MATCHA; THE WORLD’S SUPERTEA

matcha1All around the world, everyone is talking about Matcha. People are seemingly obsessed by this miracle elixir. Celebrities, models and their tribes are all toting jars of the matcha green tea into their daily lifestyles. Japan’s valued green tea has been named one of the most powerful superfoods. Traditionally and widely used in most Japanese ceremonies, matcha is not your typical green tea. It is the highest quality high grade and concentrated powdered green tea available all over the world and made from young nutrient leaves of Camellia sinensis plant.

Unlike other types of green teas, Matcha tea leaves are often cultivated in shaded areas, thus increasing their chlorophyll content preserving the natural nutrients.Matcha is 100 percent whole leaf, meticulously grown, gently dried and stone grounded into an emerald bright green unfermented powder. Since the entire leaf is grounded into a powder, dissolving it into water will provide immense minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants that are inherent in the plant itself, delivering a richly organic, deeply satisfying flavor profile that is not found in other steeped green teas. In fact, one cup of hot matcha tea has many antioxidants in ten cups of other regular tea. It is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, chlorophyll and fiber.

matcha2Nutritional Data of Matcha Green Tea

NUTRIENT                                               PER 1G MATCHA

Total AminoAcids                                    34mg

Total Catechins                                         105mg

EGCG                                                          61mg

L-Theanine                                                14.26mg

Fibre                                                           318mg

Protein                                                       30.8mg

Sodium                                                      0.5mg

Caffeine                                                     35mg

Carbohydrates                                          449mg

Calories                                                       3kJ

Potassium                                                  26.6mg

Vitamin A                                                  291 Units

Vitamin C                                                   1.75mg

 

Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Matcha is widely known for its numerous healing properties as outlined below:

matcha3Antioxidant Powerhouse

Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds found in food which help the human body fight against diseases, prevents aging and cell and tissue damages ensuring that the body functions at its peak potential by scavenging any free radical responsible for oxidative damages to our bodies. Matcha green tea is extremely high in antioxidant contents elevating it to the super tea status. A study was done by Tufts University and the USDA Agricultural Research Institute measured the ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of Matcha to be at 1384 units per gram as compared to other superfoods such as blueberries, cranberries that are well graded as antioxidant powerhouses. As a result of its antioxidant properties, Matcha helps in fighting off various diseases and illnesses at various stages.

matcha4Matcha and Weight Loss

A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that Matcha has been associated with weight loss. When combined with exercises matcha increases metabolism by increasing the rate of thermogenesis thus promoting fat oxidation. It has been proven that The antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate,(ECGC), boosts the rate of the metabolism. Matcha gently boosts the rate of metabolism without necessarily causing any negative side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. The catechins inhibit the movement of glucose into the fat cells, slowing down the rise of blood sugar levels, subsequently preventing fat storages and high insulin levels in the body. Eventually, the matcha green tea regulates appetite and hunger pangs in a person. In fact when your levels of blood sugar are quite stable, you are less likely to cave into cravings. Through glucose control and insulin sensitivities, Matcha green tea decreases the fasting concentrations of glucose subsequently lowering the risks of type 2 diabetes.

matcha5Matcha helps in boosting energy levels

Another mesmerizing property of Matcha green tea is its ability to boost the energy levels throughout the day.Clinical studies show that Matcha helps to speed up the rate of recovery in athletes and performers who mainly focus on intense workouts. A much more recent study found out that the Matcha powder improved the physical endurance while exercising by over 25%.

This has been attributed to the effects of the EGCG present in the Matcha which helps to reverse the cellular damages caused by oxidative-nitrosative stress(internal imbalances of the antioxidants and free radicals ,which ultimately prevents cell repair and destroys cells bringing about illnesses).EGCG completely alters any stress and biochemical markers that cause apoptosis and cell deaths. This was demonstrated in a study to evaluate the effects of EGCG on chronic fatigue syndrome during exercises.

matcha6Matcha calms the mind and reduces stress.

