Amazake, is a fermented beverage, that has been a popular part of Japanese culture for over 1000 years.
The drink is usually non-alcoholic, sweet-tasting, and flavorful, but it’s more than just an enjoyable beverage.
It comes with a host of health and beauty benefits.
Let’s uncover all about Amazake and what it can do for you.
What’s in Amazake?
Before we get into the Amazake benefits, let’s talk about what Amazake is.
Amazake is made from Koji—white mycelium— grown from cooked rice. The mycelium develops from a mold called Aspergillus oryzae.
The mold is then mixed with cooked rice and water.
Here is how to do it:
- Pour some water into a pot then heat it, usually to 140 °F – 149 °F
- Mix the Koji into the water and set it aside, preferably in a thermos.
- Leave the mixture to ferment in the thermos for about 6 – 8 hours.
- If it’s not sweet enough, warm the drink to 140 °F – 149 °F, then leave it to restart the fermentation process.
- When it cools down, put it into the refrigerator and use it within the week.
Alternatively, buy a batch from the store.
Keep In Mind – Store-bought Amazake may not be all that it’s hyped up to be since it contains preservatives that may negatively affect your health.
Depending on your preferences, you can make it from brown or white rice.
When it’s done cooking, you let it cool and then drink it as it is or dilute with more water.
Still, it works perfectly as a base to create other healthy and delicious beverages full of Amazake benefits.
For Instance: Add a bit of honey, fruits, soymilk with cinnamon powder to Amazake to make a delicious smoothie.
Nutrients Found In Amazake
Fiber and Carbohydrates
Whether it’s made with white rice or the brown version, Amazake is full of fiber.
However, brown rice has a lot more fiber (about 5.5 g in every half cup) than the Amazake from white rice, which has about 2g in every cup.
Half of the carbohydrates that make up Amazake are maltose, while the other half is made from complex carbohydrates.
Good to Know – Maltose is a simple carbohydrate known as a disaccharide that gives the body energy.
These carbohydrates are digested slowly by the body, so Amazake has a low glycemic index, meaning that the body absorbs the sugars slowly, keeping you fuller for longer.
Nutrients and Minerals
Amazake is chockful of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Here’s some of the good stuff you’ll find in Amazake:
- Kojic acid which suppresses melanin formation.
- Vitamin B2 which is responsible for fat metabolism, mucous membrane protection, and relieving stomatitis.
- Ferulic acid, an anti-oxidant.
- Vegetable fiber an excellent fiber for the digestive tract that works by coating the intestines to create a preventative barrier against the body absorbing excess sugar and fat.
- Cysteine, an amino acid that is one of the main components of keratin.
Quick Note: Keratin is the protein responsible for hair health.
- Biotin, a vitamin that takes part in the production of the collagen responsible for hair and skin health.
- Vitamin B6, one of the most important vitamins for maintaining the nervous system. It also assists in skin, hair, and tooth health.
- Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid, another B vitamin for the nervous system which is nicknamed the anti-stress vitamin.
- Folic acid which is an essential substance in the formation of blood.
- GABA amino acid which plays a role in the nervous system, blood pressure, liver, and kidney function.
Amazake contains enzymes, mainly amylase and protease, that break down food into substances absorbable by the body.
Amazake Benefits to Your Health And Well Being
Here are the main benefits of Amazake.
1. Maintaining Healthy Skin
Amazake helps to keep the skin healthy.
It contains many B vitamins, which are essential for helping the skin regenerate and produce new cells. This helps to keep the skin looking young and vibrant.
In Addition – It contains other vitamins such as biotin, which help with collagen formation.
Collagen is the protein substance that gives skin elasticity.
The more collagen you have, the better the bounce and youthfulness of your skin.
This remarkable drink also has antioxidants such as ferulic acid, which slow down aging. They also assist the body get rid of free radicals.
What are Free Radicals?
Well, free radicals accumulate in your body when food breaks down and when you are exposed to smoke and other harmful substances.
They make the body age much faster than it should.
The antioxidants in Amazake help to keep your skin wrinkle-free and supple-looking.
On Top of That: Kojic acid helps prevent excess build-up of melanin, keeping your skin fair and bright giving you a radiant complexion.
2. Improves Digestion and Gut Health
Amazake is rich in fibers that help to improve the digestive system and how the intestines work.
Since the drink is fermented, it aids the production of good bacteria (probiotics) that promote digestion.
The fermentation process also makes the food nutrients readily available to the body. The food is predigested, so it’s easy for the body to complete the process faster.
Studies have also shown that the Koji used to make Amazake has a lot of prebiotics associated with a reduction in obesity and hypertension.
Additionally – The main active enzymes (amylase and protease) help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into smaller substances that your body can use.
The enzymes also help speed up metabolism, which assists in regulating weight.
The digestive power of Amazake is significant because our gut and the brain are intricately related.
If you’re bloated and suffering from indigestion, it affects how you think and function.
For Instance: Digestive issues can lead to anxiety, depression, and many other emotional problems.
3. Immune Booster
As mentioned earlier, Amazake is packed with vitamins such as vitamin B and C.
These vitamins are essential for nourishing the body’s immune system.
A stronger immune system helps fight off sicknesses and diseases such as colds.
The drink is also an excellent alternative remedy to help with colds and flu.
From Experience – If you’re feeling under the weather, try sipping on Amazake with or without a bit of ginger to help you get back into tip-top shape faster.
Health experts have also linked Amazake with the prevention of stomach ailments by acting as a protective barrier that keeps toxins at bay.
Substances such as GABA and vitamin B5 are also critical to improving the nervous system.
Further, a study found that Amazake improved the white blood cell count in patients with liver cirrhosis.
4. Fatigue and Hangover Recovery
Amazake is quickly absorbed by the body, helping to increase hydration levels and improving recovery from exhaustion, heat stress, and hangovers.
The vitamin B in the drink also assists in reducing the feelings of fatigue and tiredness.
What’s more, it helps you sleep better, so you can wake up refreshed every morning.
5. Hair Growth
Some substances in the Amazake help in the production of keratin – the protein responsible for strengthening your hair.
Your hair is stronger, less prone to breakage, and grows longer with more keratin. In addition, it will look healthier and have more bounce.
Apart from Drinking It: You can also use it when shampooing your hair to detangle and make it look better. Remember to wash it off before you dry your hair thoroughly.
6. Substitute for Sugar
Amazake is the perfect healthier option to lower your artificial sugar intake if you have a sweet tooth.
Substitute it with sugar when baking or cooking to give your food that sweet taste you crave, minus the unhealthy side effects of sugar.
Side Note – Even though it’s a natural replacement for sugar, take it in moderation, especially if you have diabetes.
Too much of anything, no matter how natural it is, can cause more harm than good.
Aptly named the super drink or the drinkable IVF, the Amazake is one of the best beverages you can take for your health.
So go ahead and try this amazing traditional Japanese drink to benefit from all the fantastic Amazake benefits.
If you’re more interested in less healthy drinks. Take a look at the most popular beers in Japan here!
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