It's time to go green and swap your morning coffee for a cup of matcha! But what exactly is it, and why should we all be drinking the green stuff?
Hailed for its antioxidant properties, green tea is arguably a healthy alternative to a triple shot macchiato and health nuts have been sipping it for decades. However, research has shown that many of the insoluble nutrients synonymous with green tea actually stay trapped within the leaves which are thrown away when you drink it, reducing its superpowers somewhat.
Thankfully some Japanese health gurus have solved this dilemma. By simply grinding green tea leaves into a very fine powder, bingo! Matcha was born. The equivalent of 10 cups of green tea, matcha is fat-free, salt-free, naturally high in protein and fibre, packed with nutrients and reassuringly low in sugars.
Hailed as the most potent detox in the world, this Japanese antioxidant power-house is the one to watch. Still not convinced? Here are 10 more great reasons to go green!
Get the glow
Studies have shown that matcha delivers a huge dose of antioxidants per gram, which can help reduce tissue damage caused by UV radiation and pollution for a natural ‘anti-aging’ regime. Matcha also has true bioavailability, which basically means the body actually absorbs the nutrients consumed, giving your skin a delicious detox-glow.
Thanks to L-Theanine which prevents caffeine related spikes and downers, the endurance from matcha’s slow-release caffeine can last up to four hours as opposed to coffee and sugary energy drinks constant yo-yo.
Strengthen your immune system
Matcha contains trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), chlorophyll, and is a source of dietary fibre and has as little as three calories per serving. Research has shown that catechins present in matcha have antibiotic properties that build a stronger Immune System to defend against viruses.
Burn more calories
Research has also proven that matcha has been shown to increase thermogenesis, the rate at which we burn calories, from 10 per cent to 40 per cent of daily energy use. Matcha can boost metabolism and burn fat by up to four times without raising blood pressure or heart rate and it’s also alkaline, which helps your body’s PH balance too.
The green tea leaves used to make matcha are shaded at the latter stage of growth, which spikes chlorophyll and amino acid production. Chlorophyll fortifies the Immune System and also removes heavy elements and harmful chemicals from our bodies.
Actively fights cancer
Scientists have discovered that matcha contains EGCg catechins (antioxidants) recognised for their cancer fighting properties and studies show matcha contains 100 x more EGCg than any other tea.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Despite matcha containing a low 30mg caffeine, it is regulated by L-Theanine (amino acid), which doesn’t stimulate cortisol (stress hormone) like caffeine from coffee does. Instead, it promotes relaxed awareness without the drowsiness caused by other calming products.
Boost memory and concentration
It has been said that L-Theanine increases the production of dopamine and serotonin which enhances mood, promotes better concentration and improves memory for up to four hours.
Improves cholesterol balance
Medical research papers have shown that matcha can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Naturally high in fibre
Matcha contains a high level of dietary fibre which is absorbed straight into the body to help maintain a healthy gut. This is particularly important for stabilising blood sugar levels and easing constipation.
Try these delicious matcha-rich recipes:
- Green tea and zucchini noodles + sweet ginger sesame sauce with a twist
- Bloom Boost Experience Matcha Smoothie
- Vanilla bean quinoa matcha pudding with almonds and raspberries
Bloom has developed the world’s largest collection of tea powders, including eight different matcha green tea powders and three caffeine-free herbal tea powders, available at Holland & Barrett, Harvey Nichols, Ocado.com, Selfridges, Planet Organic, Wholefoods and BloomTea.co.uk