Superfood Sunday // Matcha – health & nutritional benefits + recipes

Superfood Sunday // Matcha - health & nutritional benefits + recipes

Hello lovelies! I know it has been a very long time since I last did one of these posts, but I promised I would bring them back once I had the time and now I finally do, so get ready for another post in my ‘Superfood Sunday’ series! This week it will be all about one of my absolute favorite superfoods – matcha!

If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seedsmacablueberriesbroccoligoji berries and acai.

Matcha energy boosting morning shake

Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that origins from Japan, where it is an important part of the country’s tradition and culture. In contrast to regular green tea, you do not strain the matcha green tea before consuming – you actually ingest the entire leaf! This means that when you drink a cup of matcha tea you receive 100% of the nutrients instead of only a fraction as you do with regular green tea, where you strain and remove the leafs before drinking it. Because of this you actually get the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea when you drink just one cup of matcha green tea – how amazing is that?!

One of the biggest health benefits from consuming matcha is that it is absolutely bursting with antioxidants, which among other things helps prevent aging and chronic diseases. And it is not just rich in any type of antioxidants, no it gets better, matcha is particularly rich in EGCg, which is known to be the most potent and beneficial type of antioxidants there is – it is particularly recognized for its cancer fighting properties! As you probably know, many foods and supplements are high in antioxidants, but matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Matcha is actually the highest rated antioxidant rich food by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method – it even contains up to twenty times more antioxidants than blueberries!

Health benefits

⋅ Absolutely jam-packed with antioxidants – including EGCg
⋅ Aids the body with its natural detox process
⋅ Helps boost the metabolism and burn calories
⋅ Boosts memory and concentration
⋅ Increases energy levels and endurance
⋅ Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
⋅ Helps lowering cholesterol levels
⋅ Helps lowering blood presssure
⋅ Induces relaxation without drowsiness

Sources + more information: Wellness MamaNatural Living Ideas and Matcha Source.

Matcha energy boosting morning shake

Why I personally love matcha

So I have just provided you with a long list of health benefits from matcha, but I would like to also share the reasons why I am so fond of this superfood. First off, I am of course very interested in the high amounts of antioxidants and all the benefits it brings. I am particularly hoping for it to help me prevent developing cancer, premature aging and even alzheimers and dementia as I have read reports and clinical tests that shows it can both help prevent the two and that it also has a positive effect on those already affected by the disease.

Secondly, I really love the energy boost it gives me. I do not drink coffee and I often work long hours, so I love that I have a healthy option for some extra energy + it makes for the perfect pre-workout!

Third, this is probably not the best reason, but I love using matcha in my recipes because it is so pretty! Haha I love that bright green color and it can really add a nice boost to any recipe ;) I love the flavor as well of course, but only if we are talking high quality matcha, the cheap stuff has an awful bitter taste.

How to use it

I prefer to simply make traditional matcha tea with my matcha powder, it is the easiest way to enjoy the health benefits that matcha offers. I usually drink a cup or two a day. Simply add 1 gram of matcha to a small bowl (I have a little spoon that measures the right amount and I usually run it through a small sifter to break-up the clumps), add boiled water that should not be warmer than 80 c / 160 f and whisk vigorously with a bamboo whisk for about 30 seconds to create a nice froth. Enjoy the tea right away.

I love to get creative with my matcha as well though and I have collected 7 of my favorite matcha recipes for you right here!

Vanilla matcha lattes (no special equipment needed)

Where to buy it and what to look for

When purchasing matcha it is very important to make sure that it is good quality or you will not fully reap the above listed benefits. I will always recommend buying organic matcha that is ceremonial grade. You can buy culinary/food grade matcha for baking and recipe experiments, but for making tea I will really recommend buying the ceremonial grade matcha for the highest quality and purity.

If you buy organic ceremonial grade matcha, then you should have some quality matcha on your hands, but sadly not all brands are as high quality as they would like to appear. One thing to look for is that the matcha powder should have a bright and vibrant green color, if it has a yellow/brownish hue then it is not good quality. Another thing to keep an eye on is the price as good quality matcha is sadly not cheap. A rule of thumb is that 30 grams of good quality matcha usually cost between $25-$35 – haha and most likely more if you, like myself, live in a Scandinavian country ;)

You can find matcha in most health stores and online. Just make sure to keep the above tips in mind before purchasing. My personal favorite brand is byoh – you can buy it right here – it is a Danish brand and webshop, but they do ship to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, The Netherlands, Italy, The UK and France as well.

