Health Benefits of Sushi

A typical dish of Japanese cuisine, sushi appeared about 200 years ago, when it was initially sold with a sauce of vinegar, sugar and salt, combined with some type of fish or seafood, vegetables or eggs.

Light, nutritious and easy to digest , one of the advantages of sushi is that it combines all the necessary food groups in a good diet: protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and vitamins.

Oriental culture has a different way of enjoying life, and this is also reflected in food and nutrition, so much so that the Japanese are among the people with the highest life expectancy in the world.

Healthy and tasty, the nutritional benefits of sushi go beyond its low fat content and quality of protein from fish. Sushi has a high content of omega 3, fatty acid from cold water fish such as salmon and tuna, which helps protect the cardiovascular system by lowering the level of bad cholesterol, LDL, and total triglycerides and increasing the good cholesterol, HDL.

The presence of antioxidants such as Vitamin E, which fights free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage the body, and Vitamin C, which improves the immune system, are just a few more benefits of sushi and sashimi.


Some of sushi’s health benefits include its protective property of the cardiovascular system, which regulates blood pressure and lowers bad cholesterol levels. Its consumption improves the health of the gastrointestinal system, improves the immune system, improves hormonal balance, prevents certain types of cancer and helps in the general well-being of the entire body.

There is a variety of sushi and its most common elements are raw fish such as salmon and tuna, vegetables, rice, seaweed, soy sauce, ginger and horseradish. All of these are allied elements of health when consumed in moderation.

The rice with the sushi that is prepared is slightly vinegar. Vinegar, in addition to giving it a special flavor, stimulates and facilitates the digestive process, increases cell metabolism and reduces the risk of hypertension. Rice is a source of carbohydrates that give energy to the body, but as it has sugar, it can be harmful if consumed in excess.

The seaweed that the sushi is wrapped with is pressed and dried nori seaweed. Algae are very nutritious. They are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, niacin and vitamin C, which help in many body functions. Including, the consumption of seaweed is indicated for cases of lack of vitamins, when hair and nails are weak. It is also rich in iodine, a mineral essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

The raw fish consumed in sushi and sashimi retain all its nutrients and all the omega 3, good fat and beneficial to health. Oily and cold-water fish, such as sardines, salmon and tuna, are rich in omega 3, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease, since it reduces bad cholesterol and therefore reduces the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries.

The sushi comes with thinly sliced ​​​​ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, strengthens the immune system and facilitates digestion. It is traditional to accompany sushi with a horseradish paste, called wasabi. This paste stimulates saliva secretion and aids digestion. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic action.

The soy sauce in which sushi is commonly dipped is one that should be consumed with caution. Despite containing some minerals, it is rich in sodium and, in excess, can be harmful, increasing pressure and accumulation of fluid in the body.


  • Beneficial for the cardiovascular system : sushi is beneficial for the heart and the entire vascular system, its composition uses fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, which contain good amounts of omega, which acts in the body, helping to reduce the so -called bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, decreasing the accumulation of cholesterol in the vessel walls and preventing a series of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. As the fish is eaten raw, all the omega 3 is retained.
  • Beneficial for hormonal regulation : one of the effects of sushi is hormonal balance and regulation. The seaweed that the sushi is wrapped in is rich in iodine. This mineral is essential for the regulation and control of our endocrine system, especially the thyroid gland and hormones. With adequate levels of iodine, our body improves its metabolic activities and ensures a hormonal balance that improves our health and quality of life.
  • Beneficial to improve the body’s functioning : the high quality proteins found in sushi fish have few calories and bad fats, and a high concentration of proteins and good fats that help our bodies to function correctly, regenerate cells, gain muscle mass and metabolize energy efficiently, keeping our bodies strong and healthy.
  • It helps prevent cancer : the omega 3 and antioxidants present in sushi components fight free radicals that can damage DNA and cause some types of cancer.
  • Beneficial for the digestive system : regarding digestion, sushi has components and properties that help the digestive system. The vinegar present in the rice that sushi is made from is one of them. In addition to aiding digestion, it has antibacterial properties. Another component that aids digestion is ginger and wasabi, a horseradish that increases salivation.
  • Beneficial for the immune system : the vitamins present especially in the seaweed that surround the sushi increase immunity and protect the body against infections.

Despite all the benefits listed above, we can find some sushi risks and harms. As it uses raw fish and seafood, the risks of allergic reaction cannot be ruled out, as this is one of the most common food allergies. Another concern is the consumption of raw fish, which when not coming from a good source or correctly handled, can be harmful to health. Fish are not free from contamination and infections by parasites or bacteria, so you must pay attention to where you will consume this food and whether the establishment follows hygiene standards.

Sushi is bad for your health when consumed in excess, as it can hide calories and high sodium content which, when in large quantities, increases blood pressure and fluid accumulation. Therefore, despite being a food considered healthy and beneficial, we must be aware of the quantities and condiments such as soy sauce, so as not to overdo it.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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