Matcha Green Tea – a superfood with a host of health benefits!
Matcha Green tea is the latest ingredient to get everyone in the office talking. A typical drink in Japan; Matcha is the stone-ground and more concentrated version of green tea used in their traditional tea ceremonies. The leaves are finely powdered and drunk rather than being discarded as with traditional green tea where only the infused water is drunk. With ten times the nutritional value of green tea, it is richer in antioxidants than any other kind of tea. The physical and mental health benefits are vast.
Matcha Green Tea gets its bright green colour from the high chlorophyll levels, which are a wonderful detoxifier. Matcha Green Tea also naturally contains caffeine which as we all know can help us to feel alert, and is why so many of us quite often rely on a morning coffee to help us with our focus and concentration for the day ahead.
For an energy boost matcha can feel more beneficial; because whilst containing caffeine, matcha creates an “alert calm” due to a natural substance it also contains called L-theanine. This induces relaxation without drowsiness. L-Theanine is the amino acid that promotes relaxation, happiness, energy levels and memory. A great feeling! Having a greater feeling of calm can help to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol we have present in our body, which is widely said to increase our appetite and amount of belly fat.
Many of you will also know that caffeine can temporarily rev up the metabolism which boosts thermogenesis and helps the body to burn calories and fat, which also can assist us in our weight loss efforts and shape management goals. Matcha has also been shown to help in blood sugar regulation, and a healthy metabolism is important, particularly for Diabetic individuals.
Matcha is most prized for being rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins, a type of antioxidant, including one in particular called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). They work towards helping to prevent ageing and chronic diseases. Antioxidants are the chemical compounds that can help the body’s defence in the fight against infection, and the effects of free radicals caused by chemicals such as alcohol and tobacco smoke, environmental pollutants, UV rays and radiation; all of which are immune suppressors, and can lead to cell and DNA damage.
Matcha is also rich in certain vitamins and minerals…
Potassium - For Cardiovascular health, fluid and electrolyte balance, and nerve function
Iron - For healthy blood
Vitamins A and C - For great skin and a healthy immune system
Calcium - For healthy bones
Matcha Green Tea recipes – Having Matcha Green Tea freshly brewed on its own is not the only way to incorporate it into your diet. It can be used in cooking, baking and smoothies. You might like to try adding it to some recipes to introduce its flavour and benefit from some of the goodness it has to offer. Here are some of our favourite ideas…
Matcha Green Tea Smoothie (Serves 1)
Slice 1 banana and blend with 5 ice cubes, add 1 cup of cow’s milk, and 1 teaspoon of Matcha Green Tea powder to your mixer, and blend until smooth.
That is your basic smoothie, master this and then you can get more inventive… Have fun making something healthy! Try using almond or coconut milk instead, or substituting some of the milk for natural yogurt. Why not try adding some oats or protein powder to the mix for substance, or some extra fruits and veggies for added flavour and goodness (avocado, pears, spinach, blueberries…) You could even add some cocoa powder to satisfy that chocolate craving and get an extra dose of antioxidants!
Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Mousse (Serves 4)
Melt 100g dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool. Next separate 2 eggs. Mix 2 teaspoons of Matcha Powder with the egg yolks and add to the melted chocolate. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff, then slowly add 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Add the whisked egg white mixture to the chocolate, folding it in gradually 1/3 at a time. Dessert Done!
Matcha Salad Dressing (Serves 2)
Boost your salads by making a dressing by combining the juice of 1 lime with 1 teaspoon of Olive oil, ½ teaspoon of matcha powder, ½ teaspoon of White Miso paste, and 1 teaspoon of Honey. Easy Peasy!
There are so many weird and wonderful ways to use Matcha in your diet, why not try using some in your cooking… Thai Green Tea Curry for dinner? Or try baking… Matcha Muffins anyone? Matcha Icing, Matcha cookies, Matcha milkshake… The list can be endless.
Let us know your favourite recipes to try.
Hellenia Matcha Green Tea Powder is a pure, raw and dried powder rich in phytonutrients which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Click here for further product details or to order now!