Search Term: " Wasabi "
Is Wasabi Healthy For The Body?
September 22, 2011 04:02 PM
In the modern world we are familiar with different kinds of cuisine and we even focus on it sometimes. How many newly opened restaurants have you seen in your local area draw a crowd or how many food festivals do you go to a year? We as a society love food and most of the time comfort food. With this enthusiasm towards food it’s hard to find a person that is not familiar with Wasabi.
Many consider this in a way as a comfort food in Japanese society and this is a food staple in most Japanese kitchens if not all of them. This is the common condiment to accompany any Japanese cuisine and it’s almost unfathomable to find a Japanese restaurant that does not have Wasabi in their condiment menu. Beyond its greatness as a symbol of Japanese cuisine it would also seem that it has other benefits, health benefits in fact, so let’s try to find out what those are. First though, let’s find out more about this well known food condiment and see it in another light.
What is Wasabi?
Wasabi in its most natural form pretty much looks like any other herb plant, green and leafy. Many times in the past it has been compared to be most like mustard and horseradish. The main thing that sets it apart is its unique smell. As one would expect the Wasabi plant is native to Japan and grows in its cool regions which are its mountain regions. In recent times though especially with the exceptional health of most Japanese compared to other cultures in the world the interest in Wasabi for health benefits has been more looked in to.
Wasabi Health Benefits
Wasabi has many positive effects to our body but number one on my list would be cancer protection. Many studies have shown that Wasabi is isothiocyanates rich which is a potent anti cancer chemical also found in broccoli and cabbage. This chemical is what gives Wasabi its cancer fighting properties because it is believed to activate liver detoxifying substances that aids in clearing the liver of substances that damages cells and ultimately cause cancer. In addition it also is able to do this without causing any side effects on cells and cause damage to it. It also has been proven over time and nowadays modern research that it has anti inflammatory effects.
The same chemical once again that makes Wasabi a cancer fighter is also what makes it an effective anti inflammatory. It also has the ability in certain studies to protect from platelet aggregation which in turn give Wasabi the ability to aid in heart health and help in the prevention of stroke. You also may have seen in the market today some antibacterial products, mainly soaps and hand washes that are Wasabi based. This should attest to the fact that Wasabi also has antibacterial properties and it seemed to have the right characteristics to stop certain strains of bacteria from growing and proliferating.
Grab some Wasabi today and reap the health benefits for your self.
October 28, 2009 11:39 AM
The horseradish plant is a perennial plant that is part of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard, Wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, the plant is popular around the world today. The horseradish plant grows up to five feet tall and is mainly cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. However, when cut or grated, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down to produce allylisothiocyanate, which often irritates the sinuses and eyes. Once grated, if the plant is not mixed with vinegar or used immediately, the root darkens and loses its pungency. It quickly becomes unpleasantly bitter when exposed to air and heat.
Horseradish has been cultivated since ancient times. The Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology told Apollo that horse radish was worth its weight in gold. Horseradish was known in Egypt by 1500 BC and has been used by Jews from Eastern Europe traditionally in Passover. The plant is discussed by Cato in his treatises on agriculture. It is thought that horseradish is the plant known as Wild Radish by the Greeks. Both the root and leaves of the horseradish plant were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages, with the root used as a condiment on meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. This herb was taken to North American during Colonial times. It is not certain as to where the name horseradish come from. Some believe that it derives by misinterpretation of the German Merettich as mare radish. Others think the name comes from the coarseness of the root. The common thought in Europe is that it refers to the old method of processing the root called hoofing, in which horses were used to stamp the root tender before grating it.
For at least two thousand years, horseradish has been cultivated. It was brought to America by early settlers and used to treat conditions such as pain from sciatic, colic, and intestinal worms. Horseradish provides antibiotic action that is recommended for respiratory and urinary infections. The volatile oil in horseradish has the ability to work as a nasal and bronchial dilator. Internally, it has been used to clear nasal passages, alleviate sinus problems, help with digestion, work as a diuretic, aid with edema and rheumatism, and cleanse various body systems. Also, horseradish has been used to stimulate digestion, metabolism, and kidney function. This herb helps promote stomach secretions to aid in digestion. Horseradish can be used as a compress for neuralgia, stiffness, and pain in the back of the neck. Additionally, this herb can be used as a parasiticide.
The root of the horseradish plant can be used to provide antibiotic, antineoplastic, antiseptic, bitter, caminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, hepatic, parasiticide, mild purgative, rubefacient, sialagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and P. Primarily, horseradish is extremely beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, circulation, coughs, edema, excessive mucus, sinus problems, internal and skin tumors, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, gout, jaundice, kidney problems, irritated membranes, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, skin conditions, water retention, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horseradish, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Detox your Body with Wasabi Rhizome
January 29, 2008 10:30 AM
The Wasabi rhizome, the underground fleshy stem of the Wasabia japonica plant, is prized not only for its fiery flavour but also its effect in detoxifying the liver. However, make sure that you are getting the real McCoy since many restaurants in the USA do not use the genuine paste.
