Health Benefits of Miso

The Miso Soup

"Relax your abdomen, make the best use of blood, drain hundreds of poisons, go into the stomach, help digestion, improve energy circulation, improve your blood circulation, calm down pain, give you a lot of appetite. I will stop my abdomen, I will blacken my hair and moisturize my skin."

There are so many proverbs about miso:

  • One miso soup gives you the power to walk 9 km.

  • Having miso soup in the morning gets rid of poisons.

  • Miso soup kills doctors.

  • Miso soup is a medicine of longevity.

  • Miso soup gets rid of tabacco (poison and harm)

  • One cup drinking with miso, There is not much poison in sake.

Most of proverbs about miso are related to health.

Today, modern science and technology have clarified the components of miso little by little, but even without such technology, people in the past seemed to have also caught the beauty of miso's efficacy.

miso soup + rice


The Japanese have eaten a combination of rice and miso soup for a long time.

It is said that miso soup is the reason they have been able to stay healthy while having such simple meals. Miso itself has nutrition and is not just a seasoning. Besides, nutrients are also acquired through other ingredients added to miso soup.

People tend to mistakenly associate miso with a high salt content and will avoid having miso soup. However, consuming too much sodium in one serving of miso soup is hardly likely as the quantity of miso used in one serving is too little to cause health issues. The sodium content in one cup of miso soup is 1.4 g, which is less salt compared to a single intake of other foods. The recommended sodium intake per day is less than 9 g for males and less than 7.5 g for females. Having one cup of miso soup per meal won't exceed your sodium intake. 

Eating a cup of miso soup a day actually builds a nutritious eating habit - one that benefits your health.

If you still care about the salinity, this issue can be solved by choosing the right ingredients for your miso soup.

Potassium-rich vegetables such as spinach, and potatoes prevent the body from absorbing large amounts of sodium. Other vegetables like seaweed and konnyaku contain plenty of dietary fiber, which help the body to rid sodium.

People tend to pick up favorite foods to put in miso soup, but if you choose foods rich in potassium and dietary fiber, miso soup becomes nutritious and functionally superior.

Also miso soup, which contains several kinds of foods, is better because you can have more nutrition. When you want to use miso less, try to use DASHI with UMAMI ,such as, and add foods with scent, such as peppers, three leaves and sesame and add foods with pungent taste, such as melted mustard.

miso yaki onigiri

Function of Miso

Soybeans, the main ingredient of miso, is a food containing a lot of high-quality protein, and it is said to be “meat of the field". Main nutrition of miso is slightly different in rice miso, wheat miso and bean miso, but the main nutrition is nutrition of soybean. Protein contained in miso is considerably rich. The percentage of protein is 10 to 13% in rice miso, and 10%  in wheat miso and around 18% in bean miso.

Miso was an important source of protein because Japanese people staple, rice and potatoes since long ago.

 Miso is nutritionally more superior than soybean, because a large amount of amino acids and vitamins are produced during fermenting soybean, which is little in soybean. The protein of soybean is hydrolyzed by enzymes, and about 30% of it become amino acids.The amino asids contain all 8 kinds of amino acids essential for life support.

Miso contains other nutrients such as carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. There is no foods else that contains so much nutrition.

People need a lot of energy to digest food. However, since miso is a fermented food, which microorganisms already digest, you can absorb nutrition efficiently without using a lot of energy. Miso soup is recommend food especially for people who are tired. 

Why don’t you have miso soup as your meals?

miso shiitake


Miso Health Counseling Committee, Central Miso Laboratory

“Miso Power” written by Hiromitsu Watanabe

“Secrets of Malt” written by Takeo Koizumi

“ Trip to See Shinshu-Miso warehouse” written by Hiroko Kitahara and Sadayuki Nakazawa


Basics About Fermentation
The Fungus At The Heart Of Japanese Fermentation, And Cuisine - Koji-Kin


Yumi Miyamoto


Yumi Miyamoto

Yumi was raised on her mother's homemade miso, inspiring a lifelong love of the stuff. Believing that mIso can forge love and bonding in families, she's been teaching folks how to make it since 2013. Yumi loves miso more than anything.
Currently, she is in charge of consumer education at Yuasa Soy Sauce Ltd, which has a long history of miso and soysauce making in Japan. 
Yumi doesn't just teach adults, but also teaches elementary school kids how to make soy sauce, Kinzanji miso and tofu.