Matcha is a finely grounded, bright emerald green tea powder. The Ceremonial Matcha is a natural, organic green tea that has been an integral part of the famous Japanese tea ceremony. Originally from China, it was used as a drug for treatment of various ailments.
Matcha green tea was originally grown in China and was introduced to the Japanese in the year 1191 by a monk, Eisai. The Zen monk planted the tea seeds, and it greatly flourished, and so did the use of the Matcha as a meditation aid as well as the adoption of the tea ceremony rituals. Over time has been the central part of the Japanese cultural rituals.
So How Different is the Matcha Green Tea from Other Green Teas?
The Japanese matcha comes from similar species, Camellia Sinensis, as all other teas, but about four weeks before it’s harvested, the tea field is shaded with bamboo. This shading technique results in a 90 percent sunlight reduction. The plant now growing in semi-dark conditions produces a lot of chlorophyll in compensation of low sunlight making the tea leaves rich in amino acids, L-Theanine. Unlike other green teas, matcha is briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation, thus leading to preservation of nutritional content and flavor and is usually drunk in powder form.
Nutritional Value of the Organic Matcha Powder
A serving of Organic Matcha Powder is nutritionally comparable to ten cups of ordinary green teas. According to Komes, Dranenka, et al., Matcha is rich in super antioxidants activities such as the catechins, polyphenols, and chlorophyll. Besides that, it’s a source of Vitamins B complex, A, C, K, and E as well as trace elements. The presence of the amino acids such as the theophylline and L-theanine makes Matcha a nutritional powerhouse with incredible benefits.
Benefits of Organic Matcha Powder
Antioxidant Activity: Matcha is rich in antioxidants. As the human body’s cleanup crews, antioxidants protect against the harmful free radicals responsible for tissue damages, aging as well as agents of inflammatory diseases. Antioxidants significantly increase metabolisms, lowers blood cholesterol and controls the blood sugar levels. Based on ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), Organic Matcha Powder ORAC value is 1384 as per the gram basis. To put into perspective, Organic Matcha Powder has more antioxidant activities than all the polar antioxidant rich foods when even combined. The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechin and polyphenols in organic matcha powder, helps to reduce inflammations while maintaining the health of the arteries as well bringing about regenerations of body cells.
Type 2 diabetes: Organic Matcha tea is valuable in the maintenance of healthy metabolisms in diabetic persons. The antioxidants present in the matcha powder reduces the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and the contents of the hepatic glucose. Research done by Wolfram, Swen in 2007 on diabetic subjects administered with organic matcha showed that Matcha exerts inhibitory actions against the hepatic and renal damages by restraining the accumulations of glycation end by products in the human kidney.
Cardiovascular health: A study carried out by Kim, Hae-Suk, et al. in 2013 demonstrated that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in the organic matcha powder significantly reduced the total LDL cholesterol and the total serum cholesterol in the blood. The said catechin reduces the accumulation of lipids, thus promoting autophagy of the vascular endothelial cells.
Improves Memory and Prevents Dementia: Based on De Mejias, et.al study on Brain, behavior, and immunity carried out in 2009; there is no doubt that Organic Matcha Powder tea, improves the functions of the brain. Catechin found in Matcha is effective in protecting the neurons against degenerations, thus lowering the potential risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s is often associated with the death of the Dopamines which are responsible for the productions of neurons in the human brain. Alzheimer’s on the hand causes deterioration of the human brain resulting in dementia.
Sustained & Focused Energy: Organic Matcha Powder contains essential amino acids, particularly L-theanine. According to Kimura, Kenta, et al., L-Theanine promotes relaxation naturally while heightening the concentration thus significantly reducing anxiety and enhancing moods. Besides that, it stimulates the productions of alpha wave activities in the human brain, resulting in a state of calmness and alertness. It’s no wonder; the matcha was always used by the Buddhist Monk before meditations and the Samurai warriors before a battle or wars as a health elixir.
