Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

Seaweed Benefits

March 19, 2015

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Seaweed is a staple in the Japanese diet, but did you know it is good for more than just holding your sushi together?

This sea-vegetable is nutrient dense and low in calories. It also is thought to have health benefits that can help you lose weight, or cure a hangover.

Scientists at University of Newcastle have found that a substance called alginate found in seaweed can limit the body’s fat absorbtion by up to 75%.

Seaweed is a great source of antioxidents, calcium and a broad array of vitamins. It is also high in fiber, which helps you to feel full and more satisfied after eating, and aids in proper elmination.

Eating seaweed can also support healthy thyroid function, due to its high iodine content. About 2 sheets of dried nori can give you the recommended daily dose to balance the hormones that the thyroid produces that regulate weight, energy and metabolic levels, and mood. It can also help regulate estrogen and estradiol, hormones responsible for the development of healthy sexual organs, and can be attributed to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, control PMS and improve fertility issues.

Seaweed also contains a high level of magnesium, which is depleted after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. Snacking on seaweed the next day can replace some of the lost nutrient and help minimize a hangover.

Seaweed is an algae, and comes in a variety of types. Most commonly consumed are the brown type such as kelp and wakame. Nori, the type used for sushi, is considered of the red variety.

In addition to eating sushi, try ordering seaweed salads made of hijiki or wakame, or snack on dried nori sheets, which are available at many specialty foods supermarkets, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Not So Healthy “Health” Foods

June 27, 2012

Do you ever wonder why you aren’t losing weight, when you feel like you are making healthy meal choices? Chances are, despite their healthy reputation, many of the foods you are eating are packed with hidden sources of sugar, fat and calories!
Our friends at Everyday Health shared the inside scoop on 11 not so healthy “health” foods with us:

Protein bars, or “power bars” are touted as healthy snacks with deceiving labels such as “gluten free”, “low fat” and “natural”, but most of them are just fancy candy bars. Watch out for high sugar content and artificial ingredients. Many protein bars have 300-400 calories, and aren’t as satisfying as whole foods with a similar calorie count.

Granola, the organic, whole grain cereal, dried fruit and nut mix, is actually extremely high in calories, fat and sugar. Consider it a topping to sprinkle on yogurt and not as a meal.

Dried fruits are high in fiber and vitamins, but are also high in calories and sugar, and lack the water content of fresh fruit.  Just one cup of prunes packs over 400 calories, while the same amount of fresh plums has only 76.

Sushi is a great source of lean protein, vegetables and seaweed. However, many of the modern rolls have fried foods, mayo or cream cheese in them. Soy sauce is high in sodium, which can cause hypertension and bloating.

Stick to simple rolls made of fish, fresh raw vegetables and brown rice, and leave off the sauce.

Most Caesar Salads have more calories than a cheeseburger! While the lettuce is a great low-cal base, the croutons, cheese and fatty dressing make it a hidden calorie bomb! Go for a salad with lots of fresh vegetables and some grilled chicken, with a drizzle of balsamic dressing instead.

Opting for the filet of fish sandwich sounds good, but once the fish is breaded, fried and slathered in tartar sauce, it is no longer a healthy choice. Putting it on buttered white bread just adds insult to injury. Next time, try a grilled fish sandwich (open faced on whole wheat) or a simple fish taco with salsa and vegetables instead. Hold the sour cream and cheese please!

Margarine can be a good choice for those watching their cholesterol. Many margarines use trans fats, which is worse for your health than butter. Make sure your margarine is plant fortified, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Fruit juices often have tons of added sugar to enhance their taste. Even the pure fruit juices miss the fiber and nutrients that are found in the whole food, especially those with edible peels. They can also add up to lots of calories without even realizing it.

Bran muffins sound healthy, but in reality, the sugar, sodium and fat added to the whole grains make them a diet trap. The supersizing of baked goods, adds to the problem.

Flavored waters and sports drinks are either high in calories, or filled with artificial flavorings.  Those touted as vitamin and mineral enhanced often don’t have enough to substantially contribute to your daily requirement. Unless you are really sustaining long, tough workouts, opt for good ‘ole H2O.

Turkey burgers are thought of as a low fat alternative to red meat, but depending on the cut and preparation, they can have more fat than a lean cut of beef. Look for lean ground turkey at the store, and go easy on the trimmings!

Want to know more? Check out the full article and video at Everyday Health!

Photos and information courtesy of Everyday Health

Designer Food Stuff

May 25, 2012

Everything is getting the designer treatment these days, and food is no exception.

Here are 2 innovative concepts that take the culinary experience to the next level:

It’s not trendy enough to just eat sushi, now we need to design the seaweed wrappers too!
Japan’s Umino Seaweed Shop has created rolls of nori (the seaweed that sushi is wrapped in) that are laser cut into designer patterns.

Five precut designs are available, each based on an element of Japanese symbology.

Custom coffees and text messaging have become an obsessive part of our lives. Now you can receive a message in your half –caf soy latte and kill two birds with one stone!

Seattle based cloud texting company Zipwhip, has created Textpresso, a machine that can not only send and receive text messages, but can print them in your coffee foam too!

Zipwhip has merged the espresso machine with an android app that has SMS capabilities, and installed a printer stocked with edible ink. It can print short messages in your coffee foam, to personalize your morning joe.

What will they think of next? Any ideas?

photos courtesy of Springwise

The Seaweed Is Always Greener On The Other Side

April 25, 2011

Seaweed is a healthy component of the Japanese diet.  It is delicious as a salad, and in it’s dried form, it is a major ingredient in sushi.

It is also a power food that can help guard against the radiation risk that is currently a health hazard in Asia.

  • When the body is fully saturated with iodine from sources such as ingesting seaweed, it will more readily expel radioactive iodine taken in from air, water or food.
  • Seaweed is high in protein and low in fat.
  • Seaweed is higher in calcium than milk.
  • Consuming seaweed is thought to lower blood pressure, and combat tumors.

Here in America, where our radiation risk is minimal, there is some concern over eating seaweed, which is often imported from Asia.

Surprisingly, China is the biggest producer of seaweed, with France and England coming in second and third.  Japan actually ranks 4th on the list of seaweed producing countries. The US is ranked 11th.

Before buying or ordering seaweed dishes in a restaurant, find out where it comes from. This uber healthy super food could ultimately post a greater health risk than we think. Hopefully, the government is monitoring the importing of foodstuffs from Japan. In the meantime, as chefs are waving Geiger counters over the daily catch, we should be conscious of where our specialty food items are coming from as well.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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