Health Tips

Can Wasabi Boost Cognitive Health as We Age?

“Explore the potential cognitive benefits of incorporating wasabi into your diet as you age. Discover the unique properties of this Japanese condiment and its potential impact on brain health. Learn how wasabi’s natural compounds may contribute to cognitive well-being and consider adding this flavorful spice to your menu for a brain-boosting twist on culinary enjoyment.”

Wasabi, the vibrant green condiment traditionally served with sushi, is more than just a flavor enhancer. Recent research suggests it might hold the key to improved cognitive health in older adults.

Memory Boosting Potential:

A study published in Nutrients in October 2023 investigated the effects of wasabi supplementation on older adults’ cognitive function. Researchers from Tohoku University in Japan recruited 72 participants aged 60 to 80 and divided them into two groups.

One group received a daily supplement containing 6-methylsulfinyl hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MSITC), the major bioactive compound in wasabi, while the other received a placebo. After 12 weeks, the group taking the wasabi supplement showed significant improvements in episodic and working memory compared to the placebo group.

How Wasabi May Work:

Researchers believe 6-MSITC may work by activating the brain’s hippocampus, a region crucial for memory and learning. This compound might also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, protecting brain cells from damage and promoting their survival.

Further Research Needed:

While these results are promising, more research is needed to confirm the long-term benefits of wasabi on cognitive function. Additionally, researchers need to investigate the optimal dosage and potential side effects of wasabi supplementation.

Other Factors for Cognitive Health:

While wasabi holds potential for cognitive health, it’s important to remember it’s not a magic bullet. A well-rounded approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and stress management is crucial for maintaining cognitive function as we age.

Incorporating Wasabi:

If you’re interested in incorporating wasabi into your diet, here are some tips:

  • Start small: Wasabi is potent, so begin with a small amount and gradually increase it to your tolerance.
  • Mix it with other ingredients: Wasabi can be overpowering on its own, so try mixing it with mayonnaise, sour cream, or avocado to make a flavorful dip or spread.
  • Use it as a seasoning: Wasabi adds a unique flavor to soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Enjoy it with sushi: Of course, the traditional way to enjoy wasabi is with sushi. Add a small amount to your nigiri or sashimi for a flavorful and potentially cognitive-boosting experience.


While research on wasabi and cognitive health is still in its early stages, the existing evidence is encouraging. Wasabi, as a readily available and delicious food, could be a simple and enjoyable way to support brain health and well-being as we age. However, remember that a healthy lifestyle and consulting with your doctor remain crucial for optimal cognitive function.

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