Superfood Spotlight: Miso

Many of us have been to a Japanese restaurant and had a cup of soothing and delicious miso soup as a light meal or a side dish. Commercialized miso has been stripped of its true nutritional benefits through processing and pasteurization. True miso is fermented and is very much a live food product, packed with healthy flora. Miso dates back to 3rd century China, but was adopted by Buddhists and Japanese cultures. Miso can be made from beans, grains and seaweeds through the fermentation process, which is similar to wine or kombucha. True miso consists of a thick buttery paste that melts in warm liquid for soups or can be used as a spread, sauce or gravy. The trick to choosing high quality miso is to find the tubs that are refrigerated and marked unpasteurized to ensure enzyme activity.

After the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan, Dr. Akizuki fed his patients a diet rich in sea vegetables and miso, limiting their consumption of sweets and sugar. The patients at Dr. Akizuki’s hospital were only one mile from the bombsite, but everyone survived. Many people outside the hospital perished due to radiation exposure. Try adding miso to your diet, whether it’s a nice bowl of soup with veggies, a glaze to a piece of fish or a spread for a raw cracker. There is no mistaking miso is a tasty healthy culture to incorporate into your diet. Oshawa makes an excellent unpasteurized miso paste, which can be purchased at many health food stores or MCafe in Los Angeles.

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