Matcha Green Tea is rich in the L-theanine and caffeine which are said to induce alert calm feelings without any nervous energy. L-theanine is a non-dietary amino acid responsible for enhancing moods by relaxing the human mind, hence sharpening concentration in a person. L-theanine promotes the alpha waves in the brain leading to a relaxed alertness by increasing the production of mood-enhancing chemicals, the serotonin and dopamine. A study done on the importance of L-theanine in patients with anxiety and depression issues shows that L-theanine significantly increases the GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) and dopamine levels in the human brain. Matcha has five times more L-theanine as compared to other green teas. This has been attributed to its cultivating technique when growing the tea.

matcha7Matcha Reduce Risks of Cancer

Matcha possesses a unique and potent class of antioxidants and polyphenols, particularly the catechins, which are not found in other types of foods. The catechin, EGCG provides powerful cancer-fighting properties to the human body. Catechins, most importantly the EGCG counteracts the harmful effects of the free radicals from the effects of Uv rays, radiation, pollution and chemical exposures which causes cell deaths and DNA damages trough oxidative stress. Various studies show a direct link between the consumptions of matcha green tea and the reduction of the respective cancers. Besides that the tea polyphenols inhibit the development of tumor cells while significantly inducing apoptosis. The catechins work by activating the detoxification of enzymes such quinone reductase and glutathione S-transferase which prevent the growth of tumors and ultimately improving the immune system functioning.

matcha8Matcha helps in Detoxification

The high contents of chlorophyll in Matcha green tea make it an excellent detoxifier capable of eliminating unwanted toxins, heavy metals and toxins from the human body. This is because chlorophyll increases the capacity of the blood cells to delivers nutrients and oxygen within the body thus helping in the regeneration of the body and cleansing at the cellular level.

matcha9Reduces risks of Heart Diseases and Hypertension

Based on the studies by Harvard University, Matcha lowers the high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, hence significantly reducing the risks of heart diseases and strokes. The antioxidants in Matcha blocks the oxidation of the bad cholesterol, by increasing the good HDL cholesterol, eventually improving the arterial functions. This was demonstrated by the study done on a person who consumed matcha tea on a regular basis in comparison to the non-consumers of the tea.

Recommended Daily Intake

Take ½–1 teaspoon daily.

It is easier to buy products that are not real Matcha, so it is important to buy the matcha products from a reputable store.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects of Matcha Green Tea, however for expectant and lactating mothers you should consult your physician.

Let’s all join this craze of the super tea Matcha and enjoy its immense health benefits to our bodies.

 

 

 


Wheatgrass Recipes


Smoothies and juices are the most popular ways of consuming wheatgrass, but other recipes involve baking, dips and pesto’s, which makes an excellent treat to dress up the veggie snacks. Wheatgrass has a much more distinctive flavour that a person can either hate or love. Freshly extracted wheatgrass juice either in the form of a juice or powder supplement is the recommended when you want to incorporate into your meals. Since the cellulose in the grass is tough, you might not be able to efficiently extract all the nutrients unless you use a high-end blender. As with other foods, wheatgrass should also be consumed in moderation.2 to 3 oz. of freshly squeezed juice or 1 tablespoon of the powder is enough for any daily intake.

You should always bear in mind the guidelines when making smoothies, juices or any other wheatgrass recipes; thus it is necessary to consult your nutritionist or dietician before intake.

Wheatgrass Juice

If you have a juicer or a blender and fresh wheatgrass, then you can easily enjoy a glass (One serving) of the wheatgrass juice for your breakfast or as a snack in between your meals, that is lunch and dinner. Just 2oz of the juice cats a full meal due to its high chlorophyll and nutrient contents. Drinking this healthy feast first thing in the morning will help boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and protecting your body against any infection and diseases. This is because wheatgrass juice is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream as soon as it is drunk, meaning that you will feel an energy boost since it increases the red blood cells count. Wheatgrass juice makes such an ideal treat and snack for an afternoon slump.

The Super Green Juice

  • 2 ounces fresh wheatgrass
  • Two medium cucumbers
  • Three stalks celery
  • Five fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • water

Cut the cucumber and the celery into chunks that fit into the blender or the juicer. Blend and dilute with water.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 204 /Protein :5g/Fat: 1g | Carbs:55g | Calcium: 3% | Iron:6mg | Vitamin C: 106% | Vitamin C: 10%

Fresh Start Cleanser Recipe

This is an ideal recipe for those who want to cleanse their bodies off the toxins. You can drink this special juice for two weeks every morning before ingesting anything into the body.

  • I tbsp. wheatgrass powder or 30 mls juiced wheatgrass
  • 2 apples
  • 2 carrots
  • One stalk celery
  • ¼ medium size cucumber
  • One slice beetroot (finger size)
  • One small piece ginger.

Nutritional Information: Calories :400/Fat :3g/Protein :7g/Carbs :85g/Calcium :14%/ Iron :65%/Vit A :722%/Vit C :69%/Sodium :313gm/Potassium :1000g

Wheatgrass Refreshers

  • 30mls wheat grass or one tbsp. of wheatgrass powder
  • for this recipes, you can either use watermelon, oranges, grapes, apples or pineapple to make your favourite juice.

