[Last Updated: April 1st 2013]
Wasabi is difficult to cultivate and real wasabi is quite expensive ($70 to $100 per pound). Due to its high cost, a common substitute is a mixture of horseradish, mustard, and green food coloring. Although the taste is quite similar they are easily distinguished.
Outside Japan, “real” wasabi is rare, and colored horseradish-based substitute is normally used instead. Consider both real and “western” wasabi as a spice with lots of health benefits. Here are 3 common health benefits of wasabi.
1. Antimicrobial Effects
Wasabi’s antimicrobial agents are responsible for killing bacteria and therefore
traditionally it’s been paired with raw fish. These antibacterial agents are
helpful in eliminating some germs that are responsible for dental/gum diseases.
2. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Some anti-inflammatory agents in wasabi may help to reduce inflammation in systemic,
respiratory and gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases such as asthma, arthritis
and inflammatory bowel syndrome. There’s a myth that wasabi clears sinuses, but
in fact, wasabi causes more inflammation in your nose and so don’t use it for
3. Anti-cancer Effects
Wasabi is linked with certain other foods like broccoli and cabbage, which contain a set of cancer-killing agents. Either you have real wasabi or western-wasabi, cancer-killing agents
such as Sulfur can be beneficial in fight/prevention of the growth of cancer