Mutant-Ninja-Cancer-Fighting Green Stuff; Matcha

Matcha (抹茶?pronounced [mat.tɕa][1]), also spelled maccha, refers to finely milled or fine powder green tea. The Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha. In modern times, matcha has also come to be used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety ofwagashi (Japanese confectionery). Matcha is a fine-ground, powdered, high-quality green tea.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if our physicians were focused not only curing our cancer, but being gentle on our bodies while they're treating our cancer and repairing our bodies after they've cured our cancer?  How great would it be if there was focus on making our bodies strong enough to reject another cancer invasion?   I would be in seventh heaven if my oncologist would look at me and say, "Wait until you see how fantastic this is going to make you feel!"  But, that's not usually the way that these kinds of discussions go with my oncologist.  Usually, I get a laundry list of the horrible things that are going to happen to me. (It's not really a big deal, but your finger nails and more than likely your toe nails are going to look like you've smashed them multiple times with a hammer, and then they're going to attempt to fall off, but only after they've caused you enough grief to make you want to rip your hair out... oh wait, you don't have any hair!)

Well, if my team of super-duper cancer fighting doctors aren't going to tell me how to heal my body, I'll just do it myself.  Woman heal thyself, right?  While I realize that I'm not even close to done with this cancer business, I am done with feeling crappy from chemo.  I haven't taken any part of this cancer business lying down, and I intend to tackle recovery with every bit of "gusto" that I can muster.  (And I intend to play only with things that are only going to make me feel great- and I do not care what color they are!  And yes, before you ask, I know that the drink in my hand looks like sludge, but I can assure you, it tastes great! They can take this feeling crappy BS and give it to somebody else!)

Okay, I'm done ranting for today.  Today's feeling great lesson is about Matcha.  It is a positively beautiful color, stunning really.  Just like the Chlorella, it's a bright green.  (Although the chlorella is more of a vibrant olive green!  Heck anything this darn pretty has to be very beneficial, right?)  So, what is Matcha, and why should it be taking up space in your pantry?   We all know that green tea has been considered beneficial for years,  but Matcha is much more powerful than green tea.  Zen Buddhists like Matcha for it's unique therapeutic properties. Used in Japanese tea ceremonies for years, they believe that drinking this tea is the ultimate path to clarity (who can't use more of that), energy (sign me up) and better health (yes, please).  And while they don't know a whole lot about muscle, they do know a lot about living long, unstressed lives.  The Matcha green tea is one of their secrets.  

This clarity, energy, and better health producing green wonder grows in the dark which makes it 10 times as potent as other green teas.  It's higher in antioxidants, chlorophyll, amino acids, beta-carotene, potassium, Vitamin C and iron.  Here's another quick fact, one cup of matcha tea contains 70 times the antioxidants of a glass of orange juice.  And another one, just in case you're considering an appearance on Jeopardy (don't say I never taught you anything!)...  one cup of Matcha tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea.   (You all remember how important I said antioxidants are in the healing process, right?)

If those little stats aren't enough to make you say, "Where do I buy this pretty green stuff" how about this: it can help prevent aging.  Packed full of vitamins A, C and E it helps to neutralize free radicals to keep cells healthy, maintain DNA integrity, and prevent aging.  (I'm good with that feature...)  It is also a fantastic "Detoxifier"... it helps to expel toxins, heavy metal and hormone disruptors.  (I've definitely got toxins, and hormone disruptors... heck the hormone thing is why I'm in this mess in the 1st place.)

Matcha is also loaded with L-theanine which is a great stress buster.  L-theanine supports the body's physical and psychological stress response by suppressing the sympathetic nervous system.  L-theanine helps to elicit calm, sustained energy which promotes productivity; it's a Natural Energy Supporter.  

A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea rich in catechins (which Matcha is), has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation- so yup, it's got some weight loss benefits too.   Another study showed that exercising immediately after consuming Matcha tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise.  And both of those studies suggest that it can enhance both resting metabolic rate and fat burning.  No wonder the Hulk is green!  He must drink a lot of this stuff. (And just for the record, I am making no claims that this stuff won't turn you green!)

And because I am all about saying "Hell, no" to cancer, Matcha has some pretty kick-ass cancer prevention abilities too!  Matcha's rich source of antioxidants, especially EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate... seriously?), is being studied by scientists for use in cancer prevention and treatment.   Studies support that people who routinely consumed EGCG, had lower incidences of cancer.  The catechins in Matcha are able to break the molecular link between infection and cancer.  Check these facts out:

  1. Matcha has therapeutic properties; it has an anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-tumor-effect, and is anti-inflammatory.
  2. The antioxidant effect of Matcha may result in a reduction of free radicals in cancer patients.
  3. The ECGC's in Matcha stimulate healthy cells; they have a positive effect on the chances of survival, increase, viability and division of healthy cells in case of lymph node cancer.
  4. The flavonoids in Matcha clean up free radicals and also cause pro-oxidative reactions in tumor cells.

I can only speculate why my oncologist didn't give me a big bowl of Matcha at my 1st appointment, at the very least it should have been mentioned, right?  And why people aren't talking non-stop about Matcha.  1,660,290 people will be diagnosed with cancer just this year alone.   Seriously? As exciting as this whole journey has been, I certainly wouldn't recommend it. 

If you're thinking that you might just need a refreshing smoothie filled with anti-cancer, anti-aging, weight loss, and mental clarity abilities, well here you go:

  • A quarter of a cup of berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)
  • Half a cup of yogurt
  • Half a cup of ice cubes
  • A teaspoon of matcha
Blend ingredients together in an electric blender and then pour the mixture into a tall class. It is prerably to drink it immediately after preparation. You can add kiwis, bananas, mangos and flavors of mint or ginger, it is all up to you and your own preferences.

So, there it is in a nutshell... my Friday find: MATCHA!  Check it out, I found tons of resources on the web explaining what Matcha is, what it does, and what to do with it.  

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