Initially, sushi was sold in stalls in Japan as a fast food, where they were used only rice and fish as ingredients. Currently, nearly 200 years later, with a lot more variety, sushi is seen as a luxury. There are thousands upon thousands of places around the world where we can enjoy this dish. And, for many people, it’s one of the first choices when it comes to eating out – as is for myself.
The Eastern diet is one of the most nutritionally rich diets in the world, including sushi. Sushi is a nutritional pump due to the variety of ingredients which are used, for example, different fish, algae and fruit – each with different benefits. If you’re one of those crazy people who love going out for sushi, here are some more reasons to love it even more.
In sushi, there are quite a few different fishes used, like salmon, tuna, butter fish and sea bass. All of them with high protein content and a lot of benefits. Within these, the most used are the salmon and tuna that have immense benefits:
Tuna is very rich in nutrients. Contains omega-3 (polyunsaturated fat), essential to the welfare of the heart, vision, brain, joints, helps to lower blood pressure, raise HDL-cholesterol, and several mechanisms in our body; tryptophan (mostly excreted), which is an essential amino acid used by the brain, together with vitamin B3 and magnesium (both present in tuna), to produce serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in biochemical processes in sleep and mood; selenium, which helps to neutralize free radicals, stimulates the immune system and intervenes in the operation of the thyroid gland; and further vitamin B6; vitamin B1, important for the proper functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart and helps the cells in glucose metabolism; and also phosphorus and potassium.
Salmon, just like tuna, salmon has high levels of omega-3. It also has tryptophan, selenium, vitamin B3 and B6, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D, which is responsible for maintaining calcium homeostasis.
Mollusks and Shrimp
They also use mollusks, like octopus, and shrimp.
- The octopus contains omega-3, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, A and vitamin B.
The shrimp is rich in vitamin B (B3, B6 and B12), that help the body in energy production, red blood cell production and keep the nervous system healthy; iron is also important in the formation of hemoglobin and cellular respiration; zinc and selenium, which promote the proper functioning of the immune system; copper, magnesium and phosphorus, which maintain bone density and account for other metabolic processes; protein and omega-3.
The main seaweed used in sushi is Nori but you can still use others, such as Wakame.
Nori has high protein values, as well as iodine, essential for the thyroid gland to function properly; calcium, responsible for the formation of the bones and teeth, blood clotting and the proper functioning of muscles and nerves; besides these, it also contains iron, folic acid, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, sodium, potassium, phosphorous and chromium.
Wakame is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, pantothenic acid and phosphorus, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and sodium.
Ginger and Wasabi
These two are definitively superfoods.
Ginger is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including: antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
Wasabi is very low in cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of fiber and vitamin C, which is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. It helps scavenge harmful free-radicals from the body and may help protect it from cancers, inflammation, infections, etc. Wasabi is known as disease preventing and has health promoting properties, for example: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-cancer properties. Traditionally, the Japanese employed it to preserve their food and to kill harmful food-born bacteria, particularly in raw fish (sashimi) dishes. It also facilitates digestion.
Apart from all these benefits we can still add to this all the nutritional value of all the fruits and vegetables used, including: avocado, strawberry, mango, pineapple, cucumber, cabbage, peanuts, carrots, lettuce, radish, etc. So suhi is a really nutritious meal if you eat mostly fish and less fried food and join some ginger and wasabi to have all those benefits. Have fun!