Wasabi is a vegetable widely used as a spice due to its characteristic taste. It is part of the Brassicaceae family, to which other very popular and useful vegetables belong, such as broccoli, cabbage, mustard and horseradish.
Wasabi root is usually ground into a green paste, which is used as a seasoning for various dishes. But this plant has a number of useful properties that positively affect human health.
The nutritional value
Many people think that wasabi is just another seasoning that should be used only for culinary purposes. But this plant includes a large amount of healthy fibers and trace elements. Therefore, wasabi is often included in various diets.
This vegetable contains minerals such as sodium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and potassium - substances vital for the functioning of the body. It is very rich in thiamine, niacin, vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin A, folic acid and vitamin B6. Also worth noting is the presence of antioxidants, including isothiocyanates.
Wasabi Health Benefits
References to the worldwide popular seasoning were found in Japanese manuscripts dating back to the seventh century. At that time, it was used as a medicinal herb, and not as a dietary supplement. Recent studies show that the root fights various bacteria that cause diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Often it is considered as a means of preventing food poisoning, so wasabi is usually served along with raw fish.
Green paste made with wasabi is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that helps fight inflammation in wounds and ulcers. Exceptions are wounds in the mouth and nose, as in this case the root can provoke inflammation in these places.
On the other hand, the plant can reduce pain in the joints. It will therefore be very beneficial for people suffering from arthritis. Wasabi prevents platelet aggregation, which are responsible for discomfort and pain. This vegetable also blocks prostaglandins, mediators responsible for inflammatory processes and pain. The action of isothiocyanates, which are part of the product, helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma and intestinal inflammation.
One of the health benefits of wasabi is the prevention of cancer. Isothiocyanates block enzymes that convert precancerous compounds into carcinogenic compounds, called phase I enzymes. When you are using wasabi, the liver begins to actively fight against toxic substances that increase the risk of developing cancer. Isothiocyanates activate liver enzymes and remove cancer causing substances before they cause any damage to the body.
According to a 2002 study, isothiocyanates prevent the development of cells that cause leukemia. Another study in Japan in 2005 showed that wasabi compounds inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, which is a very common disease in the world.
A study in the American Journal of Nutrient Nutrition states that regular wasabi consumption can significantly reduce the chances of developing many types of cancers associated with the digestive system, as this plant contains very strong anti-cancer compounds.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Since one of the beneficial properties of wasabi is to prevent platelet aggregation, this plant significantly reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks. This is due to the fact that the adherence of platelets to each other is prevented, which is a critical situation for the body. This vegetable also helps prevent high cholesterol levels.
One teaspoon of wasabi root contains about 11% of the body's daily need for vitamin C. The human body is not able to independently reproduce vitamin C. It is for this reason that it is very important to eat natural sources of this substance. Recommended intake of this vitamin will help prevent colds and flu, as well as maintain adequate white blood cells.
Improves digestion and helps lose weight.
Around the world, a huge number of people suffer from obesity. It can cause a number of other diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
One of the benefits of wasabi is a low amount of calories and fat. At the same time, they provide the body with valuable nutrients and fibers, which contributes to natural weight loss. Dietary fiber promotes rapid saturation and has a positive effect on the health of the digestive system. Wasabi also contributes to the normal functioning of the intestinal tract, as it removes toxic substances from the body.
Excessive consumption of wasabi, like other foods, can cause certain health problems.
An excess of this plant can cause liver damage. This is due to the fact that the root of the vegetable contains a chemical component called hepatotoxin, which does not pose any danger in small doses. However, an excess of this substance leads to the fact that he does not have time to be processed in the body, which adversely affects the work of the liver.
In addition, a large amount of this product can increase blood pressure. And people suffering from hepatitis, gastric or intestinal ulcers, pancreatitis, and some other diseases may have complications. Therefore, you should eat wasabi in moderation.
This seasoning can cause allergic reactions, especially in those people who try it for the first time. If you have allergies, as well as during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should consult with your doctor about the possibility of consuming wasabi.