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Matcha
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Matcha

Matcha is Japanese powdered green tea leaves called Camelia Sinensis. Shade provided during the growth process allows the plants to produce higher amounts of amino acids and bioactive compounds.

Matcha has several compounds that give it it’s distinct taste and it’s health benefits. These compounds account for almost 30% of its weight.

  1. Catechins: There are 4 main catechins, epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatecin (EGC), and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These catechins demonstrate the ability to neutralize free radicals and with its antioxidant properties and boost the detoxification activity of certain enzymes.
  2. Caffeine: The older the leaves when harvested, the lower the caffeine content. The caffeine content in matcha is the highest of the green teas. It gives matcha its potent anti oxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
  3. Phenolic Compounds: Have a high anti inflammatory and anti oxidant potential in addition to protecting the brain and reducing blood sugar. There is some studies that show that it inhibits cancer growth and prevents it’s spread. Some phenolic compounds can modulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism which may play a role in regulating metabolic disorders.
  4. Rutin: Works with ascorbic acid to strengthen the heart and blood vessels. It also has antidiabetic properties.
  5. Quercetin: This compound plays a role in insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. In combination with EGCG it has shown to increase anti-carcinogenic activity of both compounds.
  6. Vit. C: Plays a role in modulating our immune function.
  7. Chlorophyll: I have seen this compound being sold as liquid drops?! I like to just eat the plants which are rich in chlorophyll anyway and much more tasty! Matcha is no exception. Chlorophyll content is high in matcha due to growing in the shade. It has powerful anti inflammatory and anti oxidant effects.
  8. Theanine: This is an amino acid compound found in the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The high theanine content gives matcha its unique non-bitter taste.

It is important to note that it is not just one ingredient or compound that offers healthful benefits but an overall healthy diet that includes a wide variety of whole plant foods, in addition to sleep quality, physical activity, social connections, stress management. That being said, matcha can be a tasty addition to your day while bringing you many healthful benefits. Enjoy!

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