Benefits of Miso

An introduction to Miso


What is Miso?


Miso means ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. In Japan, people typically eat miso for breakfast, or asa gohan (朝ごはん) it is believed to stimulate digestion and energise the body.  This it wat it looks like.

It’s a semi-thick paste that’s made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter called a “malt.” The malt is made mostly by a bacteria called aspergillus, which is cultured on the surface of soybeans, rice, or barley grains.

The origin of miso: Where did it come from?


It is said that origin of miso dates back to ancient China. Also Japan was originally claimed miso as it’s own. So, the origins are not completely known. Two theories about origin, China and Japan are found in The history of Miso. As different dates and times from east asian records hold different stories.

A traditional ingredient in Japanese and Chinese diets, miso paste is made from fermented soybeans, grains and contains millions of beneficial bacteria. There are hundreds of different types of miso and different versions are linked with regional cuisines, identities and flavours.

The protein-rich paste is highly popular as it provides an instant flavour foundation. It adds the fifth taste, known as ‘umami’, to all sorts of dishes including soups/broths, salad dressings, vegetables, stews, glazes, and marinades. It makes a great marinade for chicken or baked salmon.

Miso is rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid. As a fermented food, miso provides the gut with beneficial bacteria that help us to stay healthy, vibrant and happy. It’s gut healthy friendly. Good gut health is known to be linked to our overall mental and physical wellness.

Different varieties

The most common type of miso is made from only soybeans, but the variety and ratio of raw ingredients can vary. Some miso pastes are made from cultured wheat or millet or combinations of different grains and beans. The length of fermentation time can affect the flavour; ranging from sweet and mild to salty and rich. The colour is a fairly good indicator of the strength in flavour. The texture can vary too. Miso made from a wholegrain is typically saltier than that made from a hulled grain.

White Miso (Shiro)

Made from soybeans and rice and fermented for no longer than two months. Shiro (means “white” in Japanese) is light in colour and sweet to mildly salty. Shiro is a great gateway miso, very versatile and provides a bit of oomph to salad dressings or sautéed vegetables.

Yellow Miso (Shinsu)

Another mild type that is fermented for slightly longer than white miso. Yellow miso is adaptable in a wide range of recipes.

Red Miso (Aka)

If a recipe calls for dark miso, you’ll want to use an aka or red miso. Russet in colour, this type is made from a higher proportion of soybeans, is fermented for up to three years, and is saltier and deeper in flavour. Its full flavour is best used in hearty dishes like stews and tomato sauces. Use with caution – its flavour can over-power other ingredients.

Barley Miso (Mugi)

Made from barley and soybeans, mugi miso usually has a longer fermentation process than most white miso. It has a strong barley aroma, but is still mild and slightly sweet in flavour.

Different pastes based on regions of Japan.

Why eat miso?

Miso has tons of health benefits. It is a source of copper, manganese, vitamin K, protein, and zinc.

The fermentation process means that miso is rich in enzymes. Fermentation enhances the number of beneficial bacteria in the food. These bacteria are known as probiotics and are thought to help a wide range of health issues, especially for digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. 

By consuming fermented foods you are adding beneficial bacteria (known as probiotics) and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and enhancing the immune system.

Additional fermented foods that are gut healthy and create a happy microbiome to try are kimchi, kombucha, natto, kefir, sauerkraut.

Studies in 1997 and 2013 have shown that beneficial bacteria synthesise vitamins in the gut, primarily vitamin K and vitamin B12, as a by-product of their metabolism.

Miso is considered to be high in salt and should be consumed with the guidelines of no more than 6g per day in mind.  

There is much research on the benefits of including soy products in the diet. Although miso is made from soy beans, the quantity consumed is quite small and unlikely to have a profound oestrogenic effect.

Soy products are widely produced from genetically modified (GM) soybeans. To make sure miso is made from organically grown, not genetically modified soy beans, make sure to read the label. The label will also indicate if the miso is gluten free. 

How to select and store

This is what Shiro Miso can look like from the shelf. Other times they are in little plastic containers.

When buying miso, choose the unpasteurised, live, enzyme-rich product that will need to be stored in the fridge. This type is loaded with beneficial microorganisms. We keep it after opening in a tuperware or something sealed to keep it fresher longer. After opening, the texture, colour and flavour may change so keep an eye on it. Some can be kept for quite a long time without any concerns or variations to quality.

Recipe suggestions

Miso Soup
Miso-marinated salmon

For more about Japanese diet, BBC Good Foods, has an article about the health benefits of a Japanese diet.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/miso

Benefits of Split Peas

A little legume with a lot to offer

Split peas are field peas that are dried, peeled, and split in half for cooking. Peas are a fiber rich resistant starch, to read more about the benefits of peas in a healthy diet check out Myfooddiary.com: What is a resistent starch? This artice is a real quick read and explains the simple benefits also click on the soluble and insoluble link about the different fiber. Two simple reads about how we process healthy fibers and the simple benefits of peas in our diet.

