Ten key health benefits of eating sushi
High in Omega 3 fatty acids, sushi is part of a Japanese diet that’s said to increase life expectancy. With the growing popularity of sushi in the UK we asked leading nutritionist Alix Woods to reveal the top health benefits of this nutrient-packed food for the body, mind and skin.
1. ‘Sushi’ your way to less inflammation
Sushi is rich in Omega 3 fish oils, which are classed as essential fats, as the body can’t make them. They have a host of health benefits; Omega 3’s reduce high cholesterol levels and studies have found they lower the risk of heart disease and overall inflammation; lowering blood pressure, triglycerides and maintaining heart rhythm. In short, these oils keep all systems ‘well oiled’.
2. Cut cravings
As you may already know, fish, is an excellent source of protein that balances blood sugar and keeps energy levels stable. This leads to longer spells of satiety, enhanced metabolism and less snacking (between meals), encouraging steady and safe weight loss.
For weight loss, it may also be dependent on the type of sushi chosen. Choose the ‘fishier’ choices with vegetables like salmon or tuna sashimi with seaweed salad, or miso soup with sashimi. For a delicious vegetarian option go for itsu’s Veggie Roll (£3.49, itsu.com) or satisfy your stomach with itsu’s Salmon Threesome (£2.19, itsu.com).
3. Food for your brain
The fish in sushi is the number one brain food! The essential fats, or Omega 3 fatty acids, nourish and repair brain cells. As fish is also rich in protein and essential fats, it helps focus the mind, increase concentration and maintain energy, making sushi a perfect lunchtime option during your working day!
4. Stabilise your mood
By regularly eating sushi, the fish oils may help with more serious conditions like psychosis and bipolar disorders. Fish is also high in Vitamin B12, which keeps the brain ‘happy’ and staves off bouts of depression, anxiety and brain fog.
5. Prevent wrinkles
Sushi is a prolific source of antioxidants, which slows down cell damage, prevents permanent oxidative damage to the skin and slows down overall ageing. These antioxidants preserve the cell structure of the skin, help keep cells younger both externally and internally and are an integral essential to all anti-aging diets!
6. Give your bones a boost
Fish is also an exceptional source of calcium and it is the primary mineral for bone health. Eating sushi regularly may help to keep joints healthy and stave off more serious conditions like osteoporosis. Calcium also forms the essential ‘building blocks’ for healthy hair and nails.
7. Forgo forgetfulness
The high content of Omega 3 essential fats of the fish in sushi, helps with memory and can also help with cognitive function. Therefore, eating regular sushi meals is beneficial for all ages in order to help protect the brain and maintain healthy cognition function.
8. Speed up muscle repair
Sushi is also an excellent source of protein and if exercising regularly, it may aid muscle repair and recovery. For maximum benefit have sushi at least twice or three times a week.
9. Increase your immunity
Sushi is also packed with other essential co factor minerals, which play an important role in energy production and immunity. These minerals are Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Iron. Vitamin A, Carotene, Vitamin A and Retinol are plentiful too. Vitamin A and C are more prevalent in vegetarian sushi.
10. Opt out of obesity
Sea vegetables like Kombu, Nori and Wakame, which are found in sushi, are high in iodine. Iodine helps in the prevention of hypothyroidism or low thyroid function, which if uncontrolled may lead to obesity and lethargy. For a nutritious option packed with Nori try itsu’s Avo Baby Rolls (£3.99, itsu.com) or itsu’s Salmon and Avocado Rolls (£3.99, itsu.com).