East Asian-inspired fast-food shop and restaurant chain itsu has collaborated with Nutritionist Alix Woods to reveal the top health benefits of eating sushi for body, mind and skin…
1 Rich in Omega3
Sushi is rich in Omega3 fish oils, which are classed as essential fats, as the body can’t make them. They have a host of health benefits, including reducing high cholesterol levels, the risk of heart disease and overall inflammation, as well as lowering blood pressure, triglycerides and maintaining heart rhythm.
2 Cut cravings
Fish is an excellent source of protein that balances blood sugar and keeps energy levels stable, leading to longer spells of satiety, enhanced metabolism and less snacking between meals, encouraging steady and safe weight loss. Go for ‘fishier’ choices with vegetables like Salmon or Tuna Sashimi with Seaweed Salad, or satisfy your stomach with itsu’s Salmon Threesome (£2.19).
3 Brain food
The fish in sushi is the number one brain food! Omega3 fatty acids nourish and repair brain cells and, as fish is also rich in protein and essential fats, it helps focus the mind, increase concentration and maintain energy. So sushi is your perfect aldesko or alfresco lunchtime option at work.
4 Mood stabilisers
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 Wrinkle prevention
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 integral to anti-aging diets!
6 Stave off osteoporosis
Fish is also an exceptional source of calcium, 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 Memory booster
The high level of Omega3 essential fats in sushi fish helps boost memory and can also help with cognitive function, so eating regular sushi meals is beneficial for all ages to help protect the brain and maintain healthy cognition.
8 Muscle repair
Sushi is also an excellent source of protein and, if exercising regularly, it can aid muscle repair and recovery. For maximum benefit have sushi at least two or three times a week as part of your health and fitness regime.
9 Immunity boost
Sushi is also packed with other essential co-factor minerals, such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron, which play an important role in energy production and immunity. Vitamin A, Carotene, Vitamin C 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 essentially the types of seaweed 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. Try itsu’s Avo Baby Rolls (£3.99) or Salmon and Avocado Rolls (£3.99), which are both packed with nori.
What WOULD A
Nutritionist Alix Woods picks her top sushi dish from itsu’s menu
Alix Woods recommends itsu’s large Super Salmon 3 Ways dish (£7.99), which offers a good variety of salmon sushi, salmon and avocado maki and salmon sashimi. Rich in Omega3 essential fatty acids and protein, it makes an ideal sharing platter for two or three people, so it’s sociable too.
The avocado content provides some helpful fat content, which can help to keep bad cholesterol in check. Avocados also have bountiful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, like lutein that help to protect eyes.
Salt is within healthy limits at 2.11g (below the daily recommended allowance of 6g) and the proportion of saturated fats to total fats is healthy, especially if eaten as a sharing platter. It contains some fibre, which is essential for feeding the ‘microbiome’ and maintaining digestive function and health.
It also contains good doses of magnesium, ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ mineral, making it helpful in providing energy as well as relaxation.