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Amazake Benefits, the Japanese Probiotic Drink that Helps You Lose Weight

amazake benefits
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Amazake is a traditional drink from Japan that helps with weight loss and intestinal transit.

The word amazake may not sound familiar to you but stick with that name if you want to take care of your digestive system and general health. Amazake is a traditional Japanese drink with a sweet taste and is made from fermented rice. It is part of the ancient Japanese cuisine along with miso, soy, or sake and is also popular in other Asian countries such as Thailand, China, and Malaysia.

Amazake means sweet sake, and it is made by fermenting rice for 24 hours so that the alcohol does not have time to come to light. This Japanese drink is very rich in probiotics. Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or enhance the good bacteria (called the normal microbiota) in the body and act as nutrients for the human microbiota.

This high level of probiotics helps our body regulate weight, so it is ideal to include it in a diet that seeks to lose weight. In addition, its good level of fiber facilitates this weight loss effect and is satiating, so it can help us fight the appetite between meals. Of course, we must not abuse it or use it as the basis of our daily diet.

It is a healthy and nutritious drink since it does not contain artificial additives, preservatives, salt, or sugar. In Japan, it began to be consumed in the third century, and the word already appears in the Nihon Shoki, the second oldest book on the history of the Japanese country. It is traditionally consumed at yatai or street stalls, and on New Year’s, it is the drink offered at Shinto shrines.

Amazake Drink Benefits

Japanese cuisine is ancient and is mainly based on health. In the case of amazake, its main properties are the digestive system since it is an exceptional probiotic. Among its many benefits, amazake is very easy to digest. It is a fermented food, which means that it is as if you were eating predigested rice, which facilitates movement in our intestines and avoids heavy digestion or abdominal swelling.

Rice polysaccharides and proteins are found in amazake in simpler forms, such as glucose and amino acids, which are easier to digest. Thanks to this property and its great contribution of fiber and oligosaccharides, intestinal transit works better, and constipation is avoided.

This also facilitates the absorption of nutrients and vitamins by our body. Among the vitamins in this drink are vitamins B1, B2, and B6, which collaborate in synthesizing fatty acids and are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates. To this must be added that it contains amino acids, which, together with proteins, are essential for the proper functioning of our body.

It also contains pantothenic acid (which helps convert the food we eat into the energy we need. It is important for many functions in the body, especially the making and breaking down of fats) and biotin (a vitamin found in foods such as eggs, milk, and bananas (Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss and weakness and rashes on the face), which have a great energy contribution, which will make you more active throughout the day.

Sugar Substitute

Due to its sweet flavor, amazake can replace sugar in desserts and fruit bowls. You can add it, for example, to your breakfast like yogurt to make it tastier and healthier. It is also perfect in sweet and sour dishes since it is not excessively sweet but very pleasant on the palate.

How To Take Amazake

This drink, known as Japanese yogurt, can be included in our daily diet in a very varied way since it is very versatile. You can have it as a dessert (as if it were rice pudding or ice cream, biscuits or yogurt), as a healthy snack, and even as a dressing in salads or cold dishes. You can even drink it hot or in shakes as a substitute for milk and with fresh fruit that will give it a delicious and highly nutritious touch.

Preparing it is by mixing the amazake with water and bringing it to a boil. You can add a touch of grated ginger to give it a more powerful flavor (in fact, this is how it is served in traditional Japanese Tea houses or street stalls set up at fairs or festivals in the land of the rising sun). Now they sell it there even as a packaged instant drink you can take anywhere.

The traditional amasake recipe has been made the same way for hundreds of years. Although you can find it ready to drink in specialized nutrition stores or Japanese products, it can be made at home and is not difficult.

Brown rice and koji ferment are needed. Koji is white (kome) or brown (genmai) rice, cultivated with a fungus called koji-kin, which is responsible for generating enzymes responsible for the digestion of complex molecules found in rice and soy into simpler molecules.

You can find it in specialized stores. You have to leave the rice to soak overnight and then cook it in a non-metallic container. Add the koji ferment and stir it with a wooden spoon. From this moment, the fermentation begins, so you have to cover it with a cloth and let it rest at room temperature. After 24 hours, the mixture will be more compact and homogeneous, and its smell will be sweet.

It is not necessary to exceed the marked hours since from there, and the alcohol comes out. It is boiled again to stop the fermentation. You can take it like this or pass it through a food mill so that the lumps are not noticeable.

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