IT SEEMS WASABI CAN HELP EVERYONE REMEMBER MORE, BOTH SHORT AND LONG-TERM MEMORY
I love wasabi, and pretty much find it synonymous with sushi of all kinds. Well, and those dried peas you can’t stop eating that can sometimes become tortuous. It wasn’t until I finally relented and tried sushi for the first time as a younger adult that I first had the green, spicy goodness that dissolves just right in soy sauce. Salty soy sauce, of course. The combination of flavors turned the idea of eating raw fish less from a dry heave into pure salivation. It’s hard to totally remember that day, yet in some ways that moment will forever live on. But speaking of memory, it turns out that wasabi contains a biochemical that gives a really substantial improvement to both short-term and long-term memory. And I can use some help with memory, as can we all.
A RESEARCHER IN JAPAN MADE THE STUNNING DISCOVERY, AND THE GARNISH BECOMES GOLD
A researcher at Japan’s Tohoku University looked into the health benefits of this spice green goodness discovered that wasabi showed measurable data on increasing memory retention. And if you’re wondering how this could be, I felt the same curious astonishment. The answer lies in it’s main active component, a biochemical called 6-MSITC, which is well-known as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Even more amazing, 6-MSITC can only be found in trace amounts everywhere else in the plant kingdom. In other words wasabi, besides being a spectacular flavor in Japanese cuisine, is a major resource for a rare nutrient that improves memory.
SUBJECTS WHO ATE WASABI EXTRACT FOR 3 MONTHS EVERY DAY SHOWED 18% JUMP IN EPISODIC MEMORY
The study was double-blind and randomized, and included 72 healthy people between the ages of 60 and 80 years. Half the group took 100 mg of wasabi extract every night before bed, the other half received a placebo (or nothing). After 3 months, the group that had wasabi extract showed quite significant boosts to working (aka short-term) memory, and longer lasting episodic memory. The researcher used standardized assessments involving language skills, concentration and facility doing simple tasks. And the numbers are, truly, astonishing. The wasabi test group’s episodic memory improved by 18%!
Apparently, we all may need to start shopping wherever you can buy wasabi itself, or wasabi extract. Now, if only I don’t forget to put this on my To Do List before I get any older.