Most people are unaware of the importance of gut health and the role that gut bacteria plays in overall health. The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. The right mix of bacteria helps to maintain a healthy gut flora, which is important for many reasons.
A healthy gut flora helps the body to defend against toxins and harmful bacteria. It also improves digestion and reduces gas, constipation and antibiotic-related diarrhea or bloating. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the good bacteria that is found in the gut.
Fermented foods are considered the best probiotic foods for gut health. Mison is one of the best fermented foods. Let’s explore, ‘is Miso good for Gut Health?’
Let’s start with a brief introduction of Miso.
What is Miso?
Miso is a seasoning made from a paste of steamed soybeans or rice. After it has been aged for a time, the salt and koji are added to the mixture. You can find matured miso in many colors, from white to dark brown. It has a strong taste and is full of probiotics, making it a great all-purpose seasoning.
Many types of miso are made in Japan. They are often used in local cuisine.
Miso was first published in Japanese history books in 19901. The original Japanese seasoning “Miso,” a combination of Chiang and Gu from China, was developed by this time.
It may be time to add miso soup to your weekly or daily menu. Miso soup is an excellent option for those who want to eat healthier and include more plant-based recipes in their diet. It has been shown to improve gut health as well as fight inflammation. Studies have shown that miso soup can help fight cancer cell growth and heart disease. This fantastic food is highly nutritious. Here, we’ll try to explore is miso good for gut health?
Different Types of Miso Paste
Miso made only from soybeans is the most popular, although many other raw ingredients can be used. Some miso paste can be made from millet or cultured wheat, while others are made with a combination of beans and grains. The color indicates the strength of the flavor. You can also vary the texture. Wholegrain miso is usually saltier than one made from hulled grains.
White miso, (Shiro)
It is made from soybeans and rice and fermented for two months. Shiro, which means “white” in Japanese, is light in color. It’s sweet to mildly salty. Shiro makes excellent gateway miso, adding extra flavor to salad dressings and frying vegetables.
Yellow miso, Shinsu
A milder version of white miso that has been fermented slightly longer than white. You can use yellow miso in many different recipes.
Red miso (aka)
You’ll need to use an aka if you use dark miso in a recipe. This type, which is rusty in color, is made from more soybeans. It can be fermented for up three years and has a more profound and saltier flavor. This type is best used in rich dishes such as stews or tomato sauces to get its full flavor. Be careful not to overpower other ingredients with their flavor.
Is Miso Good for Gut Health? 4 Reasons Why Miso is the Best for Gut and Digestive Health
Like other fermented foods, Miso also offers a wide range of health benefits to improve your overall gut health. Following are the 4 different ways by which Miso helps improve your gut health.
- Probiotics in Miso
- Prebiotics in Miso
- Production of Enzymes
- Limiting Antinutrients
Let’s explore all these one by one.
#1. Probiotics in Miso
Aspergillus oryzae is the main probiotic strain found in miso. This probiotic-rich condiment has been shown to offer a variety of health benefits, including reducing symptoms linked to digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and weight loss.
A. oryzae works by rebalancing the microbiome and reducing inflammation. In one study, patients with active IBD who consumed miso soup daily for eight weeks showed significant reductions in symptoms compared to those who did not consume the soup.
The probiotics in miso may also help to boost immune function and reduce the risk of infections. Therefore, incorporating this delicious condiment into your diet may help to improve your gut health and reduce symptoms of IBD.
#2. Prebiotics in Miso
Soybeans have the highest level of oligosaccharides compared with any other food. So, miso provides you with enough oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are a type of prebiotic fiber.
Much of the food we eat today is processed and devoid of the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. One important nutrient that is often lacking in the modern diet is fiber. Fiber is essential for gut health, as it helps to regulate bowel function and prevent constipation.
Oligosaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest but they are an important source of food for gut bacteria. Studies have shown that consuming oligosaccharides helps increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut and improve digestive health.
Unlike other carbohydrates, oligosaccharides are not broken down by the human digestive system. Instead, they are fermented by gut bacteria. This fermentation process is important for several reasons. First, it helps to promote the growth of healthy gut microflora.
Second, it increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are beneficial for gut health. Finally, it helps the body to absorb specific B vitamins. As a result, oligosaccharides play an important role in maintaining gut health.
Prebiotic fibers, including oligosaccharides, also help regulate glucose metabolism.