Metabolism & Weight Loss: The epigallocatechin gallate EGCG catechin in matcha is mainly known for boosting the rate of metabolism by regulating weight through oxidation of the fat and thermogenesis. In fact, the concentration of the EGCG is far much greater in Matcha than other average green tea. According to Cooper, Raymond, D et.al article, the catechin promotes the productions and excretions of cortisol, the human body’s fat storage, and stress hormone. Research done by Anderton R. Christopher and David J. Weiss in 2003 shows that ECGC increases caloric burns and significantly alters the levels of the hunger hormones, eventually reducing appetite.
Natural Detoxification: Organic Matcha Powder’s green color is due to the abundance of chlorophyll, which is widely known as a natural detoxifier. A study carried out by Le Galls, Gwénaëlle, Marianne Defernez and Ian J. Colquhoun in 2004 suggests that the chlorophyll found in the matcha increases the capacity of the blood in delivering oxygen and other significant nutrients to the body cells. Thus, it cleanses and regenerates the body at both the cellular and molecular levels. Additionally, it contains dietary fiber, an important detoxifying agent which controls and regulates the blood sugar level, eases digestions as well as controls appetite.
Choosing a Good Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Here are a few significant things to consider.
Always buy from a certified organic product. You should buy products that are free from the harmful effects of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals used in the products of the non-organic products. A good Organic Match Powder product should be organically certified and should be from Japan since their organic certification is stricter than other countries. Japanese organic matcha powder is the best, not just due to its superior taste but rather due to the traditional methods that are used in the Japanese production of the Matcha.
The better the quality of the matcha the greener and finer the powder should be. A high-quality powder will significantly give a much creamy taste and smoother than the low-quality products. Besides the poor nutritional value in the Poor quality of organic matcha powder, it will result to a green tea that is bitter, coarse and potentially gritty when drank. In essence, choose a high-quality product from certified suppliers and producers of the matcha products.
Is There Any Negative Implication with the Consumptions of Organic Matcha Powder?
Organic Matcha Powder may contain some caffeine that may trigger allergic reactions in some people. They may include cardiac arrhythmia and diarrhea. Thus, if you are trying for the first time, it is advisable that you ensure natural vigilance before consumption.
Andertons, C. R., & Weis, D. J. (2003). Determinations of the Catechin in the Matcha by the Micellars Electrokinetics Chromatography. Journals of the Chromatography A, 1011(1), 174-181.
Coopers, R., Morrés, D. J., & Morrés, D. (2005). The Medicinals benefit of the green tea: Reviews of the non-cancer health’s benefit. Journals of the Alternatives & Complement Aries Medicines.
De Mejias, E. G., Puangpraphants, S., & Ramirez-Mare, M. V. (2009). Bioactives Component of Green Teas: Inflammation, Cancers, and Behavior. The Brain, behaviors, and immunity.
Le Galls, G., Defernez, M, &. Colquhouns, I. J. (2004). The Metabolites Profilings Using the 1H NMRs Spectroscopys for the Quality Assessments of Camellia sinensis (L.). Journals of the Agricultural and Foods Chemistry.
Wolframs, S. (2007). The Effects of EGCG and Green Tea on Metabolic health and Cardiovascular. Journals of the American College of Nutrition’s, 25(5), 393-399.
Kims, H. S., Jang, J. H., Montana, V., Kim, A.J. A. & Parpura, V., (2013). EGCG Stimulation on Autophagy of the Vascular Endothelial Cell: Probable Roles for Reducing the Accumulations of Lipid.Journal of Biological’s Chemistry, 288(31), 22693-22705.
Kimura, K., Juneja, L. R., Ohira, H & Ozeki, M.,. (2007). L-Theanine Decreases the Physiological and the Psychological Stresses Response. Biological Psychologies, 75(1), 38-46.
Komes, D., Belščak, A., Ganić, Vulić, I. & Horić, D., K. K., (2010). Green Tea Preparations and its Influences on the Contents of Bioactive Compound. The Food Researches International, 43(1), 167-176.
