The last 50 years have led to some extraordinary things for humanity. Some of them have been amazing and wondrous and some of them have been awful to say the least.
The world has grown so much smaller, with our ability to go to distant and exotic places being something achievable in a few hours rather than in years.
This has been a boon for the culinary world, as different cultures clash and create fusion dishes for everyone.
However, with all these new dishes flooding our plates, it is hard to keep track of their calorie content, especially if you’ve never eaten them before.
One of the most popular dishes to come out of East Asia and onto our plate in recent years is that of the miso soup. But just how many calories does this dish have? And is it worth eating on a diet?
What Is Miso Soup?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup that is made using a type of stock called Dashi, which is a kind from Kombu (Japanese Kelp) and Ketzurikatsuo (preserved and fermented tuna or bonito), and from softened miso paste that is mixed into the stock.
This soup is very simple to make in Japan, as dashi and miso are readily available in the country, and when mixed together it only takes about 5 minutes, with most of that time taken up by boiling the kettle.
Most miso soups also have other ingredients added to them, as the actual soup can be quite thin in general.
These ingredients include tofu, abura-age, kelp, and other various vegetables depending on the season and the availability of those vegetables.
Miso may have only been introduced in the west in great abundance in recent years, but it has been a staple of Japanese culture and cooking for so long that it is hard to see the cuisine of the country without miso appearing somewhere in the mix.
In fact, miso has been a part of Japanese daily life for more than 1,300 years, with the miso cultures being introduced by Buddhist monks.
As miso production took off the ground, so too did miso soup, as it was the easiest way to prepare miso to eat.
Throughout the instability of the Japanese Shogunates and Emperors, miso continued to rise in popularity, going from a common person’s food to a military meal to a meal that was found in every restaurant from high class to ramen stand.
How Many Calories In Miso Soup?
This really depends on the amount of miso paste you put in your soup, as that is the ingredient that adds calories.
If we take the packets of individual miso you can get from the shop, then that will create a 35 calorie bowl of miso soup, however if you create the soup directly from the miso paste yourself, then one tablespoon of miso paste added to your hot water will give it 40 calories.
Therefore, generally you are looking at between 35 and 40 calories per bowl of miso soup, if the soup is completely plain.
This is an insanely small amount of calories for what the soup gives you in terms of nutrients and how filling it is in general.
Even if you were to add other ingredients to it, the calorie count would not go up that much at all. With some tofu and vegetables in your miso soup, your soup is at most going to be between 80 and 100 calories for a whole bowl.
Although this is astonishing and incredible, it is not all that surprising really. See, miso is made from the fermentation process from soybeans.
Although soybeans may have had some carbohydrates originally, after the fermentation process they are consumed, taking away a large portion of the mixture’s calories.
Anything added to the soup also has few calories, like tofu, kelp, or other vegetables that provide more nutrients, minerals, and vitamins than they do calories.
As such, the miso soup stays low in calorie count terms.
Health Benefits Of Miso Soup
Not only is miso incredibly low in terms of calories, it also provides your body with some amazing health benefits you might not get in other foods.
This is why a lot of Japanese people will start their day with a bowl of miso soup with their breakfast, as they believe it helps their body, and they are right. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the health benefits of miso:
Miso soup is full of probiotics, which are microorganisms that are needed in your gut. They help to promote good gut health and help to maintain a healthy gut biome.
Miso is also good at flushing out any bad bacteria that may be causing your stomach problems by helping to keep your bowel movements regular.
Although not too high in calcium content, miso soup has a fair amount of other vitamins, including vitamin K and potassium.
These two help to stop the development of osteoporosis by increasing your bone density and helping maintain its structure, which also helps with stopping bone fractures.
Our body needs proteins and amino acids to keep muscle and muscle growth stable. While miso does not have much protein, it is full of amino acids, which are essential to building muscles and maintaining them over a long period of time.
Many people are concerned about miso’s sodium content, but it has been proven that miso is effective in maintaining and promoting a healthy heart, rather than causing its decline.
The soup is full of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamins, and minerals, especially iron, which can help to maintain your heart’s overall health.
This can be particularly important as we get older, and including a cup of miso is an easy way to be healthier.
Miso soup is a food with very few calories in it, with one bowl of miso soup having the equivalent of 35 to 40 calories.
Along with its health benefits, this makes it a fantastic food to have in addition to other meals throughout the day.