Sushi is healthy: this makes miso happy!
We’re forever being given conflicting information about how healthy our favourite foods are. After buying a year’s supply of smoothies you then find out they’re full of sugar or thinking you can’t go wrong with yoghurt raisins: raisins=healthy, yoghurt=healthy, right? But then you find out the yoghurt is nothing like the calcium enriched drink you’d find in the dairy aisle.
Well it looks like sushi isn’t exempt from this either. The Japanese delicacy that was first served in the UK in the 1970s is forever appearing in articles debating its nutritional value, but is innocent avocado maki really so unhealthy or will the salmon nigiri do more harm than good? The healthiness of sushi has long been debated about with some recently articles making sushi out to be the bad guy, but we at hungryhouse aren’t willing to accept that our favourite nosh (I’m even eating it in my bio pic!) could be doing us more harm than good so I decided to make myself feel better about my impending sushi binge by finding out how sushi can be beneficial for our bodies.
Health benefits: Omega-3 fatty oils can be found in fish especially oily ones such as mackerel, herring and sardines. Despite the name not sounding too healthy, omega-3 fatty oils are packed with health benefits such as preventing heart disease, strokes and arthritis as they reduce inflammation in the body. These oils aren’t made by our bodies so we need to get them from food sources (what a shame, we’ll have to have another piece of sushi in that case!).
Many of the fish types used in the making of those delicious morsels are relatively low in calories so that’s more good news! Sea bass and red snapper have less than 100 calories per 100g and even the ‘fatty’ fish such as tuna have fewer than 200 per 100g.
Health benefits: Rather than picturing this as gross slimy stuff that used to/still does freak you out on the beach, think of it in all its healthy glory. Just consuming one gram of the stuff means that your daily iodine needs are met. Believe it or not, there’s more calcium in seaweed than in broccoli (I didn’t even know broccoli contained calcium!). It’s also packed full of much-needed vitamins and fibre. It might sound a bit gross, but the fibre turns into gel which then slows down digestion, which in turn inhibits the absorption of cholesterol and sugars.
Tip: the darker the seaweed, the higher the quality.
Health benefits: Ginger is more than just a palate cleaner, although that in itself would be cool enough. Yet it also works as a natural antiseptic that helps ward off the flu and colds by strengthening the immune system. Its anti-inflammatory properties mean it can help relieve muscle pain and reduce nausea. Experiencing a little flatulence? With a bit of ginger you’ll be parp-free in no time! If you’re not used to ginger, don’t wolf down a massive sliver – it might knock your socks off!
This condiment, discovered in China over 2,500 years ago, is a great accompaniment to sushi and adds a salty, pungent taste to your hosomaki, gunkan or whatever delicious sushi piece you’re about to devour. The popular sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt and often wheat.
The sauce contains 10 times as many antioxidants as red wine, which can help in the fight against cardiovascular disease! The actual beans are high in protein, magnesium, iron and potassium and can help relieve menopause problems. There are many kinds of soy sauce on the market including Tamari, which is wheat-free and perfect for coeliacs. Reduced-sodium varieties are best if you’re worried about consuming too much salt.
So what are you waiting for? Order that juicy tuna sashimi from Koi in Kensington or treat yourself to a Bento Box packed full of tantalising treats from Poppy Hana in Bermondsey! It might prolong your life, after all Japanese life expectancy is extremely high so they must be doing something right.
If you’re still not convinced of the healthiness of sushi, you could always try a miniature version?
So are you a sushi addict? What’s your favourite kind? Let us know in the comments!