Matcha, maca, moringa — you've likely heard these superfoods' names, but do you know their health benefits and why they're considered superfoods? Here's a rundown.
Matcha is a finely ground powder made from steamed and dried green tea leaves. Shade-grown in Japan, this dark green tea leaf from the Camellia sinensis plant is round into a powder that used to make tea and to flavor other foods.
Here are some matcha benefits:
1. High in antioxidants.
Antioxidants that come from matcha's catechins help stabilize free radicals in the body and may reduce cell damage and ultimately fight off disease.
2. May boost brain function.
Research shows that consuming matcha improves attention span, reaction time and memory. It also contains L-theanine, which alters the effect of matcha's caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the typical "crash" after a boost in alertness from caffeine.
3. Heart-healthy qualities.
Matcha and all green tea have shown to reduce the levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
4. May assist in weight loss.
Matcha and all green teas have been shown to speed up metabolism and boost fat burning.
Matcha tea is simple to prepare. Simply add one to two teaspoons of matcha powder to hot water and mix well. Check out One Less Trip's Navitas Organics Matcha Powder. You can also enjoy it in a tea bag like our Matcha Love in Matcha Tea Traditional Flavor.
Moringa is a plant native to areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Its leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds and root are harvested for use in medicines. The benefits don’t stop there! Its pods are harvested and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts while the seeds are used in foods, perfumes and hair products. Last but not least, the leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach or dried and made into a powder.
Here are some of the health benefits of moringa:
1. High in vitamins and minerals.
One cup of moringa leaves contains protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, vitamin A and magnesium. One downside to be aware of is that the leaves also contain antinutrients that can block the absorption of protein.
Compared to the leaves, moringa pods are less nutritious, except for vitamin C content. One cup of fresh, sliced pods contains 157% of the vitamin's daily recommended amount.
2. High in antioxidants.
Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body and may prevent diseases. Moringa leaves contain quercetin, which is known to help lower blood pressure, and chlorogenic acid that helps to moderate blood sugar levels.
3. Can lower cholesterol.
Moringa can help reduce cholesterol, much like flax seeds, oats and almonds, reducing the risk of heart disease.
4. May protect against arsenic toxicity.
Moringa leaves and seeds may protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity, which occurs in food and water in some parts of the world.
Moringa research is still in its early stages, and the bark or pulp of moringa may be harmful to pregnant women. It's also not yet regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Use it with caution, and consult your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Maca grows in the Andes of central Peru, in harsh conditions and altitudes above 13,000 feet. It's a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale.
Maca is generally harvested for its root, which is dried and consumed in powder form. It's also available in capsules and as a liquid extract.
Maca research is still in its early stages, but here are some health benefits:
1. Packed with vitamins and minerals.
Like its cruciferous cousins, maca root (and its corresponding powder) contains fiber, protein, vitamin C (133% of the daily recommended amount), copper, iron, potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese.
2. Increases sexual desire.
It’sa well-researched fact that maca has long been used to increase sexual desire in both men and women.
3. May reduce menopause symptoms and protect bones.
Maca may help alleviate menopause symptoms and protect bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Maca contains plant compounds called flavonoids that may help reduce feelings of anxiety and some symptoms of depression.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-maca-root https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-teahttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-benefits-of-moringa-oleifera https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-maca-root