I have found some alternatives for those of you who do not live in either of those countries, they have gotten great reviews and seems to match the criteria for great high quality matcha, but I haven’t tried these myself, so I cannot guarantee anything. Find organic ceremonial grade matcha right here, here and here!

I can really recommend buying one of these cute match tea starter sets, they are not necessary but they do take the matcha tea experience to a whole new level – I also really love this and this one.

This post contains affiliate links.

Energizing green matcha smoothie bowl

Disclaimer

I would like to point out that I am not a nutritionist, doctor or anything of the sort and the information presented is simply data that I have come across doing research on the matter  – please feel free to do your own research as well, this is simply meant as an introduction to my favorite superfoods for those who might share my interest in health and nutrition.

I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions about matcha or super foods in general just let me know!

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Superfood Sunday // Acai

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Hello lovelies, it is sunday once again which means that it is time for `Superfood Sunday´ and yet another post on one of my favorite superfoods – this week it will be all about the acai berry! If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seedsmacablueberriesbroccoli and goji berries.

The acai berry is an antioxidant-rich fruit from acai palm trees in Central and South America. The berry is pronounced “ah-sigh-ee” and is small and round with a dark purple, almost black color and is often described as a mix between a blueberry and a grape. The Amazon berry is rich in minerals and vitamins and is described as a true nutritional powerhouse as it is furthermore packed with not only antioxidants, but also amino acids and essential fatty acids.

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Acai chia pudding – find the recipe right here!

Acai berries can be a tremendously healthy addition to your diet, and helps to increase heart health, aids in weight loss, as well as aiding in health issues relating to your skin, digestion, allergies, immune system, and energy levels. Furthermore, research has shown it to be one of the best sources of antioxidants, an aphrodisiac, a brain booster, and a great weapon against premature aging, cancer, and unexplained fatigue or exhaustion. Overall, this miraculous little berry can have a huge impact on your health and happiness!
Source

Health benefits:
Improves heart Health
Resistant to Harmful Organisms
Aids in Weight Loss
Promotes Skin Health
Helps with Digestive Upset
Reduces Irritation
Improved Cellular Health
May Help Fight Cancer
Anti-Aging Effects
Energy Boost

-Source and more information here and here.

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Acai smoothie bowl – find the recipe right here!

How to consume it:
The acai berries are unfortunately highly perishable so once they are harvested, they should either be consumed right away or be processed, which is why it is sadly not possible to eat the berries fresh and unprocessed in most parts of the world.  The berry is instead available as juice, frozen pulp, powder or capsules in most parts the world and is a good alternative to the fresh berries. I have personally only tried acai in powder form, which I love to add to my smoothies and acai bowls for an extra boost. You can find some of my recipes using acai powder by clicking the links underneath the pictures, enjoy!

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Raw acai cashew bites with coconut and lime – find the recipe right here!

Where to find it:
Even though the acai berry is becoming more and more popular I have yet to find it anywhere else than health stores and online, but I have been told that you can find acai juice and the frozen acai pulp in grocery stores in Australia and USA.

When buying acai I would recommend looking for raw and organic products to ensure optimal nutritional- and health benefits. You can buy it here or here. Affiliate links.

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Raspberry smoothie bowl with acai – find the recipe right here!

Superfood Sunday // Goji berries

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Hello lovelies, it is sunday once again which means that it is time for `Superfood Sunday´ and yet another post on one of my favorite superfoods – this week it will be all about goji berries! If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seedsmacablueberries and broccoli.

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Pancake breakfast pizzas topped with goji berries – recipe here!

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are red berries that origin from the Himalayan Mountains and even though the berry is quite new to the western countries, it has been known and consumed for its nutritional and medicinal benefits in China and Tibet for thousands of years.

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Smoothie bowl with goji berries – recipe here!

Nutrional and health benefits:
Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder then, that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity.” Source: The Healthy Eating site

Other health benefits:

  • Supports the immune system (source)
  • May decrease the risk of cancer and help cancer patients fight the disease (source)
  • Contains anti-aging properties due to the high amounts of antioxidants
  • Helps stabilize blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Eyesight – may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (source)
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Support the liver (source)
  • May aid weight loss (source)
  • Improve skin and hair health (source)


Warning:

Please note that if you are taking medication for diabetes or blood pressure or if you take anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners) there can be adverse interactions if you consume goji berries. If you take medication for any of the above, then please make sure to consult with your doctor before adding goji berries to your diet.

 photo IMG_2177.jpgRaspberry/goji berry smoothie – recipe here!

How to eat them
Goji berries are usually sold in dried form and they are chevy with a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour and taste a bit like cranberries. When it comes down to how to consume goji berries the possibilities are pretty much endless, they can simply be eaten raw as a snack or the berries can be made into juice, tea or extract or they can be added to soups, trail mix, muesli bars, smoothies, salads, baked goods, muesli, oatmeal etc.

You can click the links underneath the pictures to see some of my recipes containing goji berries, enjoy!

 photo foto1-8-1.jpgTrailmix with goji berries – details here!

Where to find goji berries
Goji berries are becoming more and more popular, which also makes the little red berries a lot easier to get a hold of. Goji berries are starting to become available in many supermarkets and grocery stores, but they usually only sell them in small and very overpriced bags so I would recommend buying them in health stores or online, where you can usually buy larger bags at a much better price. Make sure to buy goji berries that are licensed organic, the non-organic berries originating from China are often very heavily sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers.

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Raw chocolate with goji berries – recipe here!

Superfood Sunday // Broccoli

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Hello lovelies, it is sunday once again which means that it is time for `Superfood Sunday´ and yet another post on one of my favorite superfoods – this week it will be all about broccoli! If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seedsmaca and blueberries.

Broccoli is one of those superfoods that do not need much of an introduction, it is extremely well known and unlike the other more exotic superfoods, it is available everywhere, affordable and easy to incorporate in our meals.

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Broccoli crust pizza – find the recipe right here!

Broccoli is considered to be one of the must nutritious vegetables in the world and it has an amazing amount of health and nutritional benefits. Broccoli is high in antioxidants – it has twice the vitamin C of an orange and is also concentrated in the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Broccoli has almost as much calcium as whole milk and it is furthermore high in vitamin K, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, protein and fiber.

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Broccoli buns – find the recipe right here!

Health benefits:
Lowers the risk of cancer – Just 1/2 cup per day or two 2-cup servings per week has been shown to be enough to get some cancer prevention benefits.
Cholesterol-lowering abilities
Anti-inflammatory
Regulates blood pressure
Maintains a healthier nervous system
May help prevent osteoarthritis
Improve kidney function
Supports eye health
Strong, positive impact on the body’s detoxification system

You can find more information here, here, here and here!

To reap its full benefits it is important not to overcook the broccoli so the best way to eat it is lightly steamed or raw.

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Green juice with broccoli – find the recipe right here!

Superfood Sunday // Blueberries

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Hello lovelies, as I announced last week `Superfood Sunday´ is back and so it is time for yet another post on one of my favorite superfoods – this week it will be all about blueberries! If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seeds and maca.

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Banana pancakes with berry sauce and fresh blueberries

Now, this weeks superfood does not need much of an introduction since blueberries definitely are one of the more well-known superfoods, but this does not make it any less amazing though – blueberries are by many nutritionists considered to be the ultimate superfood and many even say that if you are to make just one change in your diet, it should be to add blueberries.

So why are blueberries considered a superfood? Blueberries are low in calories – only 84 calories pr cup – but very high in nutrients. Blueberries are jam-packed with antioxidants and contain minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Blueberries are also a very good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber and copper as well.

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Rainbow bowl

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and actually have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. Antioxidants have so many health benefits; they are anti-inflammatory, they boost the immune system and are even believed to lower the risk of cancer as they block the activity of free radicals, which have the potential to cause damage to cells including such damage that may lead to cancer.

Another benefit of antioxidants are their anti-aging effects and I do not just mean anti-aging as in wrinkles and such related to our appearance. Studies have shown that the consumption of antioxidants may help prevent or even reverse memory loss and a British study revealed that eating plenty of blueberries can enhance spatial memory and learning.

Antioxidants furthermore works as a natural sun protection as antioxidants protect our skin from the inside out by guarding our cells from the damaging effects of the sun. This does not mean that eating blueberries can replace sunscreen though ;)

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Baked berry oatmeal

I eat blueberries on a daily basis as they are so easy to incorporate into my meals, I love adding them to my smoothies, sprinkling them on my skyr/greek yoghurt, mixing them into salads and so much more – if you click the links underneath the pictures it will take you to some of my favorite blueberry recipes.

The best part is that during off-season months you can just use frozen blueberries as studies show that they are just as nutritious as the fresh ones.

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Blueberry breakfast parfait 

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