I am a huge matcha green tea connoisseur, and have nearly two cups a day. Currently, it’s a cold Spring morning, and I am sipping on a hot blend of the green powder, mixed with raw honey and coconut milk – ahhhh life is good! But wait, it gets better because not only is this drink amazingly delicious, but it is loaded with catechins and flavonoids great for our health!
What is a catechin?
A catechin is a natural polyphenol antioxidant coming from plants. It has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth, to reduce nutrient supply to a tumor (Sartppour et al., 2002). Further, the ECGC catechin has been documented as having potent tumor suppressing abilities that can bring cancer to remission (Bechtel, 2012). Green tea catechins have also been shown to decrease oxidative stress (Bechtel, 2012). It has also been shown that the catechins in green tea improve signaling systems in the Central Nervous System and the hippocampus, improving memory and mental performance (Bechtel, 2012).
What is a flavonoid?
Flavonoids also come from plants, as a pigmented secondary metabolites with antioxidant health benefits. It is the polyphenol component that inhibits carcinogenesis (Pizzorno & Murray, 2013). Further, green tea has shown to promote apoptosis, a necessary way to reduce cancer cells (Ahmad, et al., 1997). Polyphenols may activate enzymes that can promote redox reactions to improve a tissue’s oxidative state (Bechtel, 2012).
I recommend buying matcha green tea powder for optimal health benefits because you are ingesting the whole leaf and one cup of matcha has the nutritional potency of ten cups of brewed green tea (Matchasource, n.d.). Look for powder that is organic with no added fillers, colors, or preservatives. It should have a bright green color, and be sealed in an air tight container. Pay attention to expiration dates and keep in mind that a dull color or hay smell is a less fresh green tea. It is also important to note that many of the studies showing the benefits of green tea used very large quantities and further research is necessary to determine an appropriate human consumption and its benefits.
How to make a Matcha Green Tea Late
- 2 cups of coconut or soy milk (non-GMO)
- 1 Tbsp of hot water
- 2 tsp of matcha green tea powder
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1/2 tsp of ginger powder or cinnamon – optional
First, heat the milk in a pan. Be careful that it does not boil over. Meanwhile, mix hot water with matcha powder and honey in a large mug. Then, pour the hot milk into the same mug and stir.
It is ideal to stir with a wooden matcha stirring tool as seen in the picture below. Stir quickly to turn up a foam.
Also stir in ginger powder or cinnamon. This gives the drink a nice spicy flavor.
I also like to make my matcha green tea with oat milk.
- Ahmad, N., Feyes, D. K., Agarwal, R., Mukhtar, H., & Nieminen, A. L. (1997). Green tea constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate and induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human carcinoma cells. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 89(24), 1881-1886.
- Bechtel, J. (2012). The secret ingredient in green tea. Retrieved on 2/14/2015. Retrieved from http://blog.healthkismet.com/green-tea-health-benefits-catechins-cancer-prevention
- Khan, N., Siddiqui, I. A., Adhami, V. M., & Mukhtar, H. (2013). Green Tea Polyphenols for Cancer Risk Reduction. Green Tea Polyphenols: Nutraceuticals of Modern Life, 57.
- Matchasource. (n.d.). Retrieved on 2/14/15. Retrieved from www.matchasource.com
- Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (Eds.). (2013). Textbook of natural medicine, Fourth edition. Elsevier.
- Sartippour, M. R., Heber, D., Zhang, L., Beatty, P., Elashoff, D., Elashoff, R., … & Brooks, M. N. (2002). Inhibition of fibroblast growth factors by green tea. International journal of oncology, 21(3), 487-491.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA, LMT, RYT