These split peas lentils do not need to be soaked prior to cooking, but they should be rinsed and sorted to remove any stones that might have gotten mixed into the bag. Simmered with plenty of stock in a soup, they’ll cook down and thicken into a textured puree (without having to break out the immersion blender).

Split peas also have great nutritional benefits. They’re low in fat, packed with fiber and protein, and are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B, and magnesium.

Like other legumes, split peas are pulses, which I had no idea there was more classification of legumes–which are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals. And can help reduce early onset chronic diseases, like heart disease and certain types of cancer. Pulses also support healthy weight loss, because their fiber content helps you feel fuller faster.

Split peas in particular are a great source of fiber and help manage your blood sugar (1) levels. A single cup of split peas provides 65 percent of your daily fiber needs. They’re also a great source of protein, offering 16 grams(2)in that same cup —  and only 231 calories.

Tiny Legumes Packed with Goodness

Care2.com has 6 recipes and the benefits of split pea legugmes. Below are amazing nutrtional values from care2.com, in the this article the follow daily intake of just ONE cup of split peas in our diet, which is pretty awesome for a tiny little legume:

12 percent of your daily vitamin K

25 percent of your thiamin

32 percent of your daily folate requirements.

Vitamin K is an important vitamin for supporting heart and bone health. Additionally, the thiamin and high fiber content found in split peas helps manage blood sugar. Thiamin supports heart and brain health (3), as does folate.

Split peas are also mineral rich. A serving contains:

14 percent of your iron

18 percent of your magnesium

19 percent of your phosphorus

20 percent of your potassium

13 percent of your zinc

39 percent of your manganese

Resources

1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=56h

2. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4354/2

3. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Thiamin-HealthProfessional/h

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To offer authentic evidence based, products or best practices for health, healing, fitness and opportunities. I want to help as many people as possible. With my own experience with so many pharmacuetcals. It became more of band-aid than an actual solution for my well-being. Going towards food, nutrition & better daily habits of exercise I’ve been able to take back my health, find more purpose & live a more fullfilled life.

It started with listening to my body & basic bio-chemistry. What am I allowing into my body, mind and spirit? What can I do to change. Is all the medical intervention necessary? Being still and listening from within. Asking questions. Lead me to seeking alternative health and more truth. Hopefully you take the time to ask yourself important questions and how to make changes. Start somewhere, start with your why.

Benefits of PHO: All about the BROTH

As much as we love those chewy rice noodles… and I heart chewy foods & Chewy. Win-win. With tender bites of meat, Vietnamese pho is really all about the broth. The broth is boss yo. Have you ever been to Pho for the first time, then ventured out to a new Pho Restaurant and was like what the Pho? That’s not Pho!!!! CAUSE IT’A ALL ABOUT THE BROTH, NOT NOODLES. True pho broth is a long-simmered affair, combining chicken or beef bones (or both!) with aromatics like onions and ginger to make a deeply rich, deeply savory broth. Personal preference is a lighter less heavey broth for flavor with fresh lime. The lime and citrus flavor really bring it home. Let’s look at what is healthy about this PHO craze.

Typically what’s in the base are the following:

onions

fresh ginger

whole cinnamon sticks

star anise

whole cloves

whole coriander seeds

beef bone, or pork bone, or chicken bone

 fish sauce

carrots

Onions

Onions have been used as food for thousands of years; in ancient Egypt, they were worshiped and used in burial rituals. Incorporating onions into a diet is very simple, with a versatile range of ways they can be prepared and cooked in regular foods.

Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. Onions have been linked to Heart Health, loaded with antioxidants and contain cancer-fighting compounds that can fight free radicals naturally. They also help control blood sugar. They have been linked to bone density, gut health and part of a healthy immune system. The HealthLine has this amazing article about onions, which support these healthy benefits and more sources of why these small and smelly flavorful vegetables make food delish and are packed with real nutrition.

Ginger

Ginger hails from southern parts of the ancient China. From there, it spread to India, Maluku Islands (so-called Spice Islands), rest of the Asia and West Africa. The name “ginger” came a long way, but its root is in Sanskrit word “srngaveram” which means “horn body” and describes its root. While it grows, it has white and pink buds which bloom into yellow flowers. When the stalk withers, the rhizome is harvested and immediately scalded (which kills it) to prevent sprouting

In India, Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe ginger as a powerful digestive aid since it fuels digestive fire, whets the appetite, and clears the body’s micro-circulatory channels. Ginger is also used in Ayurveda as a remedy for joint pain, nausea and motion sickness.

Cinnamon

Native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), true cinnamon, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, dates back in Chinese writings to 2800 B.C. and is still known as kwai in the Cantonese language today. Its botanical name derives from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, meaning fragrant spice plant. Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming process. From their word for cannon, Italians called it canella, meaning “little tube,” which aptly describes cinnamon sticks.

Why do people use cinnamon? Besides that it tastes amazing and reminds us of Fall and Thanksgiving? It’s a natural way to that may help with yeast infections, blood sugar, diabetes, cholestoral and antioxidants. It can cause problems with for people with liver diseases, check out WebMD’s artcle on more of the potential benefits of cinnamon. To learn 30 more references on this amazing and powerful spice to dive into why this wonderful holiday spice is our fav and why it helps this bone broth createa powerful nutritional soup.

