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Sushi vegetariano – benefícios da alimentação natural.

Health Benefits of Japanese Cuisine: Vegetarian Superfoods (Part 1)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by: Neil McLaughlin (see all articles by this author)
| Key concepts: antioxidant, vegetarian and health benefits

(NaturalNews) The vegetarian choices at your favorite sushi restaurant are both earth-friendly and extremely nutritious. In this article (the first of a two part series) we will examine some of the many vegetables and fermented foods used in Japanese Cuisine. At the end of this article is a recipe for miso soup.

Soybean productsGlycine max (Fabaceae)

* Tempeh

Tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans with the Rhizopus mold. Tempeh contains antioxidants, isoflavones and soy saponins along with Fiber, Protein and every essential amino acid. Tempeh aids digestion and boosts the immune system while providing an easily assumable protein in vegetarian form.

* Miso

Miso itself is an antioxidant and is made by fermenting soybeans with the Koji mold. Miso contains Vitamin K, B6, B12, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Copper and is loaded with Protein and amino acids. It does contain a good amount of sodium. Those looking to stock up on quality food should store some Miso paste. It comes in several types such as Hacho, Mugi, Shiro and Genmai, and just 12 ounces of miso paste is enough to make several gallons of delicious soup. Miso contains living enzymes so it is not sterile the way canned soups are.

* Tofu

Tofu is unfermented soybean curd. Though it contains Protein it is difficult for some to digest and may disrupt or interfere with normal hormones due to phytoestrogens. Thus Tofu has questionable health benefits.

* Tamari (Soy Sauce)

Tamari is a concentrated, fermented soy product that has been used in China for nearly 3000 years. Tamari is rich in antioxidants and is a good source of the amino acid Tryptophan. Tamari also contains Vitamin B6, Iron, Phosphorous, and Protein. Contrary to popular belief, soy sauce should be stored in the refrigerator after opening.

Soy footnote: as early as 1997, over 80% of soy was GMO (genetically modified). For this reason it is essential to choose organic soy products.

Seaweed products (Kelp)

* WakameUndaria pinnatifida (Alariaceae)

Wakame is brown and green seaweed originally collected off the coast of Japan. Wakame contains the antioxidant Fucoxanthin, a pigment with powerful metabolism boosting properties. Wakame stimulates the liver and reduces cholesterol. Wakame helps fight diabetes and prostate cancer. Wakame is used in Miso soup. Wakame is an invasive weed in New Zealand and now California, so there should be enough for everyone.

* NoriPorphyra (Bangiaceae)

Nori is a red and green seaweed that contains the antioxidant Galactan, a polysaccharide, along with Taurine, Inositol, Eicosapentanoic acid, Choline and the minerals Iodine, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium and Selenium. Nori is used to treat ulcers and helps lower cholesterol. Nori has anti tumor and anti blood coagulating properties. Sheets of nori are used to wrap sticky rice and other foods to make sushi rolls and hand rolls.

* DulsePalmaria palmata (Palmariacea)

Dulse is a red seaweed that contains antioxidants along with Protein (22%), Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Iodine, Manganese, Copper, Chromium, Zinc, and Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E. Dulse is useful in treating an underactive thyroid as it contains iodine. Unlike other seaweeds, Dulse is low in Sodium. The highest quality dulse is said to be "Dark Harbour dulse" from the cliffs on the island of Grand Manan. Dulse is a seasoning and is used in seaweed salad.


* WasabiWasabia japonica (Cruciferae)

Wasabi is a plant that contains Isothiocyanates, powerful antioxidants, along with Potassium and Calcium. Wasabi stimulates digestion and detoxifies the liver. Wasabi helps fight cancer of the prostate. Wasabi is the spicy paste served alongside most any sushi orders, however most American sushi restaurants do not used real Wasabi because it is rare and expensive, opting instead for Horseradish paste that is dyed green (likely with artificial color).

* Ginger (Pickled)Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae)

Ginger contains powerful antioxidants called Gingerols that are soothing compounds. Ginger also contains Vitamin B6, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese. Ginger helps to stimulate digestion and relieves arthritis along with nausea. It is safe for pregnant women. Ginger helps fight cancer of the colon and ovaries. Ginger has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

* KojiAspergillus Oryzae (Trichocomaceae)

Koji is the mold used to ferment many Japanese foods, including Tamari, Miso and Mirin (the Rice Vinegar used to flavor Teriyaki sauce and Ponzu sauce). Koji contains amylases, an enzyme that helps fight free radical damage. Koji contains the amino acid glutamate, a natural form of MSG that offers a concentrated salty flavor (known as umami).

Recipe for Miso Soup


* 2 Tbsp miso paste, organic
* 4 cups of water, filtered
* 5 leaves of wakame, dried
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 2 green onions, chopped
* (optional) ½ cup extra firm Tofu, diced


* Saute carrot and yellow onion for 3 minutes in cast iron skillet.
* Add miso paste and a small amount of water and stir until it melts.
* Add remaining water and move to soup pan.
* Add wakame to broth.
* Simmer 20 minutes.
* If you are adding tofu, add it last to avoid overcooking.
* Top with diced green onion.

About the author

Neil McLaughlin is a computer scientist and inventor specializing in 3d graphics and simulation. He can be reached at naturalnews461 (at) yahoo (dot) com.


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