The Best Miso Soup Health Benefits

What are the miso soup health benefits?

I have not only discussed Japanese food but also Japanese culture in several previous posts, and yet I’ve managed to ignore miso soup, one of the staples of Japanese cuisine. Miso soup health benefits are numerous, and perhaps that is why the Japanese are one of the longest living people in the world since they tend to consume miso soup at least once per day. This soup has ancient roots and used to be the daily meal of samurais between 1185 C.E.–1333 C.E., also known as the Kamakura period. It was ideal to make for solders since miso soup could easily be created from miso paste.

Traditionally, miso soup is served in curved and lacquered wooden bowls and may be consumed with a Japanese soup spoon named chirirenge. The miso soup ingredients include fermented miso paste (which can vary from red, yellow, and white depending on its variety) and a type of fish stock known as dashi. This dashi is the base of the soup and consists of dried kelp, sardines, and shitake mushrooms. In addition to the broth, nearly anything can be added to the soup itself. Popular additions are eggs, mushrooms, shellfish, tofu, and onions. Miso soup is also often eaten along with other food such as rice. But what are the health benefits of eating miso soup?

miso soup health benefits

Miso Soup Health Benefits

The health begins with the fermented miso paste which contains the fungus Aspergillus oryzae1. This fungus allows miso paste to offer the benefits of probiotics to the consumer and can help improve digestion. It is high in antioxidants which protect the body from free radical damage which has connections with cancer development, and it is also quite high in vitamin E and lipofuscin which is known for its anti-aging properties. Beyond vitamin E, miso soup also contains many other important vitamins and nutrients, such as various B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, and others.

Since the miso paste is made from soy (and if the soup contains tofu which is also made from soy), this gives the soup high protein content. However, soy protein content may be even better than the protein from meat because of the various amino acids that soy provides and that the human body requires to function optimally. Soy is great for menopausal women as well since it is able to act in the same way as estrogen inside the body.

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The Details

A number of studies have shown that miso soup may have anti-cancer properties, especially with stomach cancer, and it is believed that the soy in the soup is the reason why. There is also evidence that miso soup can help prevent lung, colon, and breast cancers, but only when the miso paste was fermented for especially long periods of time, usually longer than 180 days1. The probiotics in the soup may also improve the immune system through first improving gut health. This allows the body to more easily fight back infections and illnesses without the help of antibiotics. The soup contains linoleic acid as well, a kind of fatty acid that allows skin stay smooth and pigment-free.

As with green tea–of which the Japanese also consume a lot–miso soup may help to lower bad cholesterol levels and improve heart health while reducing blood pressure. The only downside to miso is that it is quite high in salt content. Beyond that, it’s easy to see why miso soup has been such an important staple of Japanese cuisine for so many years.


  1. Petre, Alina. (2017). “Why Miso Is So Incredibly Healthy.” Healthline. Retrieved from

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