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Sake is not only trendy, it’s smart. Discover its benefits. Kanpai!
Clean eating is big these days, so shouldn’t you do the same with your drinks? Sake, the traditional Japanese beverage, is made with only rice, water, yeast, and koji (a mold traditionally used to enhance the flavor of sake). This gluten-free choice is best shared with others so pour a glass and reap these benefits.
1. Sake may help reduce stress.
“In moderate drinkers, alcohol reduces the body’s physiological stress response where you can start to let go of worries and can live in the moment,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City.
See also Yoga Poses for Stress
2. Sake is heart-healthy.
“We know a small amount of alcohol can be beneficial when drank in moderation,” Blatner says. “[Sake] is considered a heart health food and a palate cleanser.”
See also 6 Tips for a Healthy Heart
3. Trade wine for sake and you may sleep better.
Compared with wine, sake has less sugar and less of the impurities and byproducts of fermentation in alcoholic beverages, called “cogeners,” thought to cause hangovers and disrupt sleep. Therefore sake may improve sleep quality, Middleberg says.
4. Sake is sans sulfites and tannins.
Good news if you’re headache-prone. If you skip certain wines because their sulfites and tannins (two ingredients common in some wine varietals) leave your head pounding, try sake, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, author of The Flexitarian Diet.
See also Pop These Poses for a Headache
5. Sake may make your skin healthier.
If sipping sake makes you less stressed, Middleberg says it may also have an impact on your skin. “A happier person tends to have a healthier glow,” she says.
6. Sake is culturally portion-controlled.
The Japanese’s affinity for all things tiny is a bonus when it comes to cocktails. While sake has about the same alcohol content as wine, the serving size is just 3 ounces, compared to wine’s standard 5 ounces, so you’ll be less likely to overindulge. “Just like all alcohol, some is good for you and too much is bad for you,” Blatner says.
INSIDER TIP Sake is often served warm in restaurants to make up for low-quality products. Instead, drink premium sake (look for the word “Junmai” on the bottle) chilled to enjoy its delicate flavors.
LEARN MORE ABOUT Clean Eating