Can be served with Ice

Optional: You can add in a handful; of fresh mint leaves. You will love the touch and taste of mint. This can make a significant refreshing summer combination which easily disguises the taste of the wheatgrass.

The nutrition value differs depending on the fruit of your choice.

Wheatgrass Smoothies

If the taste of the juice isn’t your best, then you can blend in some fruits into a healthy smoothie which can quickly make an ideal breakfast or snack. Pineapples, grapes, and apples are the best complementary fruits, but you can also choose your favourite treat. You can either use powdered supplements or fresh wheatgrass to make your smoothie depending on the availability of the wheatgrass.

Pineapple-Coconut Wheatgrass Green Smoothie

I find this recipe a much more appealing smoothie, making it highly sweet and distinctive by creating a different savoury flavour.

  • Two small bananas, peeled
  • 2 cups pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 serving wheatgrass powder
  • 8 ounces of coconut water

Directions: Start by adding a liquid ingredient to the blender, followed by soft fruits. Then lastly add the greens to your blender. Blend until the smoothie is creamy. Blend in together in a juicer or blender until your desired thickness is achieved. You can add another half banana if want a much thicker smoothie, or you can use less if you need more of a glass of juice.

 

Nutrition Information: Calories: 423 | | Protein: 7g/ Fat: 1g Calcium: 16%   | Carbohydrates: 103g | | Iron: 4.3mg | Vitamin C: 277% | Vitamin C: 238%

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Pineapple-Peach Wheatgrass Green Smoothie

This one of my best’ supergreen’ smoothie and I would definitely recommend it to you.

  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/2 packet of powdered wheatgrass or 1/2shot of wheatgrass juice

1/2 cup green grapes

  • 1/2 peach, pitted
  • 4 ounces of distilled water

Nutritional Information: Calories: 125 | Protein :5g/Fat: 1g | Carbs: 32g | Calcium: 2% | Iron: .7mg | Vitamin C: 150% | Vitamin A: 17%

Wheatgrass Mayo

Wheatgrass can be much more than just the typical beverage! You can add it to condiments and dips to give meals a zesty flavour. Boost your nervous and immune system by using the recipe below on your sandwich.

  • 3oz mayonnaise
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • 4oz wheatgrass (or 1 packet of powder)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Stir all the ingredients in the bowl and generously spread across the bread.

Nutritional information: Calories :844/ Fat: 76g/Protein :8g/Carbs :37g/Calcium :19%/Iron :54%/Vit A :4%/ Vit C :64%/Sodium: 653g/Potassium :524g


Wheatgrass Pesto

If you don’t love mayonnaise, or if you desire a new way to treat your family or friends during a feast or a get-together, then you can try this amazing recipe for a pesto which easily supplements all the powerhouse of nutrients in just a dip of the pesto. You can even use it the place or red sauce on your favourite pizza or pasta.

  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ cup olive oil (can use coconut or sunflower oil)
  • 4oz wheatgrass (or 1 packet of the wheatgrass powder)

Combine all the ingredients in your food processor or blender and mix them.

You can add a quarter cup of nuts such as pine or cashew nuts, to give the pesto an extra taste and flavour to the pesto.

Nutritional Information: Calories :1405/Fat :130g/Protein :48g/Carbs :16g/Calcium :150%/Iron :173%/Vit A :127%/Vit C :96%/Sodium :1530g/Potassium :1030g



Wheatgrass Sour Cream Dip

A wheatgrass Sour Cream Dip can be an excellent party stopper, especially if you are a vegan. Blend in together with celery, carrots, and cucumber. Add a dash of cinnamon and one oz. instead of vinegar to turn into the best fruit dip.

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 4oz wheatgrass (or 1 packet of powder)
  • One tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Stir together the ingredients and refrigerate it before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 300/Fat :8g/Protein :10g/Carbs :105g/Calcium :24%/ Iron: 65%/Vit A 300%/Vit C :57%/Sodium :224gm/Potassium :800g

These are some of the best recipes for incorporating wheatgrass into your diet. However, we all have our preferences, and we would love to hear your best recipes that we have highlighted yet.

Enjoy every bit of the recipes we have for you!