Yamabe, N., Hur, Yokozawa, T. J. M., & Kang, K. S. (2010). Matcha, Powdered Organic Teas, Ameliorate the Progressions of Hepatic and Renal Damages in Type 2 Diabetic OLETF Subjects. Journals of the medicinals foods, 13(3), 716-726.
Writer: Dr. Ellian (Nutritionist)
According to different researches and studies carried out by the Center for Disease Controls (CDC), 27% of most people get slightly more than three servings of vegetable daily. Most people are aware of the nutritional benefits of eating fresh vegetable and fruits so as to achieve optimal detoxification and health. However, many people are still not conscious of the numerous benefits of drinking organic wheatgrass juice. For many years, organic wheatgrass juice has been over hyped as a powerful super food. Amongst the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians, it was a staple in their diets. In the 1950s, Dr. Ann Wigmore, a nutritionist and a whole-foods advocate, began the organic wheatgrass juicing therapy so as to help treat people with chronic ailments.
What is Organic Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the youngest grass of the typical wheat grass plants, the Triticum aestivum. Since the juice is commonly extracted from sprouts of wheatgrass, it is gluten free. This edible gluten free grass is prepared as juice, or a powder concentrate in the forms of capsules, tablets, and pills. Like most plants, organic wheatgrass contains amino acids, minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, and enzymes. Claims and assertions about the health benefits of this organic wheatgrass juice range from providing supplemental nutrition to its distinctive healing and curative functions.
Nutritional Analysis of Organic Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is an excellent source and the richest natural source of many vitamins, minerals, and liver enzymes. According to Mujoriyas, R., & Bodlas, R. B. (2011) article, Studies on the wheat grass and the Nutritional values, organic wheatgrass contains 98 of the whole 102 essential elements found in the soil. Inclusive of iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, enzymes, and nineteen amino acids. All of which are in equivalent ratios, optimal for the human body. Besides that, it contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and the Complex B.
Organic wheatgrass is heavily loaded with 70% chlorophyll, a phytochemical. It has a molecular structure that is nearly identical with the hemoglobin molecules of the human blood. Organic wheatgrass also has beta-carotene that is found in green, red and yellow pigmented vegetables and fruits. Beta-carotene always acts as a scavenger and protector against harmful molecules that naturally flows through the human body. Organic wheatgrass also helps in eliminating the toxins inhaled from air pollution, cigarettes smokes and other pollutants.
Besides that, organic wheatgrass is a complete source of organic protein, providing all the essential amino acids. Almost 20% of the total calories come from the protein. The protein in wheatgrass is usually in the forms of poly peptides, which are shorter and simpler chains of amino acids the body requires and use more efficiently in the human blood tissues and streams. In addition to saturating the body with high therapeutic dosages of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes, organic wheatgrass is a great and powerful detoxifier, especially in the liver and the blood.
Benefits of the Organic Wheatgrass Juice
Due to its nutritional component, wheatgrass serves your body with various nutrients your body needs for proper functioning. Numerous studies and its distinctive nutrients and antioxidants shows of its health benefits as listed below:
Singh et.al in 2012 on the therapeutic potential of Organic wheatgrass states that organic wheatgrass helps your body to build the red blood cells. The red blood cells in return help to transport oxygen to each cell in the body especially in patients with thalassemia blood disorders. The chlorophyll in the organic wheatgrass has a similar molecular structure of the hemoglobin which is contained in the red blood cells. The organic wheatgrass feeds and purifies the body by oxidizing the white blood cells, thus boosting the immune system of the body.
The chlorophyll content of organic wheatgrass washes drug deposits and toxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury in the body, thus purifying the organs and the blood stream. Due to the high chlorophyll component, wheatgrass is high in oxygen. The body tissues and the brain functions at optimal levels in a highly oxygenated environment.
According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, wheatgrass arrests the growth and development of unfriendly bacteria.
