The magic of miso

Miso paste

We’re just four weeks into 2012 and I’ve already made a health discovery that’s really got me excited.

I’ve started eating a bowl of fresh miso soup every day after learning about the amazing properties of miso.

Miso soup was something I didn’t realise I liked, because I’d only ever tried it made from those little sachets of dried powder.

Then I learned about the amazing health properties – and superior taste – of fresh miso paste.

First, miso is a fermented food and fermented foods are known for strengthening the immune system and also the digestion.

Miso is generally made of fermented soya (hatcho miso), brown rice (genmai miso) or barley (mugi miso).

Regardless of which you go for, it’s loaded with good bacteria. For strong digestion, it is essential to have these in abundance, and without strong digestion you can’t have great health.

Those super-expensive jars of probiotic supplements you can buy? You’d have to take a handful of those capsules to get the beneficial bacteria in a bowl of miso soup – not to mention that it is always better to get what you need from real food.

As well as supporting great digestion, miso also cleanses and detoxifies – helping to eliminate pollutants from the bloodstream – and boosts immunity.

Miso has anti-cancer properties. It contains the phytochemical genistein which has been researched for its ability to cut off the blood flow to cancerous tumours.

Miso is known to protect against heavy metals and radiation due to the presence of dipicolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.

And in Japan there is a saying: “Miso strengthens the weak and softens the hard.” According to author Meg Wolff, who wrote the book Becoming Whole after she healed cancer with a macrobiotic diet, this means that “it restores vitality to tired and sick organs, while softening and dissolving stagnation, cysts and tumors.”

The best way to get miso into your daily diet is by making a fresh batch of miso soup every morning. I feel great on a large serving with breakfast, and another cup or two later in the day.

Here’s my go-to miso soup recipe.


  • Thanks for this reminder ~ I always have jars of miso in the house, but one of my daughters drinks it like water 😉 and I forget to make it, though I often add it as flavouring to meals. WIll start to make myself soup regularly. 😉 Have had loads of lovely feedback about your awesome macrobiotics article in The Mother magazine.

    View Comment
  • I had no idea how much better miso was than taking probiotic supplements! that is awesome to know because as I am about to be a mum who will be breast feeding, I need to make sure that I have a good intake of natural probiotics! am going to add a miso soup to my diet every day!! thank you!!

    View Comment
  • Thank You! For several years I have been taking expensive “natural” probiotics at ¬£30 for a small pot and they have done nothing for me. My digestion is no better, I still get colds. I did not realise there are foods that are a better source of probiotics, but I am much happier getting what I need from a meal rather than a pill. I am going to give miso a go.

    View Comment
  • Hi Sarah

    I would like to ask you your opinion on barley in miso and gluten. I have 3 years old fermented miso with barley and chickpea. I just wondered if gluten in it is problem or no. I do not have any health issues, just avoid soy and gluten

    View Comment
  • I was told UNpasteurized miso is the only miso with active probiotics. Is this true? If not, what’s the difference between the standard pasteurized miso and UNpasteurized?

    View Comment
  • When you heat any living organisms over about 120 degrees Fahrenheit they start to die. So while Miso soup is healthy is for its nutrients, to get the Probiotic benefit, you should use it uncooked in dressings, or sauces. Try a coleslaw with sauerkraut, Miso, Apple cider vinegar, and Yogurt. That packs a real Probiotic punch.

    View Comment
  • Hello I am using the packet miso soups from supermarkets as a low fat snack. I know home-made is best but just haven’t got time. Are the ready made ones just as good for you?

    View Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *