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Matcha Madness


You must of heard of it somehow of another, whether its through your healthy enthusiastic friend or your mum whos trying out every anti ageing tip there is, maybe every blogger ever has mentioned it. But I swear matcha inst just a crazy hippy health fad that should fad into the distance with slimming teas and protein spreads. Matcha is recommended by doctors and features heavily on the Healthline website. So here are just some of its fantastic benefits

Antioxidants

Matcha is rich in catechins, a class of plant compounds in tea that act as natural antioxidants. Antioxidants help stabilize harmful free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and cause chronic disease. When you add matcha powder to hot water to make tea, the tea contains all the nutrients from the entire leaf. It will tend to have more catechins and antioxidants than simply steeping green tea leaves in water.

In fact, by one estimate, the number of certain catechins in matcha is up to 137 times greater than in other types of green tea. One study showed that giving mice matcha supplements reduced damage caused by free radicals and enhanced antioxidant activity. Including matcha in your diet could increase your antioxidant intake, which may help prevent cell damage and even lower your risk of several chronic diseases 001844

Protect the liver

The liver is vital to health and plays a central role in flushing out toxins, metabolizing drugs and processing nutrients.

One study gave diabetic rats matcha for 16 weeks and found that it helped prevent damage to both the kidneys and liver.

Another study gave 80 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease either a placebo or 500 mg of green tea extract daily for 90 days. After 12 weeks, green tea extract significantly reduced liver enzyme levels. Elevated levels of these enzymes are a marker of liver damage.

Furthermore, an analysis of 15 studies found that drinking green tea was associated with a decreased risk of liver disease. However, it's important to remember that there may be other factors involved in this association. More research is needed to look at the effects of matcha on the general population, since most research is limited to studies examining the effects of green tea extract in animals.

Boosts Brain Function

Some research shows that several of the components in matcha could help enhance brain function. One study in 23 people looked at how people performed on a series of tasks designed to measure brain performance. Some participants consumed either matcha tea or a bar containing 4 grams of matcha, while the control group consumed a placebo tea or bar.The researchers found that matcha caused improvements in attention, reaction time and memory, compared to the placebo.

Another small study showed that consuming 2 grams of green tea powder daily for two months helped improve brain function in elderly people. Additionally, matcha contains a more concentrated amount of caffeine than green tea, packing in 35 mg of caffeine per half teaspoon (about 1 gram) of matcha powder. Multiple studies have linked caffeine consumption to improvements in brain function, citing faster reaction times, increased attention and enhanced memory.

Matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which alters the effects of caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption. L-theanine has also been shown to increase alpha wave activity in the brain, which may help induce relaxation and decrease stress levels.

Helps Prevent Cancer

Matcha is jam-packed with health-promoting compounds, including some that have been linked to cancer prevention in test-tube and animal studies.

In one study, green tea extract decreased tumor size and slowed the growth of breast cancer cells in rats. Matcha is especially high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties. One test-tube study found that the EGCG in matcha helped kill off prostate cancer cells. Other test-tube studies have shown that EGCG is effective against skin, lung and liver cancer. Keep in mind that these were test-tube and animal studies looking at specific compounds found in matcha. Further research is needed to determine how these results may translate to humans.

Protects Your Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for an estimated one-third of all deaths in people over the age of 35. Some studies have shown that drinking green tea, which has a similar nutrient profile to matcha, may help protect against heart disease. Green tea has been shown to reduce levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides. It may also help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, another factor that may protect against heart disease. Observational studies have also shown that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. When combined with a well-rounded diet and healthy lifestyle, drinking matcha may help keep your heart healthy and protect against disease.

Helps You Lose Weight

Take a look at any weight loss supplement, and there's a good chance you'll see "green tea extract" listed in the ingredients.Green tea is well known for its ability to enhance weight loss. In fact, studies show that it may help speed up metabolism to increase energy expenditure and boost fat burning. One small study showed that taking green tea extract during moderate exercise increased fat burning by 17%. Another study in 14 people found that taking a supplement containing green tea extract significantly boosted 24-hour energy expenditure, compared to a placebo. A review of 11 studies also showed that green tea reduced body weight and helped maintain weight loss.

Although most of these studies focused on green tea extract, matcha comes from the same plant and should have the same effect.

Matcha smoothie

SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

1⁄4 avocado

1⁄2 banana

1 sprig mint, leaves picked

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

1 tbs rolled oats (if gluten-free, use brown rice or quinoa flakes)

3⁄4 cup almond milk

30g vanilla protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.


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