The Wasabi is a plant of the cruciferous family, the same family as cabbage, broccoli, turnip, radish, horseradish and mustard, and is native to Japan and Korea and now grown on the Pacific coast of Canada. It grows best in temperate to cold climates, especially in mountainous areas where there are plenty of cold streams.
Anybody who regularly enjoys sashimi and sushi should be familiar with the Wasabi rhizome, that green lump of paste lying on the side of the plate. It is hot and fiery, although not in the same way as the chilli pepper that is fiery on the tongue and in the mouth. This tends to affect the sinuses more, and leaves a sweetish taste once the initial heat has dissipated. However, it is not always what it should be.
The last comment there refers to the practise, especially in the USA, of using dyed common horseradish as Wasabi paste, so be careful of that since the two are not equivalent in the health benefits they impart to your body. Although of the same family as the horseradish, and sometimes termed the Japanese horseradish, ordinary horseradish does not have the same health benefits as genuine Wasabi, and does not contain the same active ingredients so do not confuse the two.
Real Wasabi is normally used grated, and there are specific techniques that should be used to grate Wasabi rhizomes to bring out the fullness of the flavour. True grated Wasabi should be of a natural pale greenish color rather than the brighter green normally associated with sushi restaurant Wasabi.
Traditionally, Wasabi rhizome is used as a condiment with sushi, although their leaves can also be used in salad dressings and or as a delicacy pickled in soy sauce or sake brine. The genuine vegetable is difficult to cultivate which explains why ordinary horseradish is dyed and used in its stead, and the vast majority of non-Japanese do not know the difference because it is likely to be all they have consumed under the name of Wasabi. The health benefits of the genuine article, however, are considerable greater.
So that’s what it is, but what does it do? What are the health benefits of Wasabi rhizomes and why are they considered to be so good for your liver? Wasabi rhizomes contain substances that are very effective in detoxifying you liver, and that are also very strong antioxidants that provide you with good overall health benefits in their capacity to destroy the free radicals created by the pollution of modern living.
The active antioxidants in the rhizome are precursors of isothiocyanates, which are known as phytochemicals. These are chemicals that can protect or prevent diseases through its antioxidant properties. The term ‘precursor’ means that the isothiocyanates are synthesized by your body from the nutrients contained in the Wasabi rhizome. Other examples of phytochemicals that you may have heard of are carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols that also possess antioxidant properties.
Other antioxidants are vitamins A and E, which is why these are used in anti-wrinkle creams, since their anti-oxidant effect helps to prevent the free radicals destroying the skin cells in the dermis and epidermis that leads to the wrinkles associated with aging. Wasabi is equally effective as an antioxidant, although it has other properties that are important to your liver.
The liver is your body’s chemical plant. That is where most of the chemical reactions take place that are essential for life. If your liver is unhealthy you can develop diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, and a healthy liver is essential for life let alone a healthy life. Wasabi helps to detoxify and clean out your liver.
Apart from creating the wide variety of enzymes needed to process your food, and controlling the vast majority of the biochemistry of your body, your liver is also your detoxification plant that coverts toxins into biodegradable molecules that your waste disposal system can evacuate without harm. This occurs in two phases.
Phase I coverts the toxin to a form that your body can further process (the bioactive form), and Phase II breaks it down into a form that your kidneys can handle and eject it in your urine. Isothiocyanates are involved in the production of the enzymes that enable the chemical reactions of Phase II to proceed. They allow your body to cleanse itself of toxins, and without this process you would be less healthy and more prone to cancers and other undesirable conditions and diseases in your body.
It is becoming more important in this modern age with its increasing natural and synthetic pollution that your liver is working at peak efficiency. Your liver is equally as important to you as your heart and brain, and without it you cannot survive. Wasabi also contains glucosinolates that help the isothiocyanates to induce the production of Phase II enzymes, and it is general believed that eating this tuber cab help protect you against stomach, colon and breast cancers as well as help your cardiovascular system and blood clotting.
An interesting fact is how Wasabi rhizome came to be traditionally served with raw fish. The isothiocyanates precursors, and the glucosinolates that Wasabi also contains, apparently help to destroy the bacteria associated with raw fish, and help prevent disease and illness. It was likely found healthier to include a dollop of this green paste with your sushi than not, and so the use of common horseradish might be somewhat questionable if it has less of an effect.
Make sure, therefore, that your have the real thing, and apart from any specific health considerations associated with eating raw fish, you are best advised to take it as a supplement to help Detox your liver rather than visit sushi bars for your consumption. It will also help your wallet!
