Sushi originated in China but is today connected to the Japanese cuisine in particular as the Japanese developed the food preservation method. Eating sushi became very popular in the western world in the 1990s where the benefits of sushi were noticed. After the millennium sushi also became popular to the Danes.
Sushi is available in many forms but most often there are two types of collations: nigiri and maki. Nigiri consists of an oval rice ball with raw fish, shellfish, eggs, vegetables or similar on top. The maki sushi consists of rice, fish and/or vegetables but maki sushi is rolled like a Swiss roll surrounded by nori (seaweed) and sliced subsequently.
At the same time it contains the special and healthy fat found in fish, shellfish and seaweed. Sushi contains an appropriate amount of protein and carbohydrates in the form of rice and the other ingredients contain many different beneficial vitamins and minerals.
The nori, which is used, among other things, contains A, B and C vitamins. In addition to this, nori is rich in nutrients such as zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. Wasabi paste, which is used as an accessory, has the important property that it accelerates the digestion of proteins. The pickled ginger, which is used as a taste neutralizer between the sushi, is also beneficial for the digestion. Moreover it is also believed to improve the immune system and energy levels.
Sushi expert Ole G. Mouritsen, a researcher at Odense University, believes that a rich diet in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which among other things is found in large quantities of fish, may be contributing to us living longer. Furthermore, polyunsaturated fatty acids reportedly have a particularly beneficial effect on brain development.
The same professor has listed a number of reasons why we should eat more sushi and seaweed in particular. Populations that eat a lot of seaweed, fish and shellfish have fewer cases of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure – and higher life expectancy. Salt extracted from seaweed has high potassium content, which, unlike ordinary salt, lowers blood pressure. Seaweed has a high content of essential minerals and vitamins, essential amino acids and dietary fibres. The fibre content of the seaweed is much larger than in vegetables and fruit.
Seaweed has a high content of unsaturated and essential fatty acids, especially the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, which prevents cardiovascular diseases. The omega-3 acids of the seaweed reduce cholesterol in the blood vessels. Danish and international research also suggests that seaweed works anti-carcinogenic in animal experiments and cell cultures.