The disastrous chain of events precipitated by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that struck Japan has raised concern for the possible ramifications of radiation carried across the pacific on wind currents.
In the aftermath of the largest earthquake in to hit Japan in history, four of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are still in various stages of meltdown and continue to deteriorate.
According to the New York Times, even the best case scenario could mean that radioactive release of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks, months or even years.1
People who eat miso regularly may be up to five times more resistant to radiation than those who do not eat miso. That is the conclusion of a team of researchers at Hiroshima University’s atomic bomb radiation research center.2
Dr. Kazumitsu Watanabe, professor of cancer and radiation research investigated the radioprotective effect of miso, a fermented soy product, by testing small intestine cells of lab mice. These cells absorb nutrients and are particularly sensitive to radiation, which can easily destroy these cells.
The victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced severe diarrhea after the atomic bomb blasts because of the massive destruction of these cells due to radiation. Even when X-rays at levels lethal to humans were administered to the mice 60 percent of them survived as opposed to nine percent of the mice that were not fed miso soup.
Akihiro Ito, head of one of the research teams at Hiroshima University, found that miso helps eliminate toxins from the body through stimulation of the circulatory and metabolic systems, which may possibly make miso useful when undergoing chemotherapy.
A mainstay of Japanese cuisine miso is a living, natural food, rich in enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Miso is available in a variety of diverse flavors, each having a distinct taste, color, texture and aroma. In Japan over 70 percent of the population start the day with a cup of miso soup instead of coffee. Miso soup has a warming, healthful and alkalizing effect and can provide an enduring source of energy and nutrition.
Mellow Miso Soup
Soy of Cooking, John Wiley & Sons, Inc ©Marie Oser 1996
Makes about 3 quarts
(1) sheet of Kombu (sea vegetable)
2 quarts of water
3/4 cup chopped onions (sliced scallions/garnish)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1/3 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
2 Tbsp. grated fresh gingerroot
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
5 oz. Lite silken tofu, cubed
1/3 cup mellow white miso
1/4 cup barley miso
Place Kombu in water in a 4-quart saucepan and set aside while preparing the vegetables. (you may also steep overnight) Add the onion, garlic, tomato and bell pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat, simmering for 15 minutes. Remove solids with a handled wire mesh strainer, and holding it over the soup, press them firmly against the strainer with a large spoon. Discard solids. Add the vegetable broth, granulated garlic and ground ginger. Cut the tofu into small cubes and gently add to soup.
Combine both miso varieties in a small bowl with a cup or so of the broth, adding broth to the miso gradually. Blend together with a small whisk or fork, until the mixture is creamed. Add miso mixture to the soup and simmer gently 2 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately topped with sliced scallions.
Nutritional Analysis per 1 1/2 cup serving:
Calories 41, Protein 2g, Carbohydrate 6g, Fiber 0g, Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 12mg. Sodium 306mg.
Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter
- Radioactive Releases in Japan Could Last Months, Experts Say. David E. Sanger, Matt Wald The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-reactor.html
- Ohara M, Lu H, Shiraki K, Ishimura Y, Uesaka T, Katoh O, Watanabe H. Radioprotective effects of miso (fermented soy bean paste) against radiation in B6C3F1 mice: increased small intestinal crypt survival, crypt lengths and prolongation of average time to death. Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2001 Dec;50(4):83-6.
More from ecomii: