A recent study in Japan found that regular consumption of wasabi may have a positive effect on mental performance, improving memory in older adults. Wasabi, which many know as a spicy green sauce that flavors sushi and rolls, is actually a product derived from the root of Eutrema japonica, common in Japan and the Far East. Due to its sharp and pungent taste, wasabi is often compared to horseradish and prized for its piquantness.
Researchers from Tohoku University, together with colleagues from Waseda University and other scientific institutions, set out to find out how much wasabi can affect mental processes in old age. The publication in the journal Nutrients covers the work, which involved 72 people aged 60 to 80 years old, divided into control and experimental groups. After conducting a twelve-week experiment, scientists found that regularly taking wasabi extract before bed improved memory and associative functions, such as the ability to associate names and faces, a task often faced by older people.
The positive effect of wasabi, according to scientists, may be associated with the content of 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate, a chemical compound that exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This discovery could serve as the basis for the development of new methods to support and improve mental performance in older people and provide new data for understanding the effect of foods on brain activity.