Health Benefits of Sushi
Sushi is probably the most popular Japanese food today. You can enjoy it anywhere: from a seaside shack in rural Japan to a back alley food cart in New York. You can even have it delivered right on your doorstep.
There’s also no specific occasion to enjoy sushi. It’s served in family gatherings, birthday parties and office lunch outs. Or you can enjoy it at home while binge watching Netflix on a Friday night. You don’t even have to learn chopsticks ’cause you can just use your bare hands to gobble it up.
But what many don’t know is that this famous dish not only fills up our stomachs and stimulates our taste buds. It also gives us a lot of health benefits. Here are some of them:
Promotes Heart Health
Most sushi variety has raw fish in it. Raw fish, as we all know, is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.
When blood vessels swell up, your blood won’t have plenty of room to pass through. This could lead to serious heart issues and eventually, stroke. Omega 3 is proven to help reduce inflammation in the body including the blood vessels.
These fatty acids are also known to reduce blood pressure and triglycerides. It can help regulate your heartbeat too thus decreasing the risk for heart failure and sudden cardiac death.
Easier Weight Management
Food is undoubtedly linked to your social life. Whether you go on dates or meet with friends, food is usually part of the equation. That’s why it’s so easy to gain a couple more pounds without you even noticing it.
But with sushi, gaining weight is the last thing you’ll have to worry about. It’s got a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein plus all the other nutrients you can get from vegetables.
Rich in Protein
If you are into working out and looking to build some muscles, you’re gonna need a lot of protein. That’s why you should consider adding sushi to your diet. Because of its fish component, it’s a great source of protein.
In fact, a single piece serving of California roll has approximately 1.38g of protein. About 8 pieces of it can already meet a quarter of your body’s daily protein requirement.
Helps Prevent Cancer
Sushi is often served with wasabi. If you’re not familiar with wasabi, it’s the green spicy side dish made from a ginger-like plant originating from Japan. This plant is not only celebrated for its antibacterial properties. It’s known to be a great source of antioxidants too. These antioxidants fights free radicals in our body which in turn decreases the risk of cancer.
Nori, the dried seaweed used to wrap most sushi dishes also contains high levels of antioxidants.
Great Source of Calcium and Iron
Iron and calcium are two of the most basic nutrients your body needs. Fortunately, sushi contains high levels of both.
Iron helps keep your red blood cells healthy and your hemoglobin levels stable. Iron deficiency can lead to severe health issues such as anemia and even heart failure.
Calcium, on the other hand, strengthens your bones. As you age, your bone loses its density which weakens it. This results to health issues such as joint pains and arthritis. Incorporating a healthy amount of calcium to your diet can help prevent this.
Nori, the seaweed wrap used in sushis, contains healthy levels of iodine which is great for hormone regulation. This mineral helps our thyroid glands function properly. Too much or too little of it can cause either an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Lack of iodine can be disastrous. It can lead to goiter and is also primary responsible for cases of stunted physical growth or dwarfism. It may also cause congenital defects and developmental delays in children.
The sushi’s high protein level plus low fat and calorie count is a potent combination for your metabolism. It helps our body’s ability to function properly, create new cells and metabolize energy thus burning calorie faster.
Good for the Brain
Omega 3 is not just good for the heart, it’s good for the brain too. It plays a crucial role in cognitive function and development.
Several studies have even confirmed its role in the brain development of infants. They found that children of women taking in Omega 3 when they were pregnant scored high on intelligence tests.
It can also help people with mild memory problems such as those suffering from mild cognitive impairment or age related memory loss. Recent studies also concluded that Omega 3 may improve symptoms in people suffering from clinical depression.
If you want to have a stronger immune system, the pickled ginger right next to your sushi might just be the answer. Ginger has excellent antimicrobial properties which inhibits bacterial growth. This not only addresses bacterial concerns in raw fish but also boosts your body’s immunity.
Ginger also contains an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that helps relax blood vessels. It’s got a natural blood-thinning properties too which protects the body from infection.
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