Star Anise

Native to China and Vietnam , today the star anise tree is mainly grown in China, and Japan although it is also cultivated in Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia and Jamaica.  In China, apart from its use in cooking, Mandarins used to chewed the whole dried fruit  as a breath freshener  and it was also used for other medicinal purposes such as in the treatment of colic, flatulence and nausea.

This tiny little 6 pointed star shaped has amazing nutritional benefits. The iron rich spice helps with skin, sleep, cirrculation, hormones, digestion, immune system. It really is more than it’s unique and cute shape.

Cloves

The various benefits provided by cloves lead to a healthier lifestyle highlighted by youthfulness and vitality. It’s beneficial for problems such as inflammation and indigestion which makes it a household staple that every kitchen cabinet should hold.

Like the history of many spices, the Chinese were said to use them as far back as 226 BC.  This spice was one of the first to be traded and evidence of cloves have been found in vessels dating as far back as 1721 BC. Native to the Malucca Islands, as many spices are, cloves were once a treasured commodity prized by the Ancient Romans.

This spice gets its name from the French word “clou” which means nail, as many have remarked on how much cloves look like nails. The clove is the dried flower bud of an evergreen tree. The essential oil is said to have many medicinal properties. Most interestingly, cloves have long been used to aid in dentistry as they have local anesthetic properties. Along with oral health, it may help with strengthening immunity, head aches, stress, skin care– the benefits of clove.

Coriander

This spice was apparently first sown as a spice crop in the Anatolian region of present-day Turkey and spread to the Levant, Egypt, Armenia, southeastern Europe, and southern Russia early on. It is specifically named and described as a medicinal plant in an Egyptian papyrus dating from 2500 to 1550 BCE. It was also listed with just a handful of other spices for stews in some of the earliest surviving recipes, inscribed in Akkadian script on clay tablets found in Mesopotamia. 

Studies have shown that the stems, leaves, seeds, essential oil, and roots of this plant all possess healing capabilities and can help in the treatment of digestive problems, joint pain, coughs, bronchitis, inflammation, rheumatism, and other common complaints.

Bone Benefits

In Chinese medicine, whose origins date back over 2,500 years, bone broth is used to support digestive health, as a blood builder, and to strengthen the kidneys. In 12th century Egypt, physician Moses Maimonides was known to prescribe chicken soup as a medicinal remedy for colds and asthma.

Bone broth may contain omega-3 and essential nutrition rich minerals, like zinc, iron, maganese, sellenium. It has benefits for reducing inflamation, helping with joint health, and even brain and sleep health.

Fish Sauce

Like Asian fish sauces, the Roman version was made by layering fish and salt until it ferments. Dr. Joe Marcola talks about the fermanation process and how the benefits of fish sauce. There are versions made with whole fish, and some with just the blood and guts. The more common use garum as a common term for all ancient fish sauces.

In early Roman times, Italian archaeologist Claudio Giardino studies the early roots of garum, the Roman version of fish sauce. He cites mention of garum in Roman literature from the 3rd and 4th century B.C.,and some origins trace back to Pompeii.

Used in Thailand as nam pla and Myanmar as ngan bya yay, as well as Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines under other local names and variations, one thing is certain regardless of preference: fish sauce plays a crucial role in flavouring food in Southeast Asia.

Benefits of fish sauce include a natural iodine.

Carrots

The origin of carrots can be tracked to dry and hot lands of Iran and Afghanistan. Earliest evidence of its use there was dated to 3000 BC. From there, carrot seeds were picked, carried and sold to Arabian, African and Asian lands. Carrots immediately from there started crossbreeding and creating new types of this famous root. Even in those ancient times, many colors of carrots were present and used – black, white, red and purple. Ancient Egypt, there where numerous carrots were placed in the tombs of dead Pharaohs and the drawings of the carrot harvest and processing can be found in numerous hieroglyph paintings. The most popular color of carrots that was cultivated in Egypt was purple, and it was used not only for eating but also for medicine.

Carrots are packed with vitamins. have fiber, water, and many viatamin A, B6, K1, Potassium and Biotin. Mostly they offer caratenoids. Not everyone’s body can process that. This is an option depending on your body.

The Purpose of this Blog and Part of My Mission:

To offer authentic evidence based, products or best practices for health, healing, fitness and opportunities. I want to help as many people as possible. With my own experience with so many pharmacuetcals. It became more of band-aid than an actual solution for my well-being. Going towards food, nutrition & better daily habits of exercise I’ve been able to take back my health, find more purpose & live a more fullfilled life.

It started with listening to my body & basic bio-chemistry. What am I allowing into my body, mind and spirit? What can I do to change. Is all the medical intervention necessary? Being still and listening from within. Asking questions. Lead me to seeking alternative health and more truth. Hopefully you take the time to ask yourself important questions and how to make changes. Start somewhere, start with your why.

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