The high contents of magnesium in wheatgrass help to restore fertility and balance the sex hormones. P4D1 found in organic wheatgrass has an impact on the DNA sperm cells, thus influencing the fertility.
Meyerowitz, S. (2006), Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicine article recommends the use of wheatgrass for its antiseptic benefits. The article proves that it helps to clear odors, heal wounds, and neutralizes strep infections, curation of sinusitis, treatment, and cure of ear infection. Also, the article highlights its properties in the hastening of grafted skins, reductions of varicose veins, elimination of impetigo, reduction of typhoid fevers and advanced treatment of pyorrhea.
A small amount of organic wheatgrass prevents tooth decay and eliminates toothaches by pulling out poisons from the gums.
For a sore throat, gargle with organic wheatgrass juice.
Drinking organic wheatgrass juice helps reduce skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
Dr.Birscher, a research scientist, says that wheatgrass increases functioning of the heart by decreasing the high blood pressures thus enhancing the blood capillaries.
It lowers free radical damaging. According to Living Life, the Natural Way- Wheatgrass and Health article done by Rana et.al in 2011, organic wheatgrass has antioxidants that help lower free/radical oxidation damages responsible for the disease. Studies show that wheatgrass inhibits lip peroxidation in the liver thus protecting mitochondria in the cells. This is in conjunction to reduced inflammation thus lowering the risks of development of diseases such as liver and heart disease and cancer. Some of the antioxidants in organic wheatgrass are flavonoids, sulfonic acids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, anthraquinones and phenolic compounds. Besides, it helps in the treatment of Alzheimer’s due to its high oxidants levels.
Protects against cancer and raises immunity. Based on research done in Israel by the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Units, organic wheatgrass demonstrates anti-cancer potentials via its mechanism in inductions of apoptosis. Its overall immune functions include fighting off the oxidative stress and immunological activities which contribute to mutations of cells.
Padalias et.al in 2010 on the multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood) shows that organic wheatgrass is a medicinal plant for blood vessels and heart by treating hyperlipidemia. It does this by lowering high triglycerides and cholesterol levels. A study examined the effects of organic wheatgrass on rabbits fed on high-fat diets which promoted hyperlipidemia. The high-fat diet led to hyperlipidemia with reduced levels of glutathione and vitamin C. However, with the supplementations of organic wheatgrass, there were reduced total cholesterol levels and improved glutathione and Vitamin C levels.
How Much Should Organic Wheatgrass Juice Be Consumed?
According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, one to two Ounces daily should be taken preferably before a meal.
Possible Side Effects of the Consumption of Organic Wheatgrass
It is crucial to understand that too much intake of wheatgrass causes headaches, mild nausea especially when a person starts the wheatgrass therapy on a regular basis. However, this is attributed to detoxifying effects of the organic wheatgrass therapy. Some people possess allergic reaction toward the wheatgrass. Since the wheatgrass is a raw food, there might be possible bacterial infections and diarrhea upon consumption.
Meyerowitzs, S. (2006). Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicines: The Guide to the Use of Grasses to Rejuvenate Your Health. Sproutmans Publications.
Mujoriyas, R., & Bodlas, R. B. (2011). Studies on the wheat grass and the Nutritional values. Food Sciences and Quality’s Management, 3, 1-9.
Padalias, S., Drabu, S., Rahejas, I., Guptas, A., & Dhamijas, M. (2010). Multitudes potentials of the wheatgrass juices (Green Blood) The Chronicle of beginning scientists, 1(2), 23-28.
Rana, S., Kambojs, J. K., & Gandhis, V. (2011). Living life in the most natural way–Wheatgrass and the Health. Functional foods in the health and diseases, 2(10), 434-557.
Singh, N., Vermas, P., & Pandey, B. R. (2012). The therapeutic potential of organic Wheat Grass in the preventions and treatments of chronic disease. The International Journals of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Researches, 4(1), 10-14.
Author: Dr. Ellian (Nutritionist)