre!

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      My japanese lady friend makes the best miso soup. Buddha has blessed me, I suppose. lol

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Go Saints! My family and I watched the Super Bowl and had a lot of fun. The first Packers game I ever saw at Lambeau was the year after Katrina. The Saints beat the Packers in a big scoring game, they are one of the only teams I can tolerate defeating the Packers!

      Glad you liked the article, wish I could've been in New Orleans for that parade!!!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 

      8 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Miso soup is one of the most effective comfort foods for me. In fact, I had some tonight to warm up after a fun, cold, long, and totally worth it Saints Super Bowl Parade in New Orleans! And I felt better instantly. :)

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Red, white and blue baby, red, white and blue.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      What color is the sky in your world?

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Haha, I knew you couldn't resist Nicomp! I'm afraid conservatives (both sides of the aisle) have neutered any chance of universal health care anytime soon. Guess only enemy combatants and other domestic prisoners (the people conservatives apparently care about the most) are the only group getting free health care in our Republic any time soon. Too bad the Bush/Cheney health care reform didn't change things, oh wait that's right, they didn't bother with any health care reform for eight years.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      BHO has this stuff in his free health care plan, yes?

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Green Lotus: Thanks, I know what you mean about the salt too. It's hard to reach for the low sodium soy, it just isn't the same!

      Hello, Hello, give it a try, miso is sooo good!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I never heard of it but I certainly shall try it. Thank you for a very good hub.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I love Miso soup! I can eat (drink) gallonfulls, but then I blow up from the sodium :( Doesn't stop me.

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