Miso…and a really great recipe

August 23, 2010

Miso is a fermented paste made from soy beans and other grains.  It is a staple of the Japanese diet and different varieties exist throughout Asia.  One of the unique aspects of miso is that it contains healthy microorganisms (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut also contain these probiotic qualities).  Healthy bacteria are required to keep bad bacteria from growing wildly, and studies suggest that taking probiotics may prevent infection and combat allergies and some chronic illnesses.    The healthy microorganisms found in these foods and some supplements are similar to the healthy bacteria naturally found in the gut.

It makes sense.

Why do women commonly get yeast infections after taking a course of antibiotics?  Because the antibiotics kill bacteria – both the good and the bad, and the bad proliferate greatly without healthy bacteria to keep them in check.  This scenario is a common example of illness that occurs when the good and bad bacteria are out of balance, but improper diet, chronic illness, and strong medicinals can all alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, resulting in a range of gastrointestinal symptoms (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation…).

Yogurt is the food that most people reach for first when wanting healthy microorganisms:  It is convenient and readily available.  However, according to Chinese medical theory, yogurt is very cold and damp in nature.  For those with damp or phlegm-damp patterns, constitutionally weak digestive organs, or a digestive system that has been compromised or weakened due to illness or improper diet, yogurt can be a difficult to digest choice.  While the live, healthy organisms found in it may be beneficial for the gut, if the body has difficulty digesting and breaking down the yogurt, it may not be the best choice for some people.  Additionally, some people can’t take dairy at all.

So, the next time you go out for sushi, don’t forget to start with some miso soup.  The warm nature of the soup will prepare your stomach for the cold sushi, and the healthy microorganisms found in the miso will benefit your gut and promote healthy digestion.

This is a must-have recipe (that uses miso) for a ginger-sesame vinaigrette that can be tossed with salads or noodles, used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls and pot-stickers, or as a marinade for grilled tofu steaks (which is what I did and got rave reviews).

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1087017

Remember, you are what you eat.

In good health,

Molly

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2 Responses to “Miso…and a really great recipe”

  1. Gena Says:

    AWESOME! Keep it coming lady! Cheers to our health! XO


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