12 Incredible Health Benefits of Wasabi
By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 29 June 2015 - 4:00 pm IST
Wasabi is a well known pungent root vegetable which is known to add a spicy flavor to sushi. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is used as a condiment in a variety of foods. It is well known for it’s strong aroma and can leave a lot of people with a burning palate for that matter. However, the plant not only has a powerful taste, but it also known for it’s powerful medicinal and healthy properties.
The health benefits of Wasabi includes reducing a risk of cancer and heart disease, anti inflammatory properties for the joints and muscles, prevents bacterial and viral infections, reducing the effects of seasonal allergies. The plant can also be used in order to treat respiratory problems as well as antioxidants which can boost the immune system and aids in removing the harmful toxins from the body.
The powerful smell and taste of Wasabi can be derived from its chemical makeup as well as high levels of Allyl Isothiocyanate. These chemicals work as a defense mechanism in order to fight against potential infections and diseases. Wasabi is usually used in Japanese cuisine and is grown mainly in Japan. The entire plant serves various purposes and can be used as a substitute for mustard.
Different Types of Wasabi:
The original Wasabi was cultivated for the first time in Japan and since then it has spread all over the world. Wasabi is basically referred to as in two major categories – the Sawa Wasabi and the Hatake Wasabi; depending on the different kinds of ways in which they are cultivated.
While the Sawa Wasabi uses the water from the mountain streams and the spring water, the Hatake Wasabi is grown in fields with the cool air and the high humidity. In both kinds, the Wasabi usually takes around 2-3 years to grow in the harsh conditions of the environment.
Wasabi grows while being subjected to different kinds of climates and soil conditions. This makes it possible for only a small amount of the plant to be grown, keeping intact the unique taste and aroma of the vegetable.
Generally, people confused Wasabi and Horseradish to be the same. Horseradish is grown in Eastern Europe and contains strong reproductive abilities along with its resistance towards pests. It takes around 8 months to reach at its complete maturity period. Upon grating, Horseradish turns white in color and contains a sharp, pungent smell.
Potency and Effects of Wasabi:
The pungent component found in Wasabi, known as Arirukarashi Oil, is known to contain certain anti bacterial effects which can suppress and inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms such as E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio Parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus along with a number of other bacteria responsible for food poisoning. The anti bacterial properties of Wasabi also make it quite efficient in inhibiting the growth of yeast and mold over it.
The pungent component found in Wasabi is also known to stimulate the flavor of the food and encourages the appetite of the person.
Major Health Benefits of Wasabi:
So, here are some of the major health benefits of Wasabi:
1) Contains Anti Microbial Properties:
Wasabi contains various anti microbial agents which help to fight against the bacterial infections. The Isothiocyanates present in Wasabi are known to prevent the growth of different strains of bacteria, yeast and mould. It is mostly cooked along with raw fish in order to eliminate the chances of a bacterial infection.
2) Contains Anti Inflammatory Properties:
Wasabi Paste is well known for it’s anti inflammatory properties as it helps to get rid of the inflammation around sores and injuries.
3) Contains Anti Cancer Properties:
Wasabi is often associated along with foods like Cabbage and Broccoli for its properties to improve the liver health. The Isothiocyanates found in Wasabi are well known to block the enzymes which lead the pre carcinogenic compounds to change into carcinogenic compounds. The chemicals found in Wasabi are also known to help neutralize the highly toxic substances travelling through the body, which leads to cancer.
4) Improves Cardiovascular Health:
Due to the ability of the plant to block the platelet aggregation, Wasabi is known to cut down the risks of heart attack and stroke. The plant works by stopping the platelets from sticking together, which can be fatal.
5) Treats Arthritis:
Wasabi contains anti inflammatory properties which are known to provide tremendous relief from aching joints. It also helps to stop the inflammation around the joints and prevents inflammatory bowel disease.
6) Prevents Cavities:
Wasabi tends to help get rid of the cavities in your mouth. The bacterium responsible for causing cavities is Streptococcus mutans, which is inhibits by the consumption of Wasabi. Wasabi is known to contain the growth of the bacteria due to the presence of the compounds Isothiocyanates. The compounds also stop the sugars from sticking to the teeth, which is also a leading cause behind cavities.
7) Works as a natural Sanitizer:
Wasabi is known to have a great tendency of fighting against the E. coli and Staphylococcus bacteria, which makes it a natural sanitizer.
8) Works as a detoxifier:
Wasabi works as a natural detoxifying agent by helping the liver to get rid of the toxins and the carcinogens. The photo chemicals present in Wasabi are also known to get rid of the toxic compounds deposited in the liver.
9) Is a low calorie food:
Wasabi, when prepared with peas makes for a low calorie food which is great for people who are looking forward to losing their weight. It also makes for a terrific snack substitute for chips, which are high in calories.
10) Aids and boosts Digestion:
Wasabi is a perfect food for people suffering from intestinal infections as it helps to remove the harmful toxins from the body. Wasabi is able to cut down the chances of a person to suffer from diseases such as Diverticulitis. It is also a rich source of fiber, which makes it great for people suffering from constipation.
11) Prevents Aging:
Sulfinyl, a compound released from Wasabi is a well known antioxidant which is known to help reverse the process of aging. It is also known to lower down the reactive oxygen in the body and fights against cancer.
12) Fights against Cold and Allergies:
Swallowing a lump of Wasabi is well known to clear out any blocked sinuses leading to cold, flu or allergies. Wasabi also releases Allyl Isothiocyanate, which is known to help fight against bacteria and works magic against agents causing flu and cold.
Wasabi and Weight Loss Regimen:
If you are looking for constant foods that can help you in your weight loss regimen, Wasabi is the food for you. I am sure that Sushi lovers would be finding this a treat for them, for Wasabi is used commonly in the preparation of Sushi.
The spicy green paste made from Wasabi works as a perfect condiment along with Sushi for your weight loss plan. This is a very uncommonly known fact that Wasabi contains a multitude of health benefits which can aid your diet plans. Records have shown that ancient Japanese used Wasabi back in the 8th century as a medicinal herb. Studies have shown that it contains many healing properties which help to suppress the bacteria known to cause digestive problems, gastric inflammation and even stomach cancer. These properties make Wasabi a popular condiment for patients suffering from inflammation.
Wasabi also works as an efficient natural appetite suppressant. The spicy components found in the vegetable are known to cause your metabolism to fire up which can help to burn the additional calories. Evidence has even suggested that the consumption of spices such as Wasabi is known to cut down your calorific requirement within 24 hours.
Irrespective of the fact that whether Wasabi is going to increase your metabolism and help with your weight loss, it is going to make your food even more tasty and interesting than before. It adds only a negligible amount of calories to your food. It can be easily included as a substitute to many different condiments which you generally use in your foods. Wasabi can be added to your favorite salad, could be used as a component to your barbecue sauce recipe or could be even used to marinate your chicken in!
So, get experimenting with Wasabi.
Side Effects of Consuming Wasabi:
Although the health benefits of Wasabi maybe a little overwhelming, there is one major thing that you should remember about the vegetable, and too much of it is not recommended. Wasabi contains a chemical component known as Hepatotoxin, which in large amounts could be toxic for your liver.
If you are allergic to Wasabi, you should be checking with your doctor before consuming it.