Friday, 17 August 2012

Healthy Beauty: Matcha

I have always been a big fan of green tea, but over the last few weeks I have become absolutely addicted to matcha! What is matcha you ask? Well it is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder. When you drink regular green tea, you throw away the leaves afterwards which is a bit like boiling spinach, throwing away the spinach and just drinking the water – you’ll get some of the nutrients, but you’re throwing away the best bit. Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid so you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every last bit of goodness!
One dose of matcha contains 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!  Antioxidant capacity can be measured by the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) and this shows us the ability of certain foods to protect us from free radicals, which cause ageing and general damage to our cells. Matcha scores very highly on the ORAC table, towering above many of our well-known super-foods such as spinach, blueberries and goji berries!

Matcha antioxidants
Apart from the regular benefits of green tea matcha also increases your energy levels in a natural way and can help boost your metabolism promoting weight loss, support the immune system, improve concentration and give you healthy skin!
I have only tried Teapigs matcha as I have been ordering tea from Teapigs for years and know they have great quality products. Their matcha is high grade and 100% organic so it is a little pricey at £25 for 30mg, which works out at £0.83 per cup, but I think it is well worth it. I have been gradually replacing my coffee with matcha and have definitely felt the benefits! It's a great energy boost in the morning and somehow I do feel that it supports weight loss/ maintenance, though this is of course harder to pinpoint!
If this is your first time trying matcha I would recommend purchasing the starter kit (£32.50 here), which comes with a little whisk, making it super easy to dissolve matcha in your choice of liquid. You can add matcha to any hot or cold drink, and even use it in food. The Teapigs website has lots of cool recipes from tiramisu to matcha martini!! I usually make my shot first thing in the morning by mixing one scoop with a little water, then adding vanilla flavour soya milk. Yum!

Have you ever tried matcha? Are you a fan of green tea? I am so excited to have discovered this and after ordering two more boxes can't rave about it enough. xxx
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