Two amazing botanicals that are often found in drinks, shakes and juice bars. They sound alike and get confused for each other but they have very different uses for your health.

Let’s start with Maca! 

Maca is a root that is from the cruciferous family of vegetables. Originally found in Peru, natives used this powder to help with fertility. We haven’t gone ventured too far off track, we use it now to help regulate hormones including peri-post menopause, irregular periods and fertility.

Yes, it can also help fertility in men! And as an added bonus studies show it can increase sex drive in both men and women. In addition it has been shown to help with sports performance for endurance events but we need more studies to conclude that.

Maca is high in fiber along with vitamin C, copper and iron. It’s a great addition to any shake or drink . This powder is found in a pale yellow, white form.

Next up is Matcha !

Matcha is that green drink you see at coffee houses and all the juice bars. It’s a concentrated form of green tea made from the leaves of the green tea plant. The leaves are dried, fermented then ground up into a dark/bright green powder. The word matcha means powdered tea. One of the awesome benefits of matcha tea is the high antioxidant concentration and EGCG  as well as kick of energy from the caffeine. Matcha also contains l-theanine which is known for it’s calming effect so they say the caffeine in matcha is a smoother energy than coffee.

The taste of matcha can be very strong, it has a dirty reused or very plant based taste. But with all things that are loaded with nutrients, they don’t always taste amazing on the palette. Matcha can be added to almost any food product but we often see it in lattes or baked good because they sweetness of the milk or milk alternatives cut the bitterness of the ground tea.

There are two things to be aware of with matcha tea, because it comes from the earth there have been high levels of lead found in the tea.  Buying an organic tea grown in Japan rather than china helps reduce the lead content. Lead is being absorbed into the plant from the soil.

The second is that due to the high levels of polyphenols & caffeine  it can inhibit iron absorption. If you look back. to my prior posts on iron you will see both polyphenols and caffeine can inhibit iron absorption.