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Elegant Miso Soup

Miso soup, a traditional Japanese food, has cancer-preventive qualities. 

Soy, Isoflavones, and Breast Cancer Risk in Japan

Seiichiro Yamamoto
, Tomotaka Sobue, Minatsu Kobayashi, Satoshi Sasaki, Shoichiro Tsugane
For the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study on Cancer Cardiovascular Diseases (JPHC Study) Group
Affiliations of authors: S. Yamamoto, T. Sobue, Cancer Information and Epidemiology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan; M. Kobayashi, S. Sasaki, S. Tsugane, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, East, Kashiwa, Japan.

Correspondence to: Seiichiro Yamamoto, Ph.D., Cancer Information and Epidemiology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5?1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan (e-mail: [email protected]).

Background: Although isoflavones, such as those found in soy, have been shown to inhibit breast cancer in laboratory studies, associations between consumption of  isoflavone-containing foods and breast cancer risk have been inconsistent in epidemiological studies. We evaluated the relationship between isoflavone consumption and breast cancer risk among women in the Japan Public HealthCenter-Based Prospective Study on Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases (JPHC Study). Methods: In January 1990, 21 852 Japanese female residents (aged 40?59 years) from four public health center areas completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included items about the frequency of soy consumption. Through December 1999 and 209 354 person-years of follow-up, 179 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for breast cancer in relation to consumption of miso soup, soyfoods, and estimated isoflavones. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: Consumption of miso  soup and isoflavones, but not of soyfoods, was inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer. The associations did not change substantially after adjustment for potential confounders, including reproductive history, family history, smoking, and other dietary factors. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of isoflavone intake, the adjusted RRs for breast cancer for women in the second, third, and highest quartiles were 0.76 (95% CI = 0.47 to 1.2), 0.90 (95% CI = 0.56 to 1.5), and 0.46 (95% CI = 0.25 to 0.84), respectively (Ptrend = .043). The inverse association was stronger in postmenopausal women (Ptrend = .006). Conclusion: In a population-based, prospective cohort study in Japan, frequent miso soup and isoflavone consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. 


The respective amino acid compositions of soybeans and rice exhibit both nutritional deficiencies for the human diet, and complementary attributes. Grains (including rice) tend to be deficient in lysine, whereas legume seeds (soybeans included) are rich in this amino acid. Thus blending two types of seed, beans and rice makes a nutritionally better food than does any one of them by itself. Miso fermentation substantially improves digestibility, increases the concentration of anti-oxidants and enhances the uptake of vitamins. Fermentation brings about such beneficial changes that the undesirable anti-nutrition factors in the soybean are all eliminated. With a change in the ratio of beans-to-grain and a lower water content in the paste than in liquid soy sauce, miso is very desirable as both condiment and cooking-aid. Miso’s unique, rich flavour combines with health-promoting properties to make it a 21st century super-food.

© M-J de Mesterton, February 24th, 2010

Forming Gyoza: Brown Rice, Mashed Adzuki Beans, Miso and Vegetables are Encased in Thin Dough

Extra-Firm Tofu is Marinated and Dusted with Soy Flour, before Being Sautéed in Safflower and Sesame Oils

Brown Rice, Fuji Apple and Lettuce with Sesame Sauce


Boiled Beets and Yams in Vinaigrette 

M-J's Golden Protein Peanut Soup

M-J's Golden Protein Peanut Soup: a Vegetarian Dish Made with Tofu and Shirataki Noodles

Eight cups of water

Two tablespoons of peanut butter, creamy or crunchy

One 8-ounce packet of Shirataki noodles

7 ounces of  firm tofu, cut into cubes

One teaspoon of turmeric

Two tablespoons of cornstarch, mixed into a slurry with

Four tablespoons of soy sauce

Red pepper flakes (optional)

One tablespoon of Himalayan salt

Chop the shirataki noodles into one-inch bits.  Cut the firm tofu into cubes. Put these two protein-sources into a pot with eight cups of simmering water. Add turmeric, red pepper flakes and  Himalayan salt. In a measuring-cup, mix four tablespoons of this soup with two tablespoons of peanut butter, then incorporate it into the soup with a wire-whisk. In the same  cup make a slurry by stirring four tablespoons of soy sauce into the two tablespoons of cornstarch (corn flour). When it is smooth, stir this into the soup. Simmer your golden protein peanut soup for at least ten minutes, stirring frequently to keep the ingredients from collecting at the bottom of the pot. This recipe serves six people, and makes an elegant soup for luncheon.

Total calories in one entire pot of M-J's Golden Protein Peanut Soup: 450

Total Grams of Protein in the entire pot: 34

Carbohydrates: about 40 per pot

Recipe and Photograph of Golden Protein Peanut Soup Copyright M-J de Mesterton  2010

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Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry

Onion, Yam, Pineapple and Peanuts Combine with Shirataki Noodles to Make a Nutritious, Protein-Packed Luncheon Dish

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A Summer Day's Harvest 


 Elegant Home-Grown Yellow Squash or Marrow, Coated with Beaten Egg,

Cornmeal and Panko, 

then Fried in Health-Promoting Coconut Oil

Elegant Cayenne Pepper Plant

Cayenne Pepper: a Health-Promoting Fruit, Used for Spicing Many Dishes

Capsaicin-Rich Cayenne Peppers are a Heart-Tonic and an Anti-Inflammatory Fruit


M-J's Low-Carb Sprout Sandwich

 A piece of low-carb GG Bran Crispbread (2 net carbs per slice; recommended by Dr. Atkins) is adorned with Greek Gods brand thick yoghurt, cayenne pepper, Himalayan salt, and home-grown lentil sprouts.
©M-J de Mesterton 2012


