Freya Drohan: What’s the skinny with all these detox teas?
Does the answer to a slimmer and trimmer you lie at the bottom of a cup?
If you peruse social media sites, you’ve probably seen some endorsement from fitness bloggers, celebrities and models praising ‘detox teas’ - most often with an accompanying snap of a toned tum.
These herbal teas promise to banish bloating, burn fat, control cravings, boost metabolism and increase energy. Impressive, but do they work?
The answer is yes, they do work in the short term if you're eating well and exercising. Anytime I have done a cleanse I've found there was a noticeable difference in my waist line.
These blends are made up of natural ingredients and do help to draw out toxins from the body. A typical product will contain some blend of Fennel seeds, dandelion leaf, ginseng root, senna leaves, liquorice root and nettle leaves, all ingredients known to cleanse the system.
The brands that offer such teas (I have used Bootea in the past, and Miss Fit Skinny Tea is currently the only Irish option on the market) promote an educated approach to a balanced and wholesome lifestyle. They do not generally market their teas as a ‘quick fix’ solution and offer healthy meal plans to accompany the two or four week cleanse
However, I have found that in the long term, a much more beneficial product to incorporate into your lifestyle is Matcha tea.
Matcha is essentially the “ultimate green tea”, boasting over one hundred times the antioxidants and ten times the nutrient of your average cup of brewed herbal tea.
If you have trouble sleeping, suffer from skin blemishes, lack energy and generally feel like you could do with a health kick, Matcha is an ideal addition to your diet.
Are you hooked on daily cups of coffee? While coffee has certain benefits in a balanced diet, too much of it can actually hinder your diet and leave you jittery and irritated. Enter your new saviour: Matcha contains high levels of L-theanine, an amino acid that calms and relaxes the drinker - think of it as a meditation session that you can drink.
“Matcha tea has been cultivated specially so that it actually boosts Theanine production,” Koyu Matcha owner Kevin O’Keeffe tells me.
“Theanine is the thing that goes through your blood and chills you out, relaxes you, helps you focus and keeps you mellow, it’s also really good for anti-anxiety,” he adds.
After living in Japan and consuming Matcha-infused products for many years, Kevin returned home to Ireland an
d became the first person to import this wonder product. To date, he has introduced Matcha into the diets and lifestyles of hundreds of thousands of Irish people and has seen first hand the results.
Koyu Matcha offers three different grades which have different effects on people. The ‘Japanese Matcha’ option is a good place to start for those who have bad habits when it comes to their diet and lifestyle. The ‘Ceremonial Matcha’ contains more of the calming L-theanine for those who already lead quite a healthy lifestyle, while the ‘Premium Matcha’ is the “mellow yellow” tea for those who are serious about their nutrition.
“The right Matcha will change your day, if it’s not - you need to play around with,” Kevin informs me. “All you need is half to three quarters of a teaspoon once a day to make a difference.”
There is a myriad of ways to add Matcha to your diet. You can add it to almond or rice milk, smoothies, water, orange juice or baked goods.
After experimenting, I found my favourite way to ingest it was to take it with boiling water and the juice of a whole fresh lemon.
Matcha is also an effective fat burner when taken before exercise. It’s not a weight loss product per sé, but some people do find that weight loss is a side effect.
“If you get right Matcha - that is it! This stuff just works, if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be in business it’s that simple,” Kevin says.
For more information about Koyu Matcha products, visit matcha.ie