Pregnancy

Miso Soup in Pregnancy – Health Benefits and Recipes

Miso is a popular Japanese seasoning. It is made from fermenting soya beans with koji and salt. Ingredients like barley, rice, seaweed, etc., are sometimes used during fermentation. After fermentation, the residue is a thick Miso paste with variable uses. Miso soup is made out of this paste. It is rich in class B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K, folic acid, minerals, and proteins. It is also known to boost gut health. This recipe is gaining popularity worldwide due to all the benefits it serves along. Especially pregnant ladies have started to drink this soup. It helps relieve pregnancy-related ailments like indigestion, gas, bloating, and constipation. This soup bowl isn’t calorie-laden, unlike other starchy soups available. But certain things decide miso soup is safe for pregnancy or not. Let’s dive into that discussion.

Is It Safe to Drink Miso Soup During Pregnancy?

Usually, it is considered that miso soup is safe for pregnancy. But it also depends on the ingredients in your soup. There is a multitude of Miso soup variants in the market. So, it is difficult to mark which is safe and not. But miso soup has a considerable amount of sodium in it. This can cause water retention in the body, resulting in bloating in pregnant ladies, specifically in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters.

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So, the bottom line is:

  • Do not buy instant miso soups because they have high sodium content.
  • Use the lighter miso soup that is white miso. Do not consume darker varieties like brown and red miso (high in sodium content).
  • Choose naturally fermented and unpasteurized miso.
  • Do not boil miso. Boiling causes the loss of natural enzymes. Gently warm it and remove it from the flame before the simmering starts.

Is It Okay to Drink Miso Soup in All Trimesters?

Yes, pregnant women can consume miso soup in all trimesters. The only condition is to keep an eye on labels. Especially in the 3rd trimester, do not eat high sodium content foods. Do not cross the limit of daily sodium and salt intake. Otherwise, it could result in water retention, as discussed earlier.

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Ingredients in Miso Soup That Can Be Considered While Pregnant

Apart from sodium content, a few ingredients are not suitable for you if you are pregnant. Here’s the list:

1. Egg

Raw or runny eggs are not suitable to be consumed in pregnancy. If your miso soup has egg, either fry it or hard-boil it till the yolk gets cooked thoroughly.

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2. Seafood

Miso soup with seafood like shrimp, clams, prawns, etc., should be adequately cooked. 

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3. Sea vegetables and seaweed

These are common ingredients of miso soup. However, even they need to be cooked properly if it is to be consumed by a pregnant lady.

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4. Soy or Tofu

Tofu is safe to consume in pregnancy. However, pregnant ladies diagnosed with hypothyroidism or breast cancer should restrict soy consumption. Since miso already has a good amount of soya in it, it would be great if you avoid soy. 

5. Vegetables

Vegetables are used as toppings in a miso soup. Take care that the vegetables are washed nicely and are safe to consume.

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6. Noodles

Noodles are safe to eat in pregnancy but in lesser quantities. It is because of the high amount of starch in it.

7. Homemade or Unpasteurized Miso Paste

This is something you should follow judiciously. You should avoid consuming homemade miso paste. It is because there are chances of cross-contamination at home during or after fermentation. However, commercially manufactured miso paste is safe to consume in pregnancy. There are zero chances of error when manufactured in a sterile factory.

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8. Sake and Mirin

The traditional Japanese soup has these alcoholic beverages in it just for flavoring. The alcohol gets wholly cooked in the recipe and doesn’t affect pregnancy. 

Benefits of Miso Soup When Pregnant

After so many questions have been answered, it is clear that miso soup is good for pregnancy if the above-discussed points are kept in mind while preparing it. Furthermore, there are some benefits of miso soup consumption in pregnancy. These include:

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  • It is an excellent source of manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin K, and riboflavin.
  • It is rich in protein and ensures healthy mother and child development. It also fills you fast and keeps you full for longer.
  • Choosing the right ingredients for your miso soup bowl will make it a complete meal.

Is Miso Soup Bad for Morning Sickness?

There are no reports or clinical pieces of evidence to support this belief. However, many women report that their morning sickness got relieved due to the consumption of miso soup. It would be great if you start trying it in small quantities and check that miso soup and pregnancy go well together for you or not. It is because every pregnancy is different due to the different bodies involved. So, something that works for you might not work for someone else.

