Food of the Month

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Healthy bones and a bowl of miso
Hot on the heels of last month’s ‘legumes linked to lower diabetes risk’ story, comes news that boosting your intake of fermented soybeans (like miso) can help with insulin resistance and lead to improvements in bone health. In a study published in Geriatrics and Gerontology International (vol. 8, supplement 1), 56 healthy post-menopausal women were randomly assigned to receive a bowl of fermented soybean soup, providing a daily isoflavone aglycone dose of 24 milligrams, or a bowl of a placebo soup for four weeks. The women didn’t eat any other soybean-based foods or isoflavone supplements for five weeks prior to the start of the trial nor during it. Lead author Mari Mori from Mukogawa Women’s University Institute reports that a ‘four-week intake of fermented soybeans improves bone metabolism in post-menopausal women by attenuating the excessive enhancement of bone resorption as well as by promoting bone formation.’ The researchers also found that blood levels of insulin were significantly lower after four weeks of the fermented soybean soup, compared to the placebo soup.


If you haven’t tried it, miso is a Japanese soybean and grain paste that has been fermented and then aged for up to three years. It is usually made with rice or barley. It’s a versatile savoury soup base similar to bouillon paste or cubes. Look for tubs of miso in the refrigerated section of Japanese food markets, health foods stores, or large supermarkets. Powdered miso is also available, as are powdered soup mixes made with miso and dashi.

And if you want to boost your bone health, try Kate Hemphill’s miso soup recipe this month.

Where do you get it?
Readers tell us that they have problems tracking down some of the low GI foods we recommend. So now you have it. ‘Where do you get it?’ Dietitian Kate Marsh is first of the rank with her favourite organic home delivery service who stock Nicola potatoes, brown basmati rice, quinoa and a wide range of legumes and sourdough breads! So Sydneysiders, this one is for you: