Kiss Me Organics recently asked me to review their product Matcha Green Tea Powder. I am not much of a tea fan, but I know that antioxidants are good for you so I gave it a try, out of curiosity.
My main purpose in trying this product is to include more antioxidants in my diet.
What are antioxidants and why are they good for us?
In a nutshell, they reduce the likelihood of certain illnesses occurring, such as cancer and atherosclerosis. This is because antioxidants (just as their name suggests) reduce oxidation. Oxidation is harmful because it can damage important parts of the body such as proteins and DNA; DNA damage can lead to cancer. Basically, antioxidants help to stabilize molecules (free radicals) that would otherwise lead to health problems.
Green tea is currently being studied for its possible ability to lower the risk of cancer. Of particular interest is the antioxidant found in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). It may be referred to as a catechin, flavonoid, or phytochemical; all three terms are correct. Catechins are a subclass of flavonoids, which are a subclass of phytochemicals.
Anyway, the studies conducted so far have mixed results, so I’m not entirely sold on the idea that it will help me. However, it hasn’t been shown to cause any harm either. The Matcha Tea Powder contains a higher level of antioxidants than you would find in a regular cup of tea, so I figure why not try it.
A smoothie seems the easiest way to incorporate the tea powder into my diet. I like to use a mixture of frozen fruits and berries, banana, almond milk and water for my smoothie. On occasion I’ll add some spinach or flaxseed oil or whatever else I’m in the mood for. Today I added 1 tsp of tea powder, and it tasted pretty good. The flavour was subtle enough that you knew it was there, but it didn’t ruin the taste of my smoothie.
Mixed Fruit Smoothie with Green Tea Extract
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup of frozen fruit (a good combo is raspberries, mango, and peaches)
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
Blend and serve.
As a vegetarian, my only concern is that catechins interfere with the absorption of non-heme (plant-based) iron. I will use the tea-powder again, but only as a snack, not as part of a main meal.
I should mention that Vitamin C and Vitamin E also act as antioxidants. An antioxidant rich smoothie containing something like orange juice, tea powder, spinach, bananas and frozen fruit might taste good too.