CANCER risk could be reduced by drinking matcha -a green powder made from green tea leaves. It is packed with antioxidants said to ward off symptoms.

Cancer diet

Cancer diet: Drinking matcha could prevent the disease

Matcha is a green powder, produced from green tea leaves. Used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies centuries ago, it has become fashionable in recent years thanks to celebrity fans, which include Drake, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt and Kylie Jenner.Leaves for matcha are picked from the top of the plant, and the whole leaf is used, making it richer in antioxidants and polyphenols than normal green tea.This gives it with a number of health benefits – including cancer prevention.

Rick Hay, a registered nutritionist, told Express.co.uk one of the many nutritional benefits of matcha is the high level of antioxidants – which can in turn have a cancer-fighting effect on the human body.

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Cancer diet: Fans of matcha include Gwyneth Paltrow, Drake and Kylie Jenner

The primary health-boosting quality of green tea – and matcha tea in particular – is undoubtedly its content of antioxidants.

Rick Hay, registered nutritionist

He said: “The primary health-boosting quality of green tea – and matcha tea in particular – is undoubtedly its content of antioxidants.“These include a type of flavonols called catechins, of which the most abundant is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).”EGCG is a plant compound which has anti-cancer properties.

“These include reducing the growth of new blood vessels to tumours which slows their growth,” said James Hudson, nutritionist at Protein World.

“It has other health benefits which include acting as a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier, helping to activate enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body.”

What’s more, the powder is also popular for an energising brain boost that’s thought to be better for you than coffee.“Due to the unusual way matcha is grown and picked, it contains more L-Theanine than regular green tea – this will help stimulate the brain and acts to keep you more awake, increasing cognitive function,” said Hudson.“What’s more, due to the ingredients found within matcha this occurs in a different way to caffeine, so you will not get the crash or jitters.”

How you consume matcha is up to you, explained Hudson.

“The health benefits of matcha come from consuming the leaf, so whatever you choose to drink it with is up to you,” he said.

“Milk, either nut or dairy, will not decrease or increase the effects matcha provides.

How to prepare a traditional Matcha tea at home

Cancer diet

Cancer diet: Adding milk to matcha could affect antioxidant potential

“That being said, if you chose to consume your matcha in a drink with a lot of additional sugar – these can be hidden in popular drinks including matcha lattes or matcha smoothies – you may be experiencing the health benefits of the matcha, but you will also suffer negative properties from the sugars.”These include weight gain, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.However, research has also suggested that – while not dangerous – adding milk to your tea, such as matcha, could affect the key cancer-fighting components.

A study published in 2000 in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that it reduced the antioxidant content, with cow’s milk having the worst impact because it contains fat.

Later research from the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2005 revealed that milky tea caused lower antioxidant levels in the body, but did not appear to reduce antioxidant activity.