There’s nothing quite like coming home after a chilly walk outdoors and heating up a bowl of your favorite comfort food. This winter, indulge yourself with a more natural, nourishing snack that delivers on flavor too: miso soup.
Satisfying Winter Cravings
You may have noticed that your food cravings ramp up in the winter compared to warmer seasons…but why is that? Some evidence suggests that chillier temperatures trigger our body’s natural instinct to bulk up a bit as a means of survival (not unlike many other winter-savvy mammals). Less access to sunlight during the winter—and less essential vitamin D—is also known to have an impact on our mental well-being. Luckily, research indicates that physical warmth can help counteract the negative effects of wintry days with a much-needed mood boost. The positive feelings we associate with warmth are so strong, that participants in one study were even shown to be more generous and caring towards others when holding a hot beverage!
Considering our intrinsic need for warmth and more satiating meals this time of year, one thing is clear: when made with nutrient-dense ingredients, a hot bowl of soup can be a comforting cure to winter cravings.
The Benefits of Miso
But what’s so special about miso soup? This dish’s namesake (miso) is a paste made primarily from fermented soybeans. Although its modern roots are closely associated with Japan, this superfood’s soup form has a rich historical backstory. Let’s take a look at just a few of miso’s many benefits.
Miso contains probiotics, which we know help balance out the gut’s good-to-bad bacteria ratios. The particular probiotic strain found in miso’s fermentation process is Aspergillus oryzae (or koji mold, a fungus). With this integral component, miso has the potential to help with a plethora of digestive complaints, such as constipation (or its counterpart, diarrhea) and painful bloating.
A good portion of our immunity can be found right in the gut! This means that when our gut is kept happy and balanced with probiotics, we’re more likely to be able to fight off all those not-so-wonderful cold and flu viruses that make the rounds during winter. Soybeans also possess isoflavones, antioxidants which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Due to their ability to neutralize free radicals, they can be helpful in preventing many chronic health conditions and even show promise in lowering the risk of heart disease.
Miso contains a few brain-boosting components too, like choline, an essential nutrient that plays a role in mood regulation and improved memory. Some B-vitamins found in miso (such as B12 and B9) are also associated with cognitive function and memory. Probiotic-rich diets in general–with fermented foods high up on the list—are further known to have positive effects on stress, anxiety, and depression.
Take Your Soup On-the-Go
As much as we’d love to always make our own soups, we know that parenting life gets a little crazy—that’s where ready-made blends of miso come in! Eden Foods’ Instant Red Miso Soup and Instant White Miso Soup cubes can be taken from home, to school or the office. Just add water, and conveniently heat up a delicious bowl of miso in a single minute. Made with organic ingredients, these freeze-dried soup cubes preserve the flavors and aromas that make traditional miso blends so satisfying. With four cubes (that’s four bowls!) in a single box and a guaranteed list of pure and purifying ingredients, Eden’s miso soup is a perfect addition to your wintry pantry.
Founded in 1968, Eden Foods is the oldest principled independent organic food company in the United States. Its mission is Creation and Maintenance of Purity in Food. Eden brand is the authentic alternative to commercial food; the purest, best tasting grains, beans, and vegetables on the planet, from known trusted growers. Healthy soil, long-term organic, non-GMO.