Wasabi: some people love it while others love to hate it. Whether you enjoy this famous, spicy paste or not, you can’t deny the major health benefits of this controversial food. For those of you who can’t stand the unique and, may I say, powerful, flavor of this secretly healthy food, have no fear – there’s something wasabi-coated for everyone. It’s bound to change your wasabi-hating minds.

1. Cancer Prevention


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Wasabi contains Isothiocyanate which is an antioxidant that has been proven to help prevent Leukemia and stomach cancers. It also helps stop tumor growth by “killing” cells. No, I’m not saying if you eat a tablespoon of wasabi a day, you won’t get cancer, but adding some into your diet, especially in the form of wasabi peas, won’t hurt.

2. Inflammation


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The same antioxidant isothiocyanate also reduces swelling, significantly reducing joint pain even in those with arthritis. It helps prevent osteoporosis too by increasing bone density. So, if your knees start to ache or you sprain an ankle, my advice would be… go eat some wasabi. Or at least try this awesome wasabi popcorn, you know, in case straight wasabi isn’t your thing.

3. Fights Bacterial Infections


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The antibacterial effects of this pungent root helps fight infections and even food poisoning. The anti-bacterial aspect of the root is now even starting to be included in anti-itch creams (probably not edible… sorry, wasabi addicts).

4. Cardiovascular Health


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Everyone wants a stronger, healthier heart. Wasabi contains anti-hypercholesterolemic which reduces strokes, heart attacks and lowers cholesterol. Having a healthy heart affects nearly everything else in your body, so it’s important to keep it strong. If eating some spicy paste increases my heart’s health then hey, I’m in.

5. Stomach Diseases


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From stomach cancer to food poisoning, this super root is said to suppress bacteria that causes severe stomach pain and cramps resulting in nausea and diarrhea. It seems ridiculous that a “spicy” food would settle an upset stomach but it’s the truth.

#SpoonTip: Wasabi is actually not considered to be spicy like a chili pepper because it attacks the olfactory senses instead of the tongue. It does not upset your stomach, so sit back and indulge on these wasabi snap pea crisps.

In order for these health benefits to actually be effective, make sure you are eating “real” wasabi. It is technically called Wasabia Japonica. Many places, especially in the United States, will use horseradish to make a wasabi-like paste. If you are eating this, you won’t receive all of the benefits, so make sure you do your research.

So with all of that being said, don’t go too crazy with the wasabi. Just like anything, moderation is key. Adding some of this “super root” to your diet will benefit you overall, and if you eat the snacks suggested above, I’m sure your taste-buds will thank you as well.