Fatigue, muscle weakness, and peripheral neuropathy resulting from nerve damage are some of the symptoms of mercury poisoning from sushi.
In 2008, the famous American actor Jeremy Piven decided not to enact in ‘Speed the Plow’, a play written by David Matten. The reason he gave, was sickness arising from mercury poisoning. The main culprit behind this poisoning was a high sushi diet. It seemed the actor indulged in sushi. As a result his mercury levels shot up dramatically and hence he suffered from mercury poisoning. As fish is the main ingredient of sushi, too much intake can increase mercury levels.
Mercury is an element that is naturally found on our planet. It is observed that some type of fish contain high levels of mercury. Studies show that too much exposure to mercury can be harmful to health. Mackerel, swordfish, tuna, halibut, and shark are some of the types of fish that top the list of foodstuffs containing very high amount of mercury. So, if too much tuna or swordfish is eaten, one may suffer from mercury poisoning.
What is Sushi
Although sushi is traditionally a Japanese dish, it has become very popular in the United States, especially in New York. Sushi mainly consists of cooked rice sandwiched in raw fish. Sliced raw fish over cooked rice is something people in the United States love to eat. This dish is high in omega-3 essential fatty acids and proteins and is often considered a healthier alternative to hamburgers and pizzas.
Symptoms of high mercury count in the body are signs of extreme fatigue. The person may also suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a condition that is typically marked by numbness and burning sensation in the hands and the feet. The person may also experience muscle weakness, making it difficult to perform day-to-day activities. Speech problems, as well as inability to perform fine movements such as writing are some of the issues associated with elevated mercury levels.
Can You Get Mercury Poisoning?
The answer to this question lies in how much sushi you have on a weekly basis. Having too much sushi in the diet predisposes a person to mercury poisoning. Excessive sushi consumption will not help in any way to derive its health benefits. Sushi contains all the essential nutrients for a healthy living but that doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. To be on the safer side, avoid having sushi everyday in meals. If you want to have sushi meals, choose any 2 days of the week. Also, once you eat sushi at lunch, do not have it again at dinner. Eating sushi in moderate amounts, twice a week will cause no harm to your health.
Studies have confirmed that blue fin tuna has much higher levels of mercury than other types of fish. The study has also revealed that mercury count in tuna fish that are served in restaurants is alarmingly high as compared to those sold in supermarket. In such circumstances, having tuna sushi every week can also be dangerous. So, it is strongly recommended to have tuna sushi meal just once in a month. There are people who have been eating this type of fish for years without showing any symptoms of mercury toxicity. This is because they never made sushi their staple food. On the contrary, they preferred to have sushi occasionally, once or twice a week.
Healthy Way to Eat Sushi
Making sushi from salmon can considerably minimize the risk of mercury toxicity. This is because mercury levels in salmon are far less as compared to tuna. So sushi consisting of salmon is definitely a safer and a healthier alternative to sushi tuna. Also, preparing this Japanese dish at home, instead of going to the restaurant, can substantially decrease exposure to high levels of mercury.
Keep in mind mercury poisoning is avoidable but for this to happen you need to control your cravings for sushi. As abnormally high mercury levels are associated with sushi, you simply cannot afford to have sushi on a daily basis.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.