Mounting evidence of tea’s health benefits recently inspired me to replace lackluster water in my smoothies with tea! This smoothie fights PCOS with a one-two punch from spearmint and matcha tea. In a randomized controlled trial, 41 women with PCOS drank either 2 cups of spearmint or herbal tea (placebo) a day. After 30 days, free and total testosterone levels of the spearmint tea drinkers were significantly decreased (with a slight reported decrease in hirsutism). Previously, the same antiandrogenic effect was shown in an animal study. Although the literature is limited, the potential benefits of drinking spearmint tea likely outweigh the risks.
Some benefits of sipping green tea include stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing high blood pressure. Matcha tea is a powdered form of green tea reported to have a much greater antioxidant content. Last month a study conducted in rats demonstrated that matcha may prevent blood glucose and lipid accumulation. Unfortunately, matcha has yet to be studied in humans.
Wajihah Mughal, my friend and fellow doctoral student, recently wrote about the matcha tea trend on her blog Re-Spect Science. Our conversations about its promised health benefits (including the likely false claims) stirred us to take a closer look at the research. Read her post about the matcha hype, then give my recipe a shot!
- 2 cups spearmint tea
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 handfuls spinach, organic if possible
- 1/2 tsp matcha powdered tea
- 1/2 frozen banana (optional, adds sweetness)
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/2 tsp raw cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
- 1 scoop pea protein powder
- Steep spearmint tea bag in hot water for 5-10 min and then let cool in fridge.
- Pour cooled tea into blender and add spinach, oats, matcha, banana and ice cubes.
- Blend and serve topped with cocoa powder.
- spearmint tea = may decrease androgen levels and increase FSH & LH in women with PCOS (avoid consuming large amounts if you are pregnant, anemic, have a kidney disorder, or liver disease)
- matcha tea = very high in catechins which are antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body preventing disease, may prevent blood glucose and lipid accumulation, contains L-theanine which may relieve stress and improve cognitive function
- cocoa = high in antioxidants, may lower LDL cholesterol, can reduce high blood pressure, and may act as an antidepressant
- spinach = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which some women with PCOS are deficient in
- rolled oats = low glycemic load, high in fiber, contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
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