WasabiCleanse - Potent Liver Detoxification!
August 03, 2006 04:48 PM
Source naturals is excited to introduce WasabiCleanse, a powerful cleansing botanical that aids the liver in breaking down toxins. Wasabi familiar to most people as a fiery-sweet condiment that accompanies Japanese food has actually been used by herbalists in Japan since the 10th century.
Today, natural health researchers are rediscovering and confirming Wasabi’s stunning health benefits, especially its potent phytochemicals that cleanse and detoxify the body.
Wasabi is a member of the cruciferae plant family, which also includes broccoli, horseradish, kale, and cauliflower. Wasabi contains precursors to phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which induce the liver’s phase II enzymes. These compounds support the body’s ability to clean its self of impurities, particularly toxins stored in the liver’s fatty tissues. In today’s polluted environment, it is critical to your health and longevity that you cleanse these toxins from your body.
Wasabi Rhizome Cleanse - Supports Phase II Liver Detoxification - Wasabi Health Benefits
August 01, 2006 10:41 AM
Most people know of it as a pale-green lump on the side of their plates in Japanese restaurants—a hot, spicy accompaniment to sushi or sashimi. The fiery yet sweet taste perfectly compliments the saltiness of soy sauce and the cool delicacy of raw fish. But Wasabi is much more than a burst of culinary flavor, it has been used by traditional herbalists of Japan since the 10th century and is now being rediscovered by modern health practitioners for its stunning health benefits.
Wasabi has powerful detoxification properties, in particular, it supports the immune system and cleanses the liver. Wasabi contains precursors to phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that help remove toxic substances that are stored in the liver’s fatty tissues.
The rare Wasabi plant is a natural, potent support to a healthy, cleansed liver that in turn affects the detoxification and cleansing of the entire body. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this convenient, effective addition to your wellness program.
Wasabia Japonica - Rooted In Health
The Wasabi plant (Wasabia japonica) grows naturally in the mountains of Japan in the gravel and sandbars of coldwater streams and rivers. Rare and difficult to grow, it takes three years for a Wasabi root or rhizome to reach maturity. Because of its popularity, Wasabi is now cultivated hydroponically and in cold, wet environments outside of Japan, such as in New Zealand and Oregon. Traditionally, the rhizome was freshly grated at the table with a sharkskin grater, popular with dishes such as seafood or udon noodles. Now Wasabi is usually dried into powder form and made into the pale green paste familiar to most westerners. Often, however, restaurants do not serve real Wasabi; since it is so rare and expensive, a dyed horseradish paste is served in most American restaurants.
What makes Wasabi so special? It comes from a good family; the brassica vegetables in the cruciferae family include such health giants as broccoli, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. All of these are well-known detoxifying plants, and Wasabi appears to be the most amazing of them all, with detox capacities far beyond the others in the family because it is loaded with isothiocyanate precursors. This chemical not only gives Wasabi its famous “fire,” it is likewise a fireball of detoxification properties.
Phase II Detox
The liver detoxifies the by-products of digestion and other harmful substances through a complex series of chemical reactions often referred to as Phase I and Phase II Detoxification. Phase I enzymes begin the process by taking the toxic molecule and changing it into a bioactive form. This process breaks down toxins. A second set of enzymes, Phase II, then neutralizes the toxin and makes it water soluble for elimination. Wasabi, with its long-chain isothiocyanate precursors, induces the Phase II enzymes. Simply stated, it is the sparkplug that starts Phase II enzymes on their work. This process, all done in the liver, supports the body’s ability to clean itself of impurities.
Part of a Complete Wellness Program
In the modern world, with so many pollutants, it is critical to your health and longevity that you cleanse these toxic compounds from your body. Wasabi, along with a whole food, high-fiber diet and reduction of alcohol consumption, supports the liver— the largest of the vital organs and the key to the digestion and elimination systems and most particularly, the body’s ability to cleanse itself. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this exceptional product as part of your wellness program.
Depree, JA (1999) Flavour and pharmaceutical properties of the volatile sulphur compounds of Wasabia japonica. Food Research International: 31(5):329-337.
Morimitsu Y, et al. (2002) A sulforaphane analogue that potently activates the Nrf2-dependent detoxification pathway. J Biol Chem: 277:3456-3463.
Munday, R (2002) Selective induction of phase II enzymes in the urinary bladder of rats by allyl isothiocyanate, a compound derived from Brassica vegetables.
Nutrition and Cancer: 44(1):52-59.
Watanabe, M (2003) Identification of 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate as an apoptosis-inducing component in Wasabi. Phytochemistry: 62(5):733-739.
Rose, P (2000) 7-methylsulfinylheptyl and 8- methylsulfinyloctyl isothiocyanates from watercress are potent inducers of phase II enzymes. Carcinogenesis: 21(11):1983-1988.