Elegant Diuretic Smoothie

One half-cup of water, one fourth-cup of lemon juice, one jalapeño or other hot pepper (roasted,pickled or fresh), two stalks of celery, one-half of a cucumber, one tablespoon of thick yoghurt or a half-cup of buttermilk, and one tablespoon of parsley, all whirled in a blender till smooth. Add water if necessary for processing.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009


Elegant Blueberry Smoothie, a Health-Promoting Breakfast


M-J de Mesterton: Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2008

Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, are high in fiber and low in calories. The USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) has ranked blueberries at the very top of antioxidant activity within a range of forty-one fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries contain natural health-enhancers, including vitamin C,  vitamin A, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. They also have many antioxidant properties, and help in the prevention of:

Urinary-tract infections
Metabolic Syndrome
Age-related brain disorders
Brain-damage from ischemia and strokes
Blueberries have recently acquired a reputation for enhancing one’s cardiovascular health, and their antioxidants naturally help in the prevention of cancer. Recent research has added to the blueberry’s list of powerful properties.

Metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, is exhibited in those with a particular combination of health anomalies,  including larger-than-normal  amounts of abdominal fat, elevated blood-sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Together, those conditions are likely to cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Laboratory-rats that for 90 days consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity than the control-group, who had no blueberry component in their diets.

Blueberry ingestion was determined to have a positive affect on specific genes related to fat-burning and fat-storage.  Where muscle tissue is concerned,  alterations in genes related to glucose-uptake were discovered to have been caused by the intake of blueberries.

Research also indicated that “metabolic syndrome” is  caused not only by abdominal fat, as previously believed by the medical industry, but by insulin resistance in one’s skeletal muscle system, an anomaly which alters energy-storage and causes metabolic syndrome.

Eating blueberries can help to prevent insulin-resistance, lower the related belly-fat, reduce cholesterol levels, and its numerous antioxidants can help to stave-off age-related brain disorders.
Blueberries  contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, a compound similar to resveratrol, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as dangerous prescription drugs.

Just as dried cherries do, blueberries, when added to ground beef before cooking, help reduce the formation of  cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA).

In Europe, the bilberry has most of the same properties as the blueberry. One of the many things they have in common is anthocyanin, the substance that makes them blue, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and is believed to lower blood-pressure. Bilberries have been used to enhance eyesight since World War 11, when pilots who ate bilberry jam attributed their improved night-vision to the tiny fruit. Bilberries are also said to aid in relief of varicose veins and gum-disease as they promote healthy circulation. Caution must be taken with bilberries by those who are taking blood-thinnning drugs, as they are a natural blood-thinner.

Blueberries can be added to a morning smoothie that you make with yogurt in a blender, together with whatever other fruits you have in stock. Frozen blueberries can be much less expensive than fresh ones, easier to store, and retain most of their antioxidant properties. When used in a smoothie, frozen blueberries make it icy-cold. This preparation makes a health-promoting breakfast, and is delicious as well. Staying well is the best thing you can do in this ailing world.


Elegant, Protein-Rich Vegetarian Luncheon Dish

 Marinate tofu chunks in soya sauce and peanut butter. In a wok or large pan, heat M-J's Chile Oil, corn or peanut oil, then add raw almonds and slim green beans or petits haricots verts. Sauté for about five minutes, stirring as necessary. Add the tofu chunks and cook for five minutes, till browned.  This vegetarian green bean, almond and tofu dish is a great way to get your daily protein. Serve with nanami togarashi (Japanese pepper mix) and soy sauce on the side.

© M-J de Mesterton 



Elegant Winter Health Smoothie

Vegetables Blended for a Health-Promoting Smoothie

Winter Survival Smoothie

Broccoli, Celery, Jalapeño, Cucumber Parsley and Lemon are Blended with Buttermilk or Yoghurt to Make this Elegant Smoothie
This piquant green smoothie has properties that help to prevent colds, flu, 
water-retention and cancer.
Copyright M-J de Mesterton ©2011


Nutritious Weight-Loss Foods

Foods with the Right Stuff for Weight-Loss


Eggs don’t cause heart disease, as the medical industry previously believed. A research team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge determined that women on a weight-loss regimen who ate an egg with toast and jelly each morning lost twice as many pounds as those who had a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories without the accompanying egg.

Goji Berries

These high-protein fruits contain 18 amino acids, and only thirty-five calories per tablespoon.
Goji berries resemble pomegranate seeds in size and color. They contain some health-enhancing compounds:
  • tetraterpenoids

  • zeaxanthine

  • physalein

  • sesquiterpenoids

  • cyperone

  • solavetivone

Those elements provide anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.

The best feature of the Goji berry seems to be the polysaccharides that are produced by it. They pump up one’s immune system.

Buckwheat Pasta

Buckwheat pasta and cereal is high in fiber, and, unlike most carbohydrate products, they are high in protein.

Pomegranates and Their Juice

High in folate and antioxidants, the pomegranate is low in calories and high in fiber. Its seeds make a good snack, and pomegranate juice is the latest health-promoting tonic.

Almond Butter

Using it on sandwiches lowers bread’s glycemic index (an indicator of a food’s effect on blood sugar). A research team at the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn’t experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate bread alone. High blood sugar leads to abdominal fat.

Kale and Spinach

These leafy vegetables are high in fiber and vitamins and, surprisingly, contain protein. Kale can be successfully stir-fried; wilting washed and dried spinach with a hot bacon vinaigrette makes a delicious salad.
©M-J de Mesterton 2008