#3. Production of Enzymes
Fermentation also plays an important role in the production of enzymes. These enzymes are known to be beneficial to both humans and animals. In particular, aspergillus oryzae produces the enzyme amylase, an important enzyme for a healthy gut and good digestion.
Maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut is essential for proper digestion, and amylase plays an important role in this process. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars into simpler components, making it easier for bacteria to convert them into lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
These substances are essential for keeping the microbiome of the GI tract in balance, and they also help to prevent intestinal infections. In addition, amylase also aids in the absorption of nutrients from food. Consequently, it is clear that the function amylase serves is a vital one.
Probiotic bacteria and enzymes are two important components of a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
Probiotic bacteria help to break down food, absorb nutrients, and produce vitamins that are essential for gut health.
Enzymes, on the other hand, aids in the digestion of food by breaking down complex molecules into simpler nutrients that can be easily absorbed by the body.
Probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the gastrointestinal tract is functioning properly. Without probiotic bacteria, enzymes would not be able to break down food properly, and without enzymes, probiotic bacteria would not be able to absorb nutrients effectively. Together, they form a symbiotic relationship that is essential for gut health.
#4. Limiting Antinutrients
Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans, rice or barley. It’s a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and has many benefits for gut health. One of these benefits is that the fermentation process helps to reduce the levels of antinutrients in soybeans.
Antinutrients are compounds naturally found in foods, which can bind to nutrients in the gut and reduce the body’s ability to absorb them. However, fermentation helps to break down these compounds, making miso easier to digest and helping the body to absorb more of the nutrients.
As a result, miso can help to improve gut health and digestion. So, next time you’re making a Japanese dish, don’t forget to add a little miso – it might just be good for you!
Miso Health Benefits: What Makes Miso A Healthy Diet?
Although miso is a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine, it has many other benefits. Miso can be used to improve the nutritional content of your meals. It is both fermented as well as soy-based, which is something that nutritionists recommend.
Here are five miso health benefits. It would be the best if you kept eating miso more.
Anti-inflammatory Properties of Miso
Soybeans are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, including isoflavonoids and phenolic acid. These powerful antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation and cellular aging. The gut breaks down these isoflavones into substances that fight inflammation. This helps to prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease and other diseases.
Miso is Healthy for Your Heart
One study in the journal Nutrients reveals that soy’s primary benefit to heart health is its ability lower LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. A second study from Internal Medicine showed that miso soup could reduce heart rate for people between 50 and 81. This is not surprising, considering that miso has salt.
You can Improve Your Gut Health with Miso
Palmer states that fermented foods such as miso can increase beneficial bacteria in the microbiome. This can help in immune health. Stanford School of Medicine’s study found that ten weeks of eating fermented food increased the diversity of bacteria in your gut. This shifts the microbiome and improves your immune response.
High in Vitamins and Nutrients, Miso is a Great Choice!
Many minerals and nutrients are found in miso, such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Miso, which is made from soybeans and contains over 3 grams of plant-based proteins per ounce, is a rich source of protein.
The Nutritional Value of Miso
Many people wonder how many calories are in miso. Here’s the nutritional information for one tablespoon and 15 grams of miso.
- 30 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 9.9 grams of fat
- Carbohydrate: 3.5g
- Iron content:.63 mg
- The zinc content of.49 mg
- Five micrograms of folate5
- 1.37 grams of salt
Miso Can Stop the Growth of Cancer Cells
Hiroshima University researchers found that miso soup could protect mice from radiation poisoning in a 2013 study. This has implications for how miso soup might slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells. The same study showed that miso stopped the growth of colon, stomach, and liver cancers and helped lower blood pressure.
Miso Soup: Good for Digestive Health
While some people are just now learning about fermented foods and their many health benefits, humans have been eating them for thousands of years. Fermented foods were initially used to preserve food.
However, today we know that they can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health problems like obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high blood sugar, and other diseases. They boost the beneficial bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut supports mental health benefits and cognitive function and gives you a healthy immune system.
Fermented foods share one thing in common: they are all made with microorganisms. Not all fermented foods contain live microorganisms. However, they can still end up on your plate. Microorganisms can be destroyed by heat, such as baking and cooking.
Although less nutritious, fermented food can be great for your diet, even when baked or cooked. People all over the globe eat thousands of fermented foods. You will find yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi among the most popular fermented foods. Read here more about the list of fermented foods for gut health.
You can use miso to make salad dressings, sauces, and dipping. Miso soup is a favorite way to include miso in your diet. For a long, miso has been regarded as a food that promotes good nutrition and long life expectancy.
