Sushi is a dish enjoyed by people all over the world. It’s a Japanese staple that has been around for over 700 years (however, the version of sushi we know and love has only been around for 200 years). Though there are a seemingly endless number of variations, most sushi is often considered to have a number of surprising health benefits. At Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, we have earned a reputation for serving up some of the best sushi in Charlotte. In fact, we were voted by the “Best of Charlotte” as being the destination for “The Best Sushi Experience.” In today’s blog, we would like to share with you some of the health benefits of our favorite food—sushi.

Heart Health

Sushi is known for having high amounts of concentrated forms of omega-3 fatty acids. This is perhaps the most sought after and cited benefit of sushi. These fatty acids act as a “good” form of cholesterol that helps to prevent clogged arteries. Omega-3 has also been linked to helping lower blood pressure. The types of sushi that are especially rich in omega-3 include lake trout, herring, tuna, and salmon.

Hormone Regulation

Many sushi rolls are wrapped in thin sheets of seaweed—or nori in Japanese. Seaweed contains a number of healthy minerals, the most prominent of which is iodine. This key mineral is an essential part of our diet and is especially important to the proper function of our thyroid glands. Though too much iodine can have negative effects, a proper level—like that found in seaweed—helps balance hormones and optimize metabolic activities.

Metabolism Boost

Fish is high in protein and low in fat and calories. This is a combination that is great for our metabolism. Low-calorie, high-quality proteins can significantly boost our body’s ability to function properly, create new cells, and metabolize energy, which keeps us strong and healthy.

Cancer Prevention

Fish is not the only component of sushi. Although the toppings and ingredients can vary from roll to roll, most sushi rolls are served with wasabi and ginger, which both have anti-carcinogenic properties because of their antioxidant compounds. These antioxidants are capable of neutralizing free radicals and, therefore, eliminating their ability to mutate into cancer cells. On top of this, the trace mineral selenium, which is found in sushi, is reported to have anticancer properties as well.

Bolsters Immune System

As we mentioned, sushi is more than fish. Two ingredients that are almost always paired with sushi are wasabi and ginger, and both of these ingredients have antibacterial properties. This means that if there is any concern about freshness or unwanted bacteria, these two antiviral agents can potentially help to kill off bacteria, which, in effect, helps boost your immune system.

Circulation

Iron is found both in fish and soy sauce—two key elements of sushi. When you eat foods that are high in iron, it can boost your red blood cells, specifically by promoting the production of them. The more red blood cells you have, the better your circulation, metabolism, skin tone, hair growth, and ability to heal is.

As you’ve probably gathered, in addition to being delicious, sushi is quite a healthy dish. It’s a heart-healthy food that provides your body with many needed nutrients and minerals. However, it is important to remember that, although an average piece of sushi has only 200 calories, when you begin to add mayonnaise-based sauces and tempura coatings, this number can quickly double if not triple.

Are you ready to start reaping some of these health benefits while also enjoying some seriously good sushi? Come pay Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar a visit. We take great pride in having some of the best sushi in Charlotte as well as other sensational Japanese foods. Check out our sushi menu and contact us with any questions or to book a private event.