When the Japanese began brewing rice in the 3rd century, they unlocked a treasure trove of potentials.
This method resulted in sake, a traditional Japanese alcoholic drink made of fermented rice grains.
It was originally only brewed in Japan’s imperial court, but has since made its way to the masses.
Today, sake is a popular beverage all around the world. It’s clear and neutral-tasting, containing anywhere between 15 to 20% ABV per serving.
Sake can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and is commonly paired with Japanese food.
Made of essentially only rice and water, sake contains a number of health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of these health and beauty positives.
Sake is considered to be one of the healthier alcohols compared to other liquors. It contains 0 sugar and 0 grams of fat per serving.
In terms of calories, sake also ranks lower than beer and cider, containing only 134 calories and 5 grams of carbs per serving.
Sake contains several beneficial minerals, among which are:
In addition to this, sake is also rich in amino acids. There are 9 amino acids present in sake which can’t be found in other distilled liquors.
These nutritional contents contribute to some benefits for the consumer’s health.
Related articles: A Deep Dive into Sake
Potential health benefits
It’s important to note that the health benefits in sake are only applicable when consumed in moderation.
Excessive consumption can result in long-term health damages.
1. Source of energy
The aforementioned amino acids in sake contain protein, which provides you with extra energy.
It can also help you recover faster when you’re particularly fatigued.
2. Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure
When two or more amino acids combine, they form peptides.
Many peptides are present in sake, one of which can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
By extension, this can help prevent diseases like diabetes.
3. Aids the digestive system
Sake contains the elements alanine and glycillin, which can increase your appetite.
Additionally, you can also find lactobacillus in sake. This is a probiotic which helps with digestive issues such as diarrhea.
4. Improves blood flow
The adenosine in amino acids have the ability to dilate the blood vessels.
This results in an improve in blood flow and increase in body temperature by up to 2 degrees Celcius.
5. Aids memory and learning
You may associate alcohol with memory loss, but sake has been found to actually improve one’s memory and learning abilities.
In fact, sake can potentially prevent memory issues in old age, such as forgetfulness and dementia.
Related Article: Similarities and Differences Between Sake & Soju
Other benefits for beauty
Rice is essential to beauty in the Asian community. It does wonders on the skin, so much so that many skincare products contain rice in some form.
Some people even use rice milk as traditional skincare.
Because sake is made of rice grains, appropriate consumption may result in similar benefits for the skin.
However, when it comes to skincare, many choose to apply topically, meaning directly onto the skin.
In this case, it’s not actually the sake drink that people put on their skin.
The element beneficial for the skin when is actually the yeast used to ferment the rice grains in sake.
This ingredient is called galactomyces ferment filtrate.
Reduces blemishes and age spots
Melamine is an element in the skin which can cause blemishes and spots.
Fortunately, sake is rich in koji acids which can tamp down the production of melamine.
Acne and eczema may leave behind redness, discoloration, and inflammation.
Koji acids will also help soothe and even out the uneven skin tone which result from these ailments.
Brightens the skin
You may see your skin brighten over time with consistent and prolonged use.
Hydrates the skin
You would think that the alcohol content in sake would make skin dry, but sake actually has a hydrating effects thanks to its high amino acid content.
It’s even common for Japanese geishas to bathe in sake!
Nobody wants wrinkles, and many try to combat them from a young age. But how does sake prevent signs of aging?
The amino acids in sake, along with ferulic acid, protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Sun protection is proven to slow down the aging process.
This reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
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