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The fish in sushi is quintessential protein in its purest, most simple form, making this food a great substitute for chicken breasts and cans of tuna.
Think of the sushi roll as the perfectly balanced bodybuilder meal containing top-quality protein, complex carbs and vegetables all in one delicious bite. Even if you choose the fattiest varieties of fish – tuna and salmon – it still contains fewer than 200 calories per 4-ounce serving; that’s roughly half of what you’d get from a New York steak. Shrimp and octopus are even lower, at only 100 calories per serving.
Seafood also packs a nutritional punch with B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals like selenium, potassium and zinc. Worried about the raw part of the equation? Using cooked seafood in your sushi roll works just as well, although some of the nutrients are lost in the cooking process.
The rice in sushi is an excellent source of complex carbs, and it contains niacin, protein, thiamine and iron. Substitute brown rice to increase nutrient levels.
Nori (the seaweed used to wrap sushi) is a good source of Vitamin C, B vitamins, iodine, calcium, iron and protein. The pickled ginger (gari) used to cleanse the palate also aids in digestion. For those of you not sure about that pungent Japanese horseradish, wasabi, it’s loaded with Vitamin C.
Most supermarkets sell special grades of seafood marked exclusively to be eaten raw, and you can find most of the other ingredients listed in the international foods aisle.