Greetings Sake Lovers,
At KURAND SAKE MARKET, we see quite a wide customer demographic enjoying sake, from young to old, male and female, both native Japanese and foreigners.
Traditionally, sake was viewed as an older man’s tipple (we emphasize man). But efforts to make it appeal more to a younger audience and women are paying dividends. One thing that both young and old people, in particular women, have in common is that they are naturally very health conscious. It certainly helps then that sake is chock full of a number of health and beauty benefits. So much so that recent years have seen a bit of a boom in sake based health and beauty products.
In this article, we will look at the scientifically proven benefits of sake.
First a look at the beauty benefits of sake. Sake contains a-EG (α-Ethyl-D-Glucoside) a principal constituent of collagen, which has the power to suppress melanin, the cause of maculas and freckles. The koji (malted rice), another essential ingredient of sake, contributes kojic acid which suppresses melanin from forming and is effective in solving other skin problems.
And you don’t have to consume sake to take advantage of its beauty benefits. On meeting a brewer, the first thing that strikes you is how beautiful their skin is. Some male and female brewers have revealed that the secret behind this almost superhumanly beautiful complexion is the close contact their skin has with koji. Male brewers half jokingly claim that their wife / mother takes a bath in sake to keep her skin as white as snow. It’s hard to work out if they are joking or being serious, but this is not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, some breweries have even created their own soap from sake kasu (lees). It is even said that the reason sumo wrestlers have such beautiful skin because they regularly drink Japanese sake. Sake brewers (their wives and mothers) and sumo wrestlers – the message here is clear: if you want beautiful skin, drink sake.
Thermoregulation / Moisturizing effect
The umami component of Japanese sake, aGG (α- glucosyl glycerol) helps collagen and hyaluronic acid form which help stop moisture and heat escaping from the skin. Sake contain lots of amino acids, 10 times than wine, which are necessary components for the stratum corneum.
Improved Blood Circulation
Japanese sake is effective in raising body temperature. Body temperatures after consuming sake is 2-3 degrees more than for other alcoholic drinks. Sake is also effective in retaining body heat. An increase in body temperature makes the blood flow better and an increase in blood flow in turn stimulates the body’s metabolism, which also cleanses the body of waste products. And as an added bonus, improved blood circulation translates to more essential nutrients penetrating into the tiny nooks and crannies of the skin.
Increased blood flow will help prevent sensitivity to the cold. Warming sake enhances these effects further and can even prevent edema.
The kojic acid mentioned earlier is also effective in preventing aging that comes from increased cell activity. Sake also increases levels of urokinase which makes it harder for blood to clot and decreases tropoxanthin A2 which helps the blood to clot. It prevents senile dementia by improving blood flow.
Japanese sake contain more adenosine compared to other alcoholic drinks. Adenosine is effective in making sure blood vessels do not contract. Better blood flow relieves muscle stiffness helping you to relax.
Whether it’s the strangely soothing aroma of steamed rice, flowers fluttering in the breeze, or fresh mint aromas, the aroma alone of sake can be quite relaxing.
One of the necessary nutrients for the human body is amino acid. As mentioned earlier, Japanese sake contains large quantities of amino acids. These amino acids work at the upper part of the stomach to increase hunger, especially while eating and drinking, Japanese sake makes the stomach wall thick and strong.
The stomach will become strong, however if you eat too much it will have the opposite effect.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that sake is effective in preventing liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, digestive system, etc. Sake is effective in strengthening the activity of so-called natural defence cells which kill cancer cells. It has also been confirmed that Japanese sake helps suppress toxohormone, the secretion of cancer cells, from breaking down lipolytic substances.
Lifestyle Disease Prevention
Japanese sake is effective against the lifestyle disease, arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is caused by bad cholesterol, in the blood, the fallout of free radical induced oxidation called oxidative stress. Antioxidants in sake improve cholesterol by reducing this oxidative stress. In addition to Arteriosclerosis, sake’s ability to dissolve blood clots, makes it effective in prevention of cerebral infarction and myocardial infarction.
It is clear that sake has plenty of health benefits, but alcohol consumption has just has many negative benefits, so, as with everything in life, enjoy it in moderation. KURAND, we operate a self-pour system so that you can regulate exactly how much you drink and taste over 100 different types of sake at your own pace. Why not pop in the next time you are in Tokyo, we look forward to welcoming you soon.