Healthy Miso Soup Recipes for Pregnant Women

Here are some delicious miso soup recipes to relish during pregnancy:

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1. Spring Delight

This recipe can be consumed throughout the year. But since the ingredients involved here taste the best during spring and hence the name.

Ingredients 

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These things you will require for Dashi:

  • 4-inch piece Kombu
  • Filtered Water- 6 cups
  • Dried Shiitake Mushrooms- 3

Ingredients for soup are:

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  • Medium-sized radish, sliced thinly- 3
  • White Miso, unpasteurized organic sweet and naturally fermented- 6 tbsp
  • Lemon Zest- 1
  • Fresh lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  • Asparagus Spears, diagonally cut into 5cm slices- 8
  • Sugar snap peas, length halved and strings removed- 1 cup
  • Watercress trimmed- approximately 2 cups
  • Chives or scallions, thinly sliced- 1/4

How To Make

Here are the steps to make the soup:

  1. First, let us prepare the Dashi. For Dashi, add mushrooms, kombu, and filtered water to a pot.
  2. On high heat, boil the added ingredients. Once everything is burned, cover the pot and reduce the heat. Keep on cooking like this for 15-20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, take out the kombu and mushrooms. Slice both of them and add them to the soup. Compost the kombu, and our dashi is ready.
  4. Now let us cook the soup.
  5. Keep dashi on simmer. Add sugar, snap peas, and asparagus and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Next, add radish and cook for another 30 seconds.
  7. Now take a strainer and remove all the veggies. Put them on a plate and let them cool.
  8. Add miso to a medium strainer on low heat and keep it on the dashi pot. Let miso settle in the broth.
  9. Keep on stirring.
  10. Once the miso is mixed nicely, add blanched veggies and watercress to it.
  11. Cook on low heat for a minute.
  12. Do not boil the soup now.
  13. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. While serving, dress the soup with scallions.

2. The Winter Potion

So, we have covered your winters with this appetizing miso soup recipe. Let us check out the recipe!

Ingredients 

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  • Dried Shiitake Mushrooms- 3
  • Kombu piece- 2 inch
  • Filtered water- 8 cups
  • Adzuki beans, cleaned and soaked for 12-24hrs in 2 cups of filtered water- ½ cup.
  • Toasted and refined Sesame oil- 1tbsp
  • Medium-sized onion first quartered and then thinly sliced- 1
  • Kale leaves, thinly sliced- 1 cup
  • Pumpkin, finely diced- 2 cups
  • Dark Miso, Brown rice miso or barley- 3tbsp 2tsp
  • Ginger juice- 4tsp
  • Mellow white miso or chickpea miso- 3tbsp
  • Thinly sliced Scallions for dressing

How To Make 

  1. Put thoroughly cleaned adzuki beans in a pot. Add water, kombu, and shiitakes. Bring to boil on high heat.
  2. Simmer the heat now and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes like this or until the beans get cooked.
  3. Switch off the heat and keep the pot aside.
  4. Take out kombu and shiitakes. Compost kombu. Once the shiitakes cool down, cut the stems and compost. Slice the caps of mushrooms and add them back to the pot.
  5. Take another pot and add sesame oil to it. Add onions and sauté them until translucent.
  6. Add carrots and pumpkin and stir for a minute.
  7. Add the bean and liquid mixture from the previous pot. Please bring it to a boil, then reduce the flame.
  8. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.
  9. Add wakame and kale, and cook for a minute.
  10. Add miso to a medium filter on low heat and keep it on the dashi pot. Let miso settle in the broth.
  11. Keep on stirring.
  12. Once the miso is mixed nicely, add ginger juice and switch off the flame.
  13. Dress the soup with scallions and serve.

Miso soup is a great way to add nutrition to your pregnancy diet. Just be cautious about the quantity of sodium and salt you are ingesting in. And rest everything is sorted. Cook the soup with seasonal vegetables of your choice. And we are sure you will love each spoon of it! In case of any doubt, talk to your gynecologist for the best advice in your case. Take good care of yourself and your baby!

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Also Read:

Soft Drinks while Pregnant
Refreshing Pregnancy Juices
Healthy Soups during Pregnancy

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This post was last modified on April 12, 2022 6:47 pm

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