Sources

Nutritional Values and Information

Nutritional Values of Fruits and Vegetables

Wheatgrass Nutrition Facts


Organic Turmeric Powder – The Golden Superfood

Within the spectra of the medicinal plants, a few plants possess such a wide range of therapeutic and medicinal properties and qualities as the turmeric plant. Dating back to nearly 4000 years, Turmeric has long been used to treat a myriad of ailments and diseases in the Southeast Asia. Not only is it a principal spice in this region, but also a significant component in various religious ceremonies. Turmeric belongs to the Curcuma longa species, a rhizomatous perennial herb belonging to the ginger family.

193678Composition of the Turmeric

There are more than hundred components of the turmeric. However, the main components are the volatile oils containing turmerone and the curcuminoids, which have been proven to be natural antioxidants. Nutritional analysis of Turmeric shows that 100 g of turmeric has 10 g total fat, 390 kcal, 21 g dietary fiber, 3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g calcium, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 0.26 g phosphorous, 47.5 mg iron, 2500 mg potassium, 0.19 mg riboflavin, 4.8 mg niacin, 0.9 mg thiamine, 50 mg ascorbic acid, 69.9 g total carbohydrates, 8 g protein and 3 g sugars (Balakrishnan 2007). Turmeric is also an excellent source of the omega three fatty acids and linoleic acid (Goud, Polasa, and Krishnaswamy 1993).

runningHealth Benefits

Modern studies prove that turmeric can be used in the treatment of the ailments such as cancer, arthritis, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple sclerosis, Bowel syndromes, inflammations, and liver diseases Scientifically, there are at least 12 molecules in turmeric that are anti-inflammatory,20 that are anti-biotic,12 that are antitumor and at least a further ten that are classified as anti-oxidants. But most research has been on the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the curcumin, a major molecular substance found in the roots of the turmeric herb. Its healing properties are attributed to potent anti-inflammatory actions by fighting free radicals by stimulating the human body to produce anti-oxidant enzymes thus neutralizing the free radicals (Thomas-Eapen, N. E., 2009).

Turmeric is the most efficient existing nutritional constituent due to its excellent and unparalleled benefits for the brain and the body as it solely used in the treatments of a wide range of ailments and diseases. Based on the findings of the ethnobotanist, James Duke, turmeric actually outperforms and outdoes most pharmaceuticals in its effectiveness in the treatment of chronic diseases.

turmeric-2366986_1280Turmeric as a Powerful Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Agent

Its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are the most researched and well known medical action of the turmeric. Curcumin being the bioactive substance in the turmeric fights inflammations that occur at the molecular levels, posing as a strong and effective analgesia, anti-mutagenic, anti-tumor, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-allergic, stimulant, diuretic, carminative and digestive.

Curcumin also blocks the Nuclear Factor Beta molecules, a major causative agent of chronic diseases which causes inflammations and damage of the cells. Hence, it helps our bodies fight against foreigners and repairing of the existing cell damages.

In addition to that, the above properties prevent and treat the neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Diseases, and the Alzheimer’s diseases. Based on the Alzheimer’s Society, Curcumin breaks down the amyloid-beta plague which mostly is the disease hallmark.

mental-healthTurmeric and the Brain Function

Curcumin also boosts the neurotropic brain-derived factor that is primarily linked to improved brain functions. This is because it increases the levels of the Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor, a growth hormone that plays a crucial role on the brain functions, thus making turmeric an excellent compound in reversing or delaying age-related and brain diseases in the human brain. Ultimately it helps reduce the Alzheimer’s disease that is more prevalent in the old age.

For instance Depression, a condition often caused by reduced and shrinking hippocampus and BDNF levels has been treated with curcumin, thus proving that turmeric is an effective antidepressant.

Besides that, a new study done by Verma, Suruchi, and Vikas Kumar reveals that ar-turmerone, a component of the turmeric significantly increases brain stem cell production by over 50%.The ar-turmerone provides neuroprotection against the oxidative stress hence an efficient remedy for any neurological disease.

womanTurmeric and the Body Immunity

Curcumin also boosts the overall body immunity. According to Funk, J.L et al. curcumin is eight times stronger than Vitamin E and C. It’s proven beneficial significance in the treatments of allergies, asthma, and arthritis, heart diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer is attributed to its modulation of the immune system. Curcumin regulates most inflammatory transcriptions factors such as the Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta, enzymes and cytokines such as the tumors necrosis factors which are all responsible for hindering the development of various ailments.

