Japanese chefs and cuisine experts have long known about the many wasabi health benefits that are afforded to them through some of the foods they eat. Wasabi is oftentimes served as a green paste that goes along with sushi, sashimi and other raw fish dishes. Made from a ground up root of a vegetable that is unique to Japan, wasabi is both a distinctive flavor ingredient and a wonderfully healthy component of a meal.
There are many misconceptions about wasabi. For instance, wasabi is not actually responsible for cleaning out your sinuses and opening your nasal passages; in fact, it actually does the opposite. Still, there are a few things about wasabi that are very helpful and which may come as a surprise. Read on for some of these health benefits.
1. Antimicrobial Effects
Wasabi may have developed as a way of flavoring sushi and other raw fish products because of its natural affects as an antimicrobial agent. Antimicrobial agents are responsible for eliminating bacteria. Because wasabi can eliminate bacteria through touch, it is oftentimes paired with raw fish. Raw fish is likely to have certain bacteria in it because it is not cooked before eating. Although wasabi does have these benefits, it is not a be all and end all for eliminating potential bacteria from raw foods; the only surefire way to do this is to cook those foods fresh.
2. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Although wasabi is actually known for causing inflammation in your nasal passageways which then leads in some cases to later congestion, wasabi paste as a whole is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent. Outside of yoru nose, mouth and related systems, wasabi can help to eliminate inflammation through other parts of your body. This will provide your body with a number of potential benefits and will make your infections, sores, injuries and other similar conditions which may bring about inflammation into less erious problems.
3. Anti Cancer Effects
Wasabi is linked with certain other foods like broccoli and cabbage, which contain a set of chemicals that help to promote liver health. This set of chemicals will enable the liver to better neutralize certain potentially toxic substances that move throughout the body. These substances can lead to cell mutations which may eventually contribute to cancer. Thus, by eating a wide mixture of wasabi laden foods, you stand to somewhat lower the risks of your developing cancer at some point later on in life.
All of these health benefits and others too can be found in wasabi paste. However, it's important to be sure that the wasabi that you're eating at a restaurant or that you've purchased in a grocery store is real. In many cases, restaurants and manufacturers of this paste will create a wasabi substitute from mustard, horseradish and food colorings. This does not provide the same set of nutritional benefits as real wasabi; these benefits are linked with the plant that wasabi is derived from instead. Make sure that you eat real wasabi if you're looking for these benefits.