Although not well know in the West, miso has been a staple part of the diet in the Far East for centuries. Because it is a fermented, living food; its flavor improves in time, much like a fine wine.
- a fermented paste of soybeans and either barley or rice with salt.
- a cultured and fermented soy food that helps digestion by adding Lactobacillus acidophilus (the good kind of bacteria also found in yogurt).
- full of lecithin, linoleic acid, and is high in protein.
- is fermented with a B12-synthesizing bacteria making it great for vegans.
- effective in treating some forms of cancer, heart disease and reducing the possibility of developing stomach ulcers, according to research.
- can slow the aging process which may be one reason the Japanese are known for their longevity.
- one of the foods useful in preventing radiation poisoning. See below under medicine.
Soybeans can be difficult to digest so miso’s fermentation process enables the soybean to be assimilated more easily by the body.
Miso Used As A Medicine:
“After studying the use of miso as a preventive medicine Dr. Sinchiro Akizuki of Nagasaki demonstrated that miso plays a part in protecting against the deadly effects of radiation. In 1972, this was confirmed upon discovery that miso contains dipicolonic acid which chelates (attaches to) heavy metals like radioactive strontium and discharges them from the body. Additional research has also shown miso to be effective in treating some forms of cancer, and heart disease. Hatcho miso was imported by the truckloads to areas surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident.” -Sundance Natural Foods Online