coupeTurmeric and Diabetes

Curcumin also prevents the development of diabetes especially in people who have pre-diabetes (Arun, N., & Nalini, N. 2002). A study carried out in Thai and published by the Diabetes Care Journals found out that person who had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and took curcumin capsules did not develop type 2 diabetes as compared to those who didn’t take the curcumin capsules. Drew Tortoriello, a research scientist at the Columbia Medical Center, argues that turmeric reduces and lessens the resistance of insulin, thus preventing the development of the type 2 diabetes.

healthyTurmeric and Obesity

Turmeric also helps reduce the obesity-related illness and promotes weight loss. Macrophages immune cells that are present in the fat tissues throughout the human body is responsible for all the inflammations linked to obesity. Macrophages produce cytokines which cause inflammations in various body organs such as the pancreases, the liver, and heart while also increasing the resistance of the insulin. According to Gupta, S. C. et al. (2013), turmeric suppresses and reduces the number of macrophages in the fat tissues thus reduces the adverse effects and consequences of overweight and obesity.

heart-careTurmeric and the Heart

Turmeric prevents heart diseases by improving the endothelium functions and the blood vessels linings. Endothelial dysfunctions are the leading causes of various heart diseases such as blood pressures and clotting of the blood. Due to its inflammatory properties, curcumin in turmeric exhibits a diverse range of cardioprotective functions such as inhibition of the oxidation of the low-density lipoproteins, thrombosis, blocking of the homocysteine-induced and formation of the aortic fatty streaks endothelial dysfunctions. For instance, curcumin protects the myocardium and the heart by suppressing the pathways which generate reactive oxygen species and causes lipid peroxidization thus regulating all the paths which help to detoxify the free radicals. Recent studies and research also suggest that curcumin in the turmeric can lessen vascular inflammations and prevent strokes.

turmeric-2344157_1280Turmeric and Cancer

Turmeric can also be a beneficial herb in the treatment of cancer due to its curcumin components. The antioxidant kills and suppresses the cancer cell cultures from the bloodstreams, cells, and skins. Studies done by Walston J. reveal that it significantly reduces metastasis (cancer spreads) and angiogenesis (tumor growths in the blood vessels and cells).This is because they inhibit metabolisms of carcinogens and metastasis by modulating the inflammatory cytokine levels which helps control proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis.

Dosage and Caution:

400mg of Turmeric can be taken two times a day. However, it is recommended to take it with black pepper as its component; piperine helps in the absorption of the curcumin in the turmeric. Ginger is also an excellent turmeric companion.

People with bile duct obstruction and gallstones should not take turmeric without the instructions of the physician. Excessive consumptions of turmeric can cause ulcers or reduce the total number of the white and the red blood cells.

You should buy turmeric from a reputable seller to avoid cases of toxic turmeric species.

 

Sources

Arun, N., & Nalini, N. (2002).The Efficacy of turmeric in the blood sugar and the polyol pathways in the diabetic albino rats. Plant Food in Human Nutrition, 57(1), 41-52.

Balakrishnan K. V. Postharvest’s technology and processing of the turmeric. In: Ravindran P. N, Nirmals Babu K, Sivaraman K, editors. Turmeric: The Genus Curcuma. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2007. Pp. 193–256.

Duke, J. A. (2007). The gardening pharmacy: turmeric, the queen of the COX-2-inhibitors. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 13(5), 229-234.

Goud V. K, Polasa K, Krishnaswamy K. (1993) Effect of turmeric on xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. Plant Foods Hum Nutr.44:87–92.

Gupta, S. C., Sungs, B., Kims, J. H., Prasad, S., Li, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2013). Multitargeting by the turmeric, the golden spice: from the kitchen to clinic. Molecular nutrition & food research, 57(9), 1510-1528.

Lekshmi, P. C., Arimboors, R., Indulekhas, P. S., & Nirmala Menon, A. (2012). Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) volatile oil inhibits critical enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes. International journals of food science and nutrition, 63(7), 832-834.

Ravindran, P. N., Babu, K. N., & Sivaraman, K. (Eds.). (2007). Turmeric: the genus Curcuma. CRC Press.

Thomas-Eapen, N. E. (2009). Turmeric’: the intriguing yellow spice with the medicinal properties. Explore The Journal of Science and Healing, 5(2), 114-115.

Tilak, J. C., Banerjees, M., Mohans, H., & Devasagayam, T. P. A. (2004). Antioxidant availability of turmeric about its medicinal and culinary use. Phytotherapy Research, 18(10), 798-804.

Walston, J. Turmeric, and Cancer.

Verma, S., & Kumar, V. (2017). Pharmacological profile of turmeric oil: A review. Lekovite sirovine, 35, 3-21.