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Food as Medicine: Miso Clam Soup

Miso Clam Soup is a quick and easy dish that is perfect for a light meal or healthy snack! The combination of miso paste and clams make this soup incredibly nourishing for the body.

Miso Paste

Miso is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans that is widely used in many Japanese dishes. Due to it being fermented, miso is an excellent probiotic that helps boost digestion and balance gut bacteria. It is also a great source of immune-enhancing nutrients such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B, and vitamin K. Additionally, consuming miso has been shown to not only lower cholesterol, but also aid as natural cancer prevention.


Clams

Clams are a type of shellfish that are packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of selenium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. The health benefits of regular clam consumption include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms: Inflammation is a major symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue. Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis may have low levels of selenium — a mineral that helps fight inflammation. Clams are a great source of selenium and can, therefore, help to enhance the body's anti-inflammatory response and improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Anemia Prevention: Anemia is a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count or a low amount of hemoglobin in the blood, which is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Clams are rich in iron, which is a mineral that is essential to hemoglobin production. Consuming clams would, thus, increase the body's ability to produce hemoglobin and help relieve symptoms of anemia.

  • Improved Immune Function: The zinc in clams can help boost the immune system, as zinc is involved in the production of white blood cells.

  • Neurodegenerative Disorder Prevention: Clams contain vitamin B12, which is essential for proper nervous system function and brain health. People who consume more of this vitamin are less likely to develop neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's.

  • Improved Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in clams increase blood vessel flexibility, making it less likely for them to be blocked by plaque build-up. This can help to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

 

Japanese Clam Miso Soup


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound manila clams, scrubbed and rinsed

  • 1/4 cups salt

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 piece kombu

  • 2 tablespoons miso paste

  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. To clean the clams, scrub them under cold water with a brush. Then, soak them in a bowl of cold water with a 1/4 cup of salt for 15 minutes to remove any sand. After, discard the bowl of water and rinse the clams.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the clams, water, and kombu. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until the clams have opened.

  3. Remove the clams from the pot and discard any that have not opened. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the kombu pieces.

  4. In a separate bowl, add a small amount of the hot broth and miso paste. Whisk until smooth. Add the miso mixture back into the remaining broth and stir until dissolved.

  5. Return the clams to the pot and heat through.

  6. Ladle the broth into a bowl and garnish with green onion.

  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

References:


Jessimy, M. (2021, October 10). 9 Amazing Health Benefits of Clams. Natural Food Series. https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/9-benefits-clams/

Joseph, M. (2019, April 12). 7 Benefits of Clams (and Full Nutrition Facts). Nutrition Advance. https://www.nutritionadvance.com/clams-nutrition-benefits/

Link, R. (2022, December 5). Tried Miso? Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/nutrition/what-is-miso/

Petre, A. (2017, June 17). Why Miso Is Incredibly Healthy. Healthline.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-miso-is-healthy#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

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