Bandied about as a cure-all, probiotics aren’t just a fad. These good bacteria help keep the gut be healthy, “competing for space and food against harmful bacteria and preventing them from settling in the gut,” as explained on the BBC Goodfood website.
Looking to get all the balancing benefits of probiotics without using supplements?
Miso could be the answer. A staple of the Japanese meal, miso is a good source of naturally occurring probiotics. Made from fermented soy beans and/or grains, miso is full of proteins and contains millions of helpful probiotics.
Miso soup is the most famous of the miso paste’s uses and tofu, another soy based food, might have found some love with vegetarians and vegans the world over, but why stop there?
“Rich in essential minerals and a good source of various B vitamins, vitamins E, K and folic acid,” miso can be used in more than soup. Salad dressings, stews, marinades… the possibilities are endless.
Unpasteurised miso is rich in enzymes and full of probiotics, but so is natto. An “acquired taste,” natto is also made by fermenting soybeans but here, you can expect stronger flavours and smell.
Unlike miso, natto doesn’t come with a high sodium content and is packed with vitamin K2. In Japan, it's commonly consumed with rice for breakfast, often with a raw egg, or as is mixed with a bit of mustard and a soy based sauce.
We could all use a spoonful of fermented soybean to keep our guts happy, our bones strong and our blood circulation running.
About the author: Sarah Kante is a culture and entertainment writer with over a decade of experience. Her passion for travel has led her to explore the world extensively, from Europe to the Pacific, Asia to the USA. When she isn’t on the road, checking out cultural events or writing, you can find her in the kitchen, trying to master recipes from all over the world. When she has the time, she also writes a travel blog, Sarah Does Travel Writing.