Sushi: Good or Bad For You?

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Sushi first became popular in Japan as a way to preserve fish. However, today sushi has become a trend all over the world. It consists of vinegar-flavored rice rolled together with raw or cooked fish and vegetables in nori, a type of seaweed. The sushi roll is commonly served with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. Sushi is often thought of as a healthy diet food due to its high protein content, but is it really that good for you?

Let’s breakdown the main ingredients and find out:

Fish

  • Fish is a good source of protein.
  • It contains omega-3 fats needed for brain and total body function. Also, helps fight heart disease and stroke.
  • Consuming fish has been seen to lower the risk for developing autoimmune diseases, depression, vision loss, and dementia in old age.
  • Fish is one of the only foods that naturally contains vitamin D. It also is a good source of iodine.

Nori (seaweed)

  • Nori contains many nutrients such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. However, sushi rolls use only a small amount of nori, so it is unlikely to contribute to much of your daily nutrient needs.
  • Research has shown that nori may have the ability to fight viruses, inflammation, and cancer.

Rice

  • Rice is the main component of sushi. Often white rice is used, which means the grain has been refined and stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Refined carbs, such as white rice, promote inflammation and increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  • The rice in sushi is often prepared with sugar causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. This can contribute to overeating.

Wasabi

  • Wasabi is made from the grated stem of the Eutrema japonicum plant. However, due to the scarcity of this plant, many restaurants use imitation wasabi, which is made from a combination of horseradish, mustard powder, and green dye.
  • Real wasabi is rich in beta-catotenes, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates. This means that it has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Pickled Ginger

  • Pickled ginger, known as gari, is used to cleanse the plate between different pieces of sushi.
  • Ginger is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
  • It has properties that help protect against bacteria, viruses, and cancer.
  • Research shows that ginger may help improve memory, reduce nausea, alleviate pain, and lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

 

Overall, there are pros and cons of sushi. It has some high-nutrient components in the fish, vegetables, and nori. However, these components only make up a small portion of the sushi roll. The majority of the roll is white rice, which is often coated in high-fat sauces and fried tempera batter. This increases overall calories and still leaves people feeling hungry. If you are a sushi lover, don’t fret! This doesn’t mean you cannot eat sushi. Check out the list below to find out the best and worst sushi rolls:

sushi

 

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One comment

  1. tippysmom2 · April 15

    I’ve only had sushi once, in San Francisco. It was okay, but once was enough for me. Raw fish is not my idea of an ideal food.

    Like

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