The history goes that for centuries the Japanese have been releasing the power in tea leaves by grinding it to a powder called matcha. It is a reputed favourite amongst Buddhist monks, who use it for staying alert and focused, and also amongst Samurai warriors as an energy boost before battle – the 21st century urban equivalent presumably being charging through crowds of commuters to get on and off the Circle Line in rush hour.
BLOOM has taken this tradition a step further though, adding functional ingredients and flavours to tailor the end result to the individual needs so that it can be used in everything from your morning porridge, to smoothies, and even a mojito.
It comes in eight varieties retailing between £13.80 and £19.80 each, and endeavouring to deliver effects such as reduced stress, boosted memory, promoting younger looking skin, strengthening the immune system and improving cholesterol balance.
So given the opportunity to try the product in one of the array of flavours, it seemed only apt to try the Chillout Rooibos variety that claims a ‘natural caramel flavour combined with ‘chocolatey’ tasting carob and silky lavender’, all of which is designed to boost your immune system and help you wind down in the evening.
Always a fan of hot drinks, I have simply been adding it to hot water as a variation on tea to sip while reading before bed (it’s like hot chocolate for adults… the healthy way!) or adding it to my porridge in the morning, both of which are supremely pleasant.
The two things I liked about it were that on porridge it blended into the hot oats and added a distinct flavour that wasn’t sickly sweet, and also as a warm drink it was a flavour that was sweet enough but still somehow savoury so as not to feel sugary. Trying BLOOM at a time of particular stress I honestly think it does have a calming effect, perhaps in part because a hot drink in the evening demands a certain reverence – a meditative state of sorts.
The overriding sense though is that you are consuming something healthy but that still feels like a treat, and at this time of the year I can’t help but feel that is a wonderful and rare thing.
Two thumbs up and now off to get another mug!
Despite matcha containing caffeine, its regulated by L-Theanine (amino acid), which doesn’t stimulate cortisol (stress hormone) like coffee does. Instead it promotes relaxation without the drowsiness caused by other calming products.
L-Theanine increases the production of dopamine and serotonin which enhances mood, promotes better concentration and improves memory for up to 4 hours.
Matcha delivers a massive amount of antioxidants per gram that help reduce tissue damage caused by UV radiation and pollution for a natural ‘anti-aging’ regime. Matcha has true bioavailability, which means the body actually absorbs the antioxidants too.
Endurance from matcha’s slow release caffeine can last up to 4 hours as L-Theanine prevents any caffeine spikes and downers unlike coffee and sugary energy drinks.
Matcha has been shown to increase thermogenesis, the rate at which our bodies’ burn calories, from 10% to 40% of daily energy use. Matcha can boost metabolism and burn fat by up to four times without raising blood pressure or heart rate and its alkaline, which helps your body’s PH balance too.
Matcha is rich in chlorophyll as its shaded when grown, which spikes chlorophyll and amino acid production, making it much more potent than traditional teas. Chlorophyll fortifies the Immune System and also removes heavy elements and harmful chemicals from our bodies.
Matcha contains EGCg catechins (antioxidants) recognised for their cancer fighting properties and studies show matcha contains 100 x more EGCg than any other tea.
Matcha delivers Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein and Calcium. Catechins present in matcha have antibiotic properties that build a stronger Immune System to defend against viruses.
Studies have shown that matcha can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Matcha tea leaves contain a high level of dietary fibre which is absorbed straight into the body. This is particularly important for stabilising blood sugar levels and easing constipation.
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