Its roots can be traced back to China, which was first discovered in the 4th Century BC. Later, it made its way to Japan. Many people are familiar with miso soup in Japanese restaurants, but it can be made at home.
Miso is a Rich Source of Protein
It’s traditionally made from soybeans fermented with salt, koji (the Aspergillus oryzae fungus), and grain for miso to grow on. Although miso is usually made from barley and rice, buckwheat or rye can also be used.
The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to three years. The darker and more flavorful miso will ferment the faster it goes. The ingredients can affect the color and flavor of miso. Miso is described as having a salty-savory (umami) taste.
Miso has many health benefits. It’s rich in essential amino acids, antioxidants, and minerals like zinc and copper and is a good source of Vitamin K and other B vitamins. Additionally, miso is rich in beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help digestion and assimilation. You may also read about the best vitamins for gut health and digestion.
Studies suggest that miso may help to boost immunity and prevent infections. Miso can be a great addition to any diet. For those who are on low-salt diets and blood thinners, it might be a good idea to limit one’s miso intake. GMO soybeans make up a large portion of today’s miso. Organic miso is recommended if you can.
Tofu, an excellent ingredient for miso soup, is made from soybeans. Make sure you use silken (organic tofu) and don’t make it extra firm or hard. Cut it into small cubes. Silken tofu is perfect for any miso soup recipe because of its delicate texture and softness. Never add miso to boiling water.
The intense heat will destroy the beneficial microbes. Instead, take the soup off the heat and let it cool. Then, stir or whisk in miso paste. It will still be hot enough to melt the miso. You only need a little miso. This is because you’ll have leftover miso paste when making soups or other dishes.
Miso paste that has not been opened can be stored at room temperature for extended periods. Miso should be refrigerated once it has been opened. Miso can be kept in a refrigerator for up to one year, but its flavor may diminish if it is not properly refrigerated.
Miso Soup Nutrition Facts
You can make miso soup using miso paste, spring onions, and wakame seaweed. This mixture is combined with a bit of fish stock or fish broth and water. Miso homemade is usually served in 12-to-13-ounce portions (about 391g).
- 10% of your daily value (DV) for vitamin A
- 9 percent of your daily value for vitamin C
- 28 percent of your daily value for vitamin K
- 6 percent of your manganese DV
Also, miso soup contains small amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamin B complex vitamins (between 1 to 4 percent of the DV). Miso soup has only 20.4 calories per serving.
Beneficial antioxidants are also found in miso soup. These antioxidants are not limited to the fermented bean paste. This soup’s fish broth (also known as dashi) and its vegetables have increased antioxidant activity.
Miso soup’s nutrition has one negative side: its sodium. This can vary depending on what miso paste you use, but a typical serving of miso soup has approximately 13 percent of your daily value for this nutrient.
Miso soup recipes include other ingredients such as sesame oil and seeds, soft tofu cubes, and daikon radishes. Miso soup can be served as a main course or as an appetizer. Although such ingredients will have an impact on the soup’s nutritional content, it is not common to add other vegetables. A common substitution is removing dashi and substituting with a vegetarian or vegan option.
Miso Soup Health Benefits
Miso soup might not appear to be a very healthy food based on its nutritional contents; bioactive substances are formed during fermentation. Fermented soy products like miso also have neuroprotective effects.
These bioactive compounds have anti-cancer, antidiabetic, and antioxidant properties. In 2018, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences found that miso can increase skin and eye moisture. Although mixed results, miso soup’s bioactive substances may benefit your heart.
Miso and Sodium Soup for Healthy digestion
Saltiness is a hallmark of miso soup. This is partly due to fermentation. Although miso soup is high in sodium, it doesn’t affect your cardiovascular health. Miso soup reduces the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and related mortality. This finding is only applicable to women and not men.
However, other studies have also shown that miso soup may be suitable for your heart and help to counter sodium-related problems. The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypertension found that miso soup can reduce high blood pressure due to sodium. This effect is not consistent. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that miso soup can reduce heart rate but not blood pressure.
Miso can be good for your heart health. However, it would be best if you still ate it in moderation. High-sodium foods can increase your risk of developing gastrointestinal cancer. This applies to miso soup. It means that you should eat three to four bowls per day.
Miso soup is safe for moderate consumption. If you are looking for miso’s health advantages for your heart and brain, a few servings per week can be sufficient.
