While supplements such as herbal medicine, vitamins, minerals and probiotics can be really useful in certain health conditions, often in clinic I like to recommend specific foods to my clients that will help them achieve the results they are after (without having to rely on lots of extra pills!)
Many health benefits can be gained from a naturopathic whole food diet consisting of lots of green leafy vegetables, a range of different coloured veggies and fruit, raw nuts and seeds, as well as good quality proteins. This is the starting point…and then there are specific foods that can help with the break down of other foods, special food combinations to improve digestion, as well as foods that generally stimulate your metabolism and improve the health of your gut.
Miso soup is one of these foods – easy to make yourself or you can find it in many local restaurants.
The health benefits are often thought to be due to the probiotic content. While miso does contain Aspergillus oryzae and Saccharomyces rouxii, these species may not actually survive transit through your gastrointestinal system. It’s also unknown if these specific organisims have beneficial effects on your gut flora.
However, buying unpasteurised miso will aid in the digestion of proteins and starches as it contains amylases and proteases.
The best way to get these beneficial effects from the miso, is not to heat it to a very high temperature. So when you’re making a regular soup, mix the miso with some warm (not too hot!) water and then combine this with the rest of your soup once it has cooled down a little and it’s not directly on the stove.
Next time you drink miso soup, think about the beneficial effects it is exerting on your gut, and let me know in the comments below how you like to have your miso.