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Health Benefits of Wasabi

Updated on April 9, 2011

Wasabi is a kind of plant that is grown in Japan and people mostly use only its roots. It is used as a kind of pale green condiment that is usually put into various Japanese foods such as sushi. Wasabi flavor has been compared to mustard or horseradish and sometimes wasabi is called Japanese horseradish. But the flavor and smell of fresh wasabi are unique.

Wasabi has a very strong smell and flavor. When you put it into your mouth and exhale, you will receive a burning sensation at the tip of your nose.

We don’t need to go to Japan to taste wasabi. Many of products in general market and grocery stores have it. And Japanese stores are not hard to find nowadays.

Now let’s talk about the health benefit of wasabi. Wasabi consists of complex chemical mixtures and these chemical mixtures have the ability to help our health a lot such as:

Wasabi roots
Wasabi roots | Source
Wasabi prducts
Wasabi prducts

Cancer protection:

Wasabi, like many cruciferous vegetables, contain isothiocyanates which are formed during the enzymatic breakdown of glucosinolates. When wasabi root is macerated, glucosinolates are released from cells and then react with hydrolytic enzymes to form isothiocyanates. Many studies show positive association between isothiocyanate exposure (ingestion) and lower risk of cancer.


The same isothiocyanates that give wasabi its cancer fighting capabilities also help to reduce inflammation by preventing platelet application. Researchers hope that wasabi may be used in the future to fight inflammation associated with such diseases as arthritis, asthma, and allergic reactions. More research is needed in this area.

Heart disease and stroke risk prevention

Isothiocyanates extracts from wasabi have blood-thinning or anticoagulation properties. Blood thinners disrupt the physical aggregation of platelets. Blood clot (aggregated platelets) can act as embolus or a mass that becomes lodged in a blood vessel and obstructs it. An embolus is the primary requirement for the occurrence of heart attack and stroke in humans. Consumption of foods that contain high amount of isothiocyanates like wasabi can help decrease the risk of getting heart attack and stroke.


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    • normaiper profile image

      normaiper 5 years ago

      @fulloflovesites: Thank you :)

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 5 years ago from United States

      Haven't tasted wasabi yet, but I like spicy foods so someday I might try one. In Japan there's even a wasabi ice cream!

      Thanks for enumerating the amazing health benefits of wasabi. Voted up and useful :)