Sushi: A Japanese traditional style of cooking involving rice and raw or slightly cooked fish, dating back to the 8th century and making its appearance in American restaurants between the 60’s and the 70’s. Back then though it was mainly targeted to Japanese immigrants in the US as well as Japanese businessmen who were visiting. As a matter of fact it took almost 2 decades and the discovery of the infamous California Roll to properly introduce Sushi to Americans and eventually make it popular all around the world.

Without doubt, Sushi is no longer a trend or a fad. It has become a love affair for many and has even made its way to our own kitchens were aspiring home cooks are learning the ins and outs of Sushi making.

With the number of sushi bars and restaurants increasing and the Sushi culture at its peak this doesn’t seem like something we will stop enjoying any time soon. So we looked further into the health benefits of eating sushi and spoke to Dr. Elizabeth Macorsini , biologist nutritionist at the Humanitas Medical Care to find out more about the nutritious value of rice, seaweed and raw fish.

Is sushi healthy?

“Futomaki, hosomaki, temaki or uramaki are foods with a very balanced amount of macro-nutrients: there are in fact the carbohydrates of rice, protein and omega 3 of the fish, and fibers and minerals (iodine, magnesium, calcium and iron) of the nori seaweed. The accompanying condiments such as wasabi, ginger and soy sauce, add several other nutrients including antioxidants (the isothiocyanates), vitamins and minerals. These come in amounts that provide flavor with a very low calorie intake. For these reasons it’s an absolutely acceptable and consistent integration to the Mediterranean diet or any other balanced diet. An Eastern twist with full respect to your figure and health. Beware though of the variations and the influences of other cuisines in fusion sushi restaurants. Sushi in these cases is often elaborate and enriched by many other ingredients and seasonings. These extras include sauces, mayonnaise, cheese, dried fruit and even foie gras. The sushi may gain originality, appearance and flavors, but it also gains quite a few calories.

Use only the best fish

Lack of cooking the fish is the characteristic note of sushi and sashimi. It’s also the reason why many won’t choose to try sushi. You should know though that if a fish is properly gutted (evisceration process) and stored in temperatures of -20°C for at least 24 hours, most of the bacteria are neutralized including the dangerous anisaki parasite. Thus ensuring that your sushi is completely safe for consumption. Picking the freshest and best fish is an art in its own but you can get some important tips online, or just leave it to the pros and go to your nearest sushi restaurant.

Grab your chopsticks and enjoy your meal…