Miso is a traditional dish from Japan with exceptional virtues. It comes in the form of soybean paste, fermented for a shorter or longer period. It is usually eaten in soup, as a substitute for salt or as a side dish. Apart from soybeans, one can find in its composition one or more cereals (rice / barley / wheat), salt and a ferment called koji (mushroom). Why consume miso and how to choose it?
Rich in protein, and complete protein
Miso is very high in protein. In addition, it is one of the few foods of plant origin that contains all the essential amino acids (the constituents of proteins), so it is very interesting for a vegetarian or a vegan.
However, its high price and high salt content mean that it will not be able to be a main source of protein. But it’s still good to know, especially since the peculiarity of miso is also that its proteins are very assimilable due to the manufacturing process. This is in part due to one of the steps called enzymatic hydrolysis, which will allow complex molecules to be segmented into simpler molecules, facilitating the assimilation of proteins.
Antioxidants to keep you from getting sick
With the practice of sport, the immune system strengthens and the risk of falling ill decreases … but playing sports does not make you immune to the disease. Diet is strongly involved in the maintenance of good health.
The consumption of antioxidants leads to good cellular function and will help fight effectively against disease. And it turns out that miso is shielded with antioxidants, so it will help preserve health.
Miso has been studied for several decades and it would reduce significantly quite significant the risk of contracting cancer, in particular thanks to the presence of melanoidins (group of plant melanins). Which would slow down the proliferation of cancer cells.
Miso will therefore strengthen the immune system, a great ally for sports in winter!
B vitamins for muscle growth
B vitamins are essential in bodybuilding and in sport in general because they will act on the metabolism, muscle growth and recovery.
Vitamin B6 is really not to be neglected since it will intervene in the metabolism of proteins. It will also be present in the synthesis of red blood cells and in the metabolism of fatty acids (to burn fat mass).
And it would seem that the fermentation of miso can generate an increase in the rate of B vitamins (including B6) in its composition. It is therefore interesting to add it to your meals to improve muscle gain and performance.
Enzymes and probiotics to improve digestion
Miso is particularly loaded with digestive enzymes and probiotics, which will promote good digestion. The bacterial flora will also be strengthened and unwanted microorganisms more easily destroyed. It is again thanks to its long fermentation that it can be given this regulatory role within the body, which will inevitably have a direct impact on sports practice.
By absorbing nutrients better and eliminating bad microorganisms more easily, the body will be able to save energy and better supply the muscles during exertion and during the recovery phases.
– Miso is not believed to be a reliable source of vitamin B12 , it should not be count on it to reach the recommended daily allowance of B12. Miso contains an analogous form of B12 which is not active.
– Avoid buying it pasteurized because pasteurization destroys microorganisms and most of the benefits obtained by fermentation. Unpasteurized organic miso like this , although more expensive, is much more effective.
– When buying, look to miso with a long fermentation (some are fermented for several years). In general, the longer the fermentation, the better the quality of the product.
– Do not cook miso so as not to degrade its enzymes. It should be added at the last moment, with non-boiling water.
Miso is therefore a food to be integrated into vegetarian / vegan sports nutrition. Personally, I eat it as a soup when you wake up, but you can add it to a vinaigrette, a pasta or rice dish, use it as a vegetable broth…
To avoid making mistakes when starting a vegetarian / vegan sports diet, you can download my free guide . Train with the heart, eat with the heart.