Sushi lovers, great news! Sushi has so many health benefits that on some level and long term, it can literally save your life. So, if you loved eating sushi so far, now you can enjoy it even more knowing this. As it turns out, some of the health benefits of sushi include its ability to lower blood pressure, decrease levels of "bad" cholesterol in the body, improve hormone balance, increase the metabolism, prevent certain forms of cancers, aid in the health of your gastrointestinal system, boost circulation, build strong bones, and even improve the strength of your immune system.
Let’s have a closer look at the health benefits of sushi:
One of the greatest benefits of sushi is the easy access to concentrated forms of omega-3 fatty acids. This "good" form of cholesterol helps to balance out and even eliminate "bad" cholesterol in the body, helping to prevent clogged arteries and many related health concerns, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Omega-3 has also been directly linked to lowering blood pressure.
When it comes to sushi, the fish in it has multiple health benefits, however there are other important ingredients in sushi, with great health benefits, including the seaweed wrap that comes around many sushi varieties. The seaweed (nori) is very high in iodine, which is an essential factor of our health. Iodine is vital for the regulation and control of our endocrine system, most importantly our thyroid gland. So, with the right levels of iodine in your system (but not too much!), you can ensure that your hormones are properly balanced in your body.
Fish is a high-quality protein that is low in calories and fat. Protein, particularly healthy forms like fish, can greatly boost our body’s ability to function regularly, create new cells, metabolize energy effectively, and keep us strong and healthy.
As I said in the above, sushi comes with other ingredients as well, not just fish – and all these ingredients have specific health benefits when consumed. For instance, the common elements of wasabi and ginger both have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties due to antioxidant compounds. These antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals before they can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancer cells. Additionally, many types of fish are rich in selenium, a trace mineral that has shown serious anti-cancer properties in many research studies. Nori, the seaweed wrapper, also has a number of phytonutrients that act as antioxidants, making sushi a great choice to boost your cancer defenses.
Digestive and Gastrointestinal Health
At any sushi restaurant you’ll find green tea is always an option for you to try. The tannins in green tea have been closely linked to improved digestion and the health of your colon. Also, when it comes to soy sauce, although it is very high in sodium (which is not good for people with high blood pressure), it contains high levels of iron and protein, along with protecting your colon from dangerous bacteria that can sometimes get into your food.
There are a few elements of sushi that can boost your immune system, primarily the antibacterial properties of wasabi. Ginger also acts as an antibacterial and antiviral agent, so make sure to add these condiments when eating your next sushi roll.
The high levels of iron found in fish and soy sauce mean that your red blood cell count can get a boost from this Japanese delicacy. Iron helps to increase the circulation to all parts of the body, stimulates hair growth, improves the tone and color of your skin, improves the metabolism, and speeds the healing process of tissues and cells.
There you have it, so many reasons to enjoy sushi while getting all these wonderful health benefits alongside.
Remember though, fish can have high levels of mercury, therefore it is always best to get sushi from a trusted sushi restaurant who sources their fish carefully.