Diet and Nutrition

Wasabi Facts: Health and Nutrition Benefits of Wasabi

Wasabi Facts: Health and Nutrition Benefits of Wasabi

Key Takeaways

  • Wasabi can be easily identified by its strong aroma and its taste and texture are singularly different as well.
  • Wasabi is rich in Isothiocynates or ITC, which has the ability to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  • Being a rich source of dietary fiber, wasabi can lower your risk from strokes.

Wasabi, also called Japanese horseradish, is a plant that belongs to the cabbages, horseradish, and mustard family, although horseradish is a different plant. However, horseradish is generally used as a substitute for wasabi, due to the scarcity of the wasabi plant. Its stem, which has an extremely strong pungency, emits vapors that stimulate the nose more than the tongue. Wasabi is widely used as a condiment, especially in Japanese cooking. 

Is wasabi good for your health?

It is more widely used in mainland Japan than in other parts of the world. However since the news about the health benefits of eating wasabi became known, it has grown in popularity all over the world. Some of the various health benefits of wasabi are posted below.

Antimicrobial properties:

Owing to its antimicrobial properties, wasabi is often used to season raw fish than any other substance. Wasabi inhibits and prevents the growth of bacteria, and even helps to eliminate some. Some of the varieties of wasabi are known to be more proactive against certain microbes than others, as a result, certain types of wasabi are used, depending more on the food being prepared. Wasabi is packed with various minerals and with a complete vitamin and protein profile; it is able to provide you with much more energy per serving.

Anti-inflammatory properties:

Wasabi is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can actually go some extent to help you should you find that parts of your body are inflamed for one reason or the other. Eating wasabi regularly can serve to bring your inflammation down and even help alleviate some of the other associated symptoms as well. While you can suffer from inflammation due to one health condition or the other, eating wasabi regularly should help bring it all the way down and alleviate even some of the more serious symptoms. It mainly helps to bring down inflammation due to sores, wounds and other similar health conditions.

Prevents cancer:

Wasabi is rich in Isothiocynates or ITC which work to block the cancer cells and work in a fashion that is similar to broccoli and cabbage. These mainly help with the stage one process where they block the enzymes that transform cells into cancerous ones. It is quite effective and if you are diagnosed with cancer in the initial stages, then a diet that’s rich in wasabi can help prevent it altogether and may even induce a regression.

Its cancer fighting properties are still being studied; but a 2005 study pointed out the fact that wasabi severely inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells. Wasabi is loaded with powerful anti-carcinogenic compounds and is quite effective in preventing the spread and cancer itself. It is more effective against digestion system related cancers.

Being rich in soluble dietary fiber, wasabi helps to clean your blood of all toxins, some of which can even cause cancer. So in a way, the rich dietary profile of wasabi can aid in cancer prevention as well.  

In other words, with a regular diet of wasabi, broccoli and cabbage, you should be able to prevent the growth of cancer cells and even halt its spread to other parts of your body. Wasabi has a beneficial effect on the liver enabling it to eliminate some of the toxins that are known to cause cancer. This is why eating wasabi makes perfect sense and that’s something that you would have to opt for, in your quest for perfect health.

Cardiovascular health: 

Wasabi is known to block platelet aggregation and this only serves to boost your cardiovascular health and helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Although it has a complex protein profile, wasabi is quite effective in blocking platelet aggregation and thereby helps to prevent cardiovascular episodes as well as strokes. This is yet another reason why you may want to eat wasabi more regularly than ever before.

Arthritis:

Given the fact that wasabi is rich in Isothiocynates or ITC and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent; it serves to alleviate most of the arthritis symptoms. Moreover, it also helps to prevent inflamed bowel disease as well as asthma  It helps to reduce the inflammation between joints and is quite effective in providing immediate relief from the same.

So if your loved one happens to suffer from degenerative bone disease or is crippled by arthritis, then getting them to eat wasabi should provide them with the immediate relief that they need. In fact, quite a few doctors have already started recommending the same as a way to help prevent joint inflammation and the fact that it also comes with various other health benefits is a plus.

Prevention of cavities: 

It goes without saying that you need to brush your teeth twice a day and that you need to practice good dental hygiene. This is to prevent bacteria from aggregating in your mouth since they will start to attack the enamel of your teeth before finally starting to attack the pulp, resulting in cavities forming. This is why you have to practice good dental hygiene.

