What Are the Health Benefits of Miso, and Is It the Key to a Healthier Gut?

miso health benefits

Miso: It’s packed with salty flavor and can give almost any dish a welcome boost of umami, but did you know that the Asian cooking staple is also really healthy? Yep, miso is full of essential nutrients that can take your cooking from good to good-for-you. Here's how.

It's protein-rich. Miso comes in many forms (like white, yellow, red or barley), but regardless of type or flavor intensity, it all contains soybeans. Just like tofu (another soy product), it's a complete protein and has all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Even better, it's vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.

It has lots of vitamins and minerals. Miso boasts vitamins B, E and K, plus calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, manganese and zinc (to name a few). We're not saying you should ditch your multivitamin…but we bet it doesn't taste as good as miso does.

It's good for your gut. Because it’s fermented, miso is full of probiotics: gut-friendly enzymes and bacteria that aide in digestion, as well as the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. And according to research, vitamins B and K are especially important in maintaining a healthy microbiome. But FYI, it's not just about your digestion. Gut health has also been linked to brain health, emotional health, cardiovascular health and other systems in the body. To really tap into the probiotic benefits, add miso at the end of cooking to avoid overheating it (and killing off the good bacteria).


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...