Tip for Buying Miso
Avoid preservatives when buying miso. The goal is to find products that don’t list more than water, organic soybeans, rice, and salt. However, some varieties might contain seaweed and barley.
You’re missing the most gut-healthy food in your diet, miso. Here’s how to eat it (other than soup).
Miso is not just for those who enjoy a good bowl of soup and then a delicious sushi meal. This Asian staple can be used in many other ways.
Multipurpose miso can give your favorite dishes a kick of umami flavor, such as pasta or dessert.
This fermented soybean paste contains a wide range of probiotics.
The fermentation process involves mixing koji (a fungal fungus), soybeans, and salt, creating beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health.
Remember that miso, by its very nature, is high in sodium. Therefore, when you use miso in your recipe, you must reduce other salts. Remember that a little goes quite a distance.
Some Creative Ways of Using Miso in Delicious Meals
These creative ways to make miso are more than just a bowl of soup.
Miso can be used as a simple marinade to make delicious fish and chicken dishes. Make miso by whisking rice wine with a bit of brown sugar. Once it has cooled, heat it and boil it.
This winning combination of sweet and salty flavors will delight your taste buds.
Stir Up a Salad Dressing
A tablespoon of miso can make any boring homemade salad dressing more flavorful. Soybean paste is an excellent pairing for olive oil, ginger, lime, sesame, and sesame.
Add a little honey or agave if you like a hint of sweetness to balance the umami notes.
Use it As A Sandwich Topping
Spoonful miso can be used to jazz up sandwiches. You are spreading it on your sandwiches like mayo or hummus.
Mix into Baked Goods
The saltiness of miso gives sweets a complex and pleasant flavor.
“For a savory touch, I often add two teaspoons to my favorite peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie recipes.” The probiotic punch of miso in your batter will also help boost your baked goods’ nutritional profile.
Pair With Pasta
Miso is the perfect pasta pairing, creating more deep, decadent, and full-bodied flavors. Add two tablespoons of white miso to your pasta sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The reason why is having miso good for you?
A type of soybean paste made from fermented soybean paste is called miso. This paste can be used for many purposes, but it is most often used to make miso soup. It is a classic part of Japanese cuisine. It is well-known for its umami flavor, and it is linked to a variety of health benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions about Miso and Gut Health
Does Miso Cause Inflammation?
Miso is an anti-inflammatory food. Isoflavonoids, and phenolic acid, powerful antioxidants in soybeans, are potent anti-inflammatory compounds that protect cells from damage and inflammation.
Is Miso Good for Gut Health and Digestion?
Miso helps with digestion. Miso is rich in probiotics which help to maintain healthy bacteria levels. This bacteria helps with digestion, constipation, gas, diarrhea, and bloating.
Does Miso Make A Good Choice for A Leaky Stomach?
Studies have shown that probiotics in this condiment can help reduce symptoms of digestive problems such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). Probiotics and plant-based metabolic enzymes can survive the journey through your intestinal tract.
Is Miso Easy for You to Digest?
This food is easy to digest because of the aminolysis process of soy protein. It is also a natural food, as it does not contain any food additives or pasteurization. Koji mold in miso requires carbohydrates, the correct temperature, and enzymes.
Which Miso Color Has More Health Benefits?
Yellow misos are the most healthiest among all types. The more intense the flavor, the darker the color will be. Ingraham states that lighter misos like yellow and white misos can be used for glazes, dressings, and sauces. The darker ones, such as yellow and white misos, are better for stews and heavy soups.
Is Miso Good for the Colon?
Probiotics are a key component of miso soup’s health. The probiotic A. oryzae in miso soup may reduce the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases and other issues with the digestive system.
Is Miso Good To Treat IBS?
Is MISO low in FODMAP? When you hear about miso fermentation and probiotic qualities, it may pause, making you wonder, “Is miso FODMAP friendly?” After all, miso is made with soybeans, which are high in the FODMAP galactooligosaccharides (GOS), making them a no-no in usual cases.
Is Miso A Probiotic or Prebiotic?
Miso has both prebiotic and probiotic qualities. Soybeans contain the highest amount of oligosaccharides than any other food. The oligosaccharides in soybeans are known to encourage the growth of probiotic bacteria in the colon.
Is Miso Making You Gassy?
Miso soup is the best healthy appetizer when you go to a sushi restaurant. While it may be low in calories, most miso broths are high in sodium which causes your body to retain water. Your body will gain a little bit of sodium daily, which can cause you to puff up for around a week.
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Sources and References
At TipTop Gut, we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
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