But with a regular diet of wasabi, the bacteria present in your mouth will be inhibited and their growth limited on account of the fact that wasabi contains Isothiocynates or ITC. These help to prevent bacterial growth and thus limit the growth of bacteria and formation of cavities. These compounds prevent the sugar from sticking to the teeth and thereby prevent the growth of bacteria and tooth decays.

Sanitizer:

As mentioned earlier, wasabi is known for its antimicrobial properties and as a result, it acts as a great sanitizer. It effectively helps to sanitize any surface and helps to eliminate most microbes.

Improves digestion and weight loss:

Wasabi is known to aid in digestion as well as weight loss. Obesity is one of the main drivers behind so many developing insulin resistance and this is why a regular diet of wasabi can help to regulate your blood sugar levels. Moreover, it aids in weight loss and helps to eliminate the bad cholesterol from your body. Wasabi manages to make you feel ‘full’, depresses your appetite and ensures that you are able to burn off calories faster, by speeding up your metabolism. The soluble dietary fiber in wasabi also helps to regulate your digestion.

Although more studies have to be conducted, it has been seen that wasabi does indeed have a beneficial effect on your metabolism and therefore, eating fish regularly with wasabi should do wonders to your quest to shed that extra baggage you are carting around. Moreover, this dish helps your body to resolve all constipation and other gastrointestinal issues effectively.

Diabetes and Stroke:

Wasabi is often recommended by some doctors to diabetic patients, as it is a rich source of dietary fiber. Also, the same dietary fiber can lower your risk from strokes.

Boosts immunity:

Wasabi is rich in antioxidants and various vitamins, including vitamin C. So a steady diet of wasabi should help to boost your overall metabolic health and your immune system. Chances are that you are more likely to suffer an infection due to a weakened immune system than anything else. This is why consuming wasabi makes more sense as it can effectively serve to boost your immune system.

And if you happen to be suffering from a serious health ailment, then eating wasabi can boost your immune system and even aid in quick recovery.

Helps to relieve respiratory disorders:

You may be suffering from respiratory disorders for various reasons, but consuming wasabi should help you to breathe more easily. It helps open up your blocked nasal and throat passageways. It helps to alleviate the blocked sensation due to the fact that wasabi contains Isothiocynates which works as a decongestant.

This is why, if you are suffering from a sudden cold, you may want to try out wasabi as it can help to clear your current condition and will also provide you with immediate relief.

Stimulates bone metabolism:

Wasabi is rich in vitamins, proteins and antioxidants. Moreover, it is proven to have a beneficial effect on your bone metabolism and is known to prevent several bone and muscular disorders. It is also known to alleviate some of the crippling and debilitating conditions of osteoporosis.

So if you find it hard to walk, then eating wasabi should help to alleviate some of the more painful symptoms of this condition.

Fights fungal infections:

The antimicrobial properties of wasabi also work well to help you effectively fight off all fungal infections. So if you have been suffering from a painful and embarrassing condition such as a yeast infection, then consuming wasabi should help to alleviate the associated pain, discomfort and help to prevent this condition from spreading to other parts of your body.

Moreover, eating wasabi regularly should also help prevent fungal infections.

Can treat eczema:

Due to its antimicrobial properties and anti-inflammatory properties, wasabi is quite effective in treating eczema. Eating wasabi regularly should help manage your condition better while at the same time, assist in alleviating you of symptoms such as pain, itching, discomfort. 

Nutritional value:

Wasabi is nutrient dense and comes packed with vitamins A, B-6, C and riboflavin, which actually helps to prevent ulcers in the mouth. It also contains magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron. Apart from being packed with all the vitamins and proteins you would ever need, it provides more energy per serving than most food items. As a result, your endurance levels shoot up on eating wasabi and you would be able to feel the effects immediately.

The Bottom Line

This is why you need to make sure that it is part and parcel of your regular diet since it comes with wide-ranging health benefits. The great part about wasabi is that it can be incorporated into any food item and can be easily prepared with little or no difficulty. So for better health, better endurance levels and improved cardiovascular health, you need to start consuming wasabi regularly. But do note that wasabi is not some magic pill. You would have to work at it and ensure that you remain fit, in order to remain healthy. So what are you waiting for since wasabi is widely available and can be bought in any department store.