Matcha tea is all the rage these days, but do you know why that is? In this post, we’ll talk about the amazing benefits of matcha powder, plus I’ll share how to enjoy this superfood drink so you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
I’m sure you’ve been hearing about matcha powder for awhile now–it’s used as a drink, of course, but people are incorporating it into all sorts of things–desserts, snacks, and more.
Once you find out why matcha is so good for you, you’ll see why its popularity has grown.
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What is Matcha?
The word “matcha” literally means “powdered tea.”
Matcha Green Tea is a traditional tea that was consumed by Monks to improve mental clarity.
The Matcha plant is grown in the shade and contains high amounts of chlorophyll which is good for natural detoxification. The leaves are then harvested and ground into a powder.
The tea is special because the powder is mixed into water and not brewed like most teas. This way you get all extra health benefits from the leaves and fiber too.
One Cup of Matcha Green Tea has 10 times the nutritional value of one cup of regular green tea.
Just like regular green tea, Matcha Green tea does contain caffeine. The actual caffeine amount will change based on how much powder you use. Your cup could contain from 34 to about 68mg, whether you use ½ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon. Because of the calming effects noted below, however, some say you don’t get that “caffeine crash” after consuming green tea.
What does Matcha taste like?
It has several layers of flavors from a sweet to a bitter, and a rich “healthy” taste too.
You want to make sure you get a good quality brand because the quality will change the flavor. Usually you can get the best price in your local Asian markets.
Benefits of Matcha
High in Antioxidants
Matcha is a great source of catechin polyphenols. Catechins are the most potent and beneficial. These are special antioxidants that aren’t found in any other foods.
Antioxidants are known to help protect us from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and keep us looking young and beautiful. The more antioxidants you eat, the better prepared your body can be to fight off infections and diseases, and just simply feel better.
Check out the amount of antioxidants in Matcha vs common antioxidant “superfoods”:
- 6.2 times more antioxidants than Goji Berries
- 7 times more antioxidants than Dark Chocolate
- 17 times more antioxidants than Wild Blueberries
- 60 times more antioxidants than Spinach
Calming and Improves Focus
Matcha contains the amino acid L-theanine that is known to relax the mind and improve focus. L-Theanine helps in the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two work together to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration.
This tea can also be a great way to start your day with a focused mind ready to tackle the problems of the world. Drinking this may help you focus for a big test or presentation at work.
High in Fiber
One of the many benefits of matcha is that it is high in fiber. Fiber helps you stay full between meals and can help stabilize blood sugars. Fiber can also be a good thing to help you stay regular and keep your bowels moving. (source)
Because Matcha tea is high in chlorophyll, it is a great way to detox naturally. Natural detox is a great way to keep our liver healthy and working properly. We try to avoid toxins in our environment and foods, but you just can’t avoid everything. I like to take chlorophyll tablets too to increase my intake.
Helps Burn Calories
Matcha tea is considered a thermogenic food which can improve your resting metabolism and help speed up your metabolism naturally. Just like how coconut oil can increase your BMR and help you lose weight naturally.
Matcha helps you burn calories without even trying. (source)
Increases Energy Naturally
Drinking Matcha increases your energy naturally because of all the vitamins and minerals that help your body function at its best. This is what makes it the perfect drink to get you going in the mornings and keep you going in the afternoon.
It does have some natural caffeine (less than a cup of coffee). The extra vitamins in matcha tea also help increase your energy levels.
Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar, Lowers Cholesterol and Improved Blood Pressure
A preliminary study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2009 showed in tests on rats with type 2 diabetes that the rats receiving matcha demonstrated decreased levels of cholesterol and blood sugar.
Matcha also seemed to protect the rats from liver and kidney damage. (source)
What About Radiation in Matcha?
There are so many benefits of matcha that it’s tempting to want to have this amazing drink. However, due to the Fukushima accident in Japan, there are some concerns about radiation and how matcha might be contaminated.
It’s a sensitive issue, and a complicated one, but one that should be addressed. This article goes into a lot of detail about how to think about this issue, with their conclusion being that most matcha should be considered to be safe to drink.
How to Use Matcha
Now that you know about the many fabulous benefits of matcha, I’m sure you’ll want to know how to make it.
Because it is a powder that you just mix into water, it is very easy to fix.
Just mix a couple a teaspoons into a warm cup of water and add stevia, lemon or honey to taste.
What Grade of Matcha Is Best?
There are three grades of matcha — culinary, latte, and ceremonial.
The grades vary in color, texture, taste, and time of harvest.
Culinary is picked the latest and is the least vibrant. It’s a bit more bitter, but great for baking and cooking.
Latte is in the middle of culinary and ceremonial in all categories.
Ceremonial is the most vibrant, is from the first harvest, tastes the least bitter, and is the finest texture since the stems and veins are removed from the leaves before grinding.
As you might guess, culinary is the cheapest, and ceremonial is the most expensive.
Where to Buy Matcha
There are a lot of options to choose from when buying matcha.
Here’s one brand of latte grade that tests regularly for radiation and has very good reviews.
This brand is a great la well known for having high quality and has a history of testing for radiation as well. It’s ceremonial grade so it’s more pricey than latte grade matcha.
Do You drink Matcha Green Tea or Regular Green Tea?
How do you like it?