Ingredient of the Month 22: Miso
|Miso usually comes in jars or pouches|
|You can see little pieces of soya bean/ rice|
- mugi : barley
- tsubu : whole wheat/barley
- genmai : brown rice
- moromi : chunky, healthy (kōji is unblended)
- nanban : mixed with hot chili pepper for dipping sauce
- taima : hemp seed
- sobamugi: buckwheat
- hadakamugi: rye
- nari: made from cycad pulp
- gokoku: "5 grain": soy, wheat, barley, proso millet, and foxtail millet
- As miso is relatively high in salt, it may not be a good idea to consume too much if you suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) as it has been suggested that salt may raise blood pressure. However, latest indications are that this may not be true after all, and there are other great health benefits in miso that make it a brilliant addition to your diet, especially if you are vegan.
- The koji in miso breaks down the soya beans so that they and their benefits are more easily absorbed by the body.
- Miso is really high in antixiodants- I mean really. As well as minerals like zinc and manganese, there are also phyto (plant) nutrients in there doing a similar job. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells from free radicals (which cause ageing and cancer) and also boost immunity. One caveat, however, is that the antioxidant content in miso depends on the fermentation time.
- As well as minerals, miso contains protein in the form of amino acids like tryptophan, just like soya beans.
- It is a source of vitamin K and vitamin B12 (although not enough to be the sole source in a vegan diet- you do need to eat enriched foods and/ or supplement. I wouldn't normally advocate supplements over diet, but B12 is really, really important - deficiency symptoms include psychosis that's sometimes irreversible). Other B vitamins in miso are: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and choline.
- Miso contains zinc, important for appetite regulation, immunity and skin renewal/ wound healing.
For some miso recipes from this blog, look here: