What Are The Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder?
Curious about drinking Matcha? Let’s start here: What are the health benefits of matcha green tea powder? This article is an eye-opener to many. Drinking matcha green tea is not just a fashion statement. If you favour your well-being and quality nutrition, you simply cannot walk past this wonderful ground green powder. I wanted to share with you my little research done on Matcha green tea powder. After all, it’s good to know what you drink and eat, right?
Matcha green tea comes in many variations. It’s very common to see Matcha green tea cakes, Matcha mochi or Matcha iced tea in Asia. Thailand had them all over, China was not short on them either, not to mention Japan where the name Matcha comes from!
In Europe, however, Matcha is not so accessible but luckily this is changing and you can get hold of Matcha green tea powder a lot easier these days. The list of Matcha benefits is quite long so consuming it in moderate quantities will do you good in the short and long run.
What is Matcha and what does Matcha look like?
Matcha green tea is a superfood. You might have seen it, you might have tasted it. In other words, Matcha is a green, powdered tea. It is produced only with high quality tea leaves which can be fully and safey ingested.
You will know that you’ve tasted Matcha tea. Why? It has potent taste, similar to spinach, often compared to pleasant savoury. Its taste is also referred to as ‘umami’ flavour.
Depending on the price point, the quality of Matcha can vary quite significantly. This is due to the entire process involving all steps of cultivation and the right technique. Matcha is the end product of unusual cultivation method called ‘stone-grounding’ of Matcha green tea leaves which I cover later as you read on.
What makes Matcha tea so special in comparison to other tea types is not just the making process. The green tea powder is essentially the tea leaves that are fully ingested as you drink Matcha as opposed to other green teas. The powdered leaves dissolve in water into a solution.
What you may love about Matcha tea is the unique properties and its multifold culinary application. Matcha green tea powder can be sweetened and is fantastic if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your usual black coffee.
Matcha green tea powder – origin, clime and growth explained
Despite its Japanese name, the cultivation of Matcha originates from China. Historically, Matcha was associated with practicing meditation and Zen.
Matcha tea was brought to Japan as supplement for meditation for monks. Monks would drink Matcha whilst spending long hours sitting in a fixed position. You may wonder what the green tea has to do with meditation. Well, Matcha would increase their alertness and keep them calm at the same time.
Matcha green tea is used for traditional tea ceremonies across Japan which I can’t wait to participate in!
What’s the difference between green tea and Matcha?
To be more precise, let’s compare Matcha green tea to the ordinary green tea, black tea and white tea. All four types of tea come from the same plant called ‘Camellia sinensis’ but each tea has its own way of cultivation, harvesting and processing which results in a different end product of each type.
Ever wondered how Matcha is cultivated?
Let’s make things a bit clearer. To start with, Matcha green tea is shade-grown. That means that the tea plants need to be covered from the sun until harvesting. Shielding tea with shade clothes promotes growth of best quality leaves with potent flavour and texture.
Matcha green tea grows in the shade which naturally increases level of chlorophyll in comparison to other teas. By selecting good quality Matcha you can be sure that only the fresh and tender tips of the leaves are handpicked.
We actually visited one of the tea plantations in Chiang Rai, where Matcha is cultivated amongst other types of green tea. We simply had to bring back home our little goodies including Matcha, not only as a souvenir but also as a local delicacy.
Once the leaves are collected, they go through steaming process which prevents them from oxidation or in other words, fermentation. Leaves are put into a dry and cool place where they are air-dried in order to deepen and preserve the flavour.
Lastly, Matcha leaves undergo grinding. This phase is referred to as stone-grounding process which turns formerly handpicked leaves into powder that you will be drinking once the packaging reaches shop shelves. Voilà!
What Are The Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder?
What are the health benefits of Matcha green tea powder and why are people going absolutely crazy over Matcha tea, Matcha latte, Marcha noodles and all forms of Matcha desserts, including my favourite Macha mochi?
Matcha green tea powder has some of the amazing and powerful properties thanks to Catechins, L-Theanine, Saponine and Caffeine along with vitamins, fibre and natural antioxidants. I have broken this down for you to have a better understanding of what each one of these active ingredients is responsible for and the direct impact on your body.
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Come From Its Active Ingredients
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty to understand what are the health benefits of Matcha green tea powder. Catechins (particularly EGCg) take an active role in combating damage that is effectively made by free radicals from UV rays, chemicals, pollution and other particles that may result in cells and even DNA damage.
There’s more to it, check it out:
- Prevents food poisoning
- Improved intestinal performance
- Prevents cancer and lifestyle illnesses
- Descreases cholesterol levels
- Prevents colds (with Vitamin C)
- Prevents allergic reaction (with Saponin)
- Promotes better sleep quality
- Improves hypertension
- Insomnia improvement
- Improves memory, promotes concentration and learning abilities
- Improves blood flow
- Prevents allergic reaction (with Catechins)
- Despite concentration of Caffeine, Matcha stimulates ‘calm alertness’ thanks to L-theanine (however, it is best to drink it a few hours before bedtime, i.e. afternoon hours)
- Balanced energy boost thanks to natural grouping with other compounds. Caffeine is not the primary compound in Matcha green tea and unlike black coffee and it won’t result in ‘crash-effect’.
Some of the Health Benefits Matcha Green Tea comes with
- Powerful metabolism booster thanks to high content of fibre
- Potent calorie burner
- Decreases cortisol (stress hormone widely associated with increased level of appetite and belly fat)
- Increases your thermogenesis (term used to measure your body’s ability to burn calories) from 8%-10% of daily energy use to 35%-40% energy expenditure
- Anti-ageing properties – thanks to high concentration of cachetin and Vitamin E – prevents skin spots, sagging and wrinkles
- Natural energy booster without side effects (like caffeine that can give you jitters), it can improve not only your mental but also physical performance
- It contains about 1/9th of caffeine amount found in coffee. Its natural grouping with other compounds and pigments allows for a balanced energy boost without affecting our psycho-physiological functions unlike the ‘crash-effect’ often seen in black coffee attributed to high concentration of caffeine and often ‘addiction-like’ symptoms associated with daily consumption.
- Matcha’s detoxifying properties work like magic to your body. This is thanks to Chlorophyll, the light-capturing pigment and active detoxifying ingredient. Chlorophyll enables purging and cleansing your body from toxins and heavy metals).
If you ever wondered why Matcha’s colour is so vibrant green compared to other types of tea, it is simply because of the high concentration of chlorophyll. Since Matcha grows in the shade, this naturally increases level of chlorophyll in comparison to other tea types with more exposure to sun.
- Improves functioning of immune system (matchaportal.pl)
- Packed with natural antioxidants (like EGCg) – chemical compounds which prevent development of chronic illnesses and aging
- One cup of Matcha green tea can restore and sustain a healthy balance in your body.
- Natural cleanser of unwanted cholesterol
Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral
- Known to reduce inflammation
- Tea gargling prevents influenza
- Catechins neutralise active oxygen that causes cancer
Brain / Nervous system:
- Helps relax your mind
- Promotes good quality and sound sleep
- High concentration of Vitamin C prevents formation of spots and freckles
- Can be used on skin as soap or bath soak
Wonderful properties of Matcha are far beyond the tea ceremony. The list of culinary application is very long but did you know about the beauty products?
- Matcha Soap
- Matcha Soak
- Matcha Supplements
- Matcha tea capsules
Some good combinations with Matcha green tea powder
- Matcha + Banana ore = relieve constipation and increase diet effect
- Matcha + Ginger = cool down effect and increase combustion effect
Do you have any more questions on what are the health benefits of Matcha green tea powder?
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Based On Matcha Nutrition Facts
- Great source of antioxidants called polyphenols
- Rich in fibre
- Rich in chlorophyll (light-capturing pigment and active detoxifying ingredient enabling purging and cleansing your body from toxins and heavy metals). It aids in discharging unwanted cholesterol
- Rich in vitamins (C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium)
- Vitamin C present in Matcha prevents spots and freckles
- Vitamin A prevents skin from dryness and keeps skin moisturised
- Source of catechin antioxidants (EGCg – epigallocatechin gallate) with potent anti-cancerous properties. Cachetin has also impact on suppressing sugar absorption
- Low in calories
- Contains ‘L-theanine’ – type of a rare amino acid – which increases alpha wave – brings sense of relaxation, suppresses tension and anxiety. L-Theanine is common in all types of tea but its high concentration (up to 5 times the average amount found in the teas) improves quality of sleep through relaxation without inducing drowsiness. It sets foundations for a sound sleep. Theanine comes from the root part of tea which moves to the leaves and when exposed to the sun, it turns into cachetin, usually in small quantities due to high sun exposure. Matcha owes its high concentration of Theanine to the way it is cultivated when exposure to sunlight is limited in comparison to other types of tea.
- As opposed to other green teas where majority of nutrients found in tea leaves are thrown away and only soluble substances get ingested, in Matcha green tea all properties get ingested due to powder-like tea
- Should be consumed in moderation with different meals
Where to buy Matcha Green Tea Powder?
I hope that now you have a clearer picture on what are the benefits of Matcha green tea powder and understand why it’s such a popular superfood. If you’re not planning on travelling to Japan anytime soon, I’d recommend online stores for the convenience and range of brands. If you don’t mind longer waiting time, you can contact Matcha sellers outside of your country who specialise in Matcha.
Some supermarkets like Tesco or Sainsbury’s sell Matcha green powder but their choice may be a little limited. However, you can cut down on the waiting time and get the product immediately. The available options are usually Pukka Green Tea.
Personally, I like getting things online as the choice is usually a lot wider. If you’re planning to get good quality Matcha, here are a few you may like.
Applying Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder In Your Kitchen – Matcha food ideas
Now that you know what are the health benefits of matcha green tea, let’s move on to Matcha food ideas. Thanks to its unique, powdered texture, the culinary application of Matcha green tea is not limited to tea ceremonies! Once you buy Matcha powder and have it ready in your kitchen, there are thousands of recipes where you can add this yummy green powder.
I’m listing only some ideas you may like to try. In the future, you will be add some home-made Matcha powder recipes so be patient!
- Matcha brownies
- Iced Matcha latte with coconut
- Matcha ice-creams
- Matcha mochi
- Matcha slush puppy
- Matcha crepes
- Chocolate Matcha butter cups
- Matcha muffins
- Matcha smoothie
- Matcha chia seed pudding (or flax seed)
- Matcha Jade lemonade
- Matcha frappe
- Matcha-tini (Martini)
- Banana Matcha waffles
- Matcha green tea swirl cookies
- Dark chocolate Macha bar
- Matcha cheesecake
- Toasted sesame and crispy rice
- Dark chocolate truffles with Manuka honey
- Matcha mushroom crepes
- Hummatcha (Matcha with humous)
- Green Tea Matcha sushi roll
- Matcha-kissed popcorn
- Lime matcha dressing
- Wild veggie sushi rolls
- Matcha noodles
- Matcha seasoning
- Matcha soup
- Matcha stir-fry
- Matcha guacamole
- Genmaicha – green Matcha tea with brown rice
Do You Know What Are The Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder For You?
Finally, made it till the end! I hope you’ve learnt something new today. Have you got any more questions on what are the health benefits of Matcha green tea powder? If so, leave a comment if you like the post, want to exchange your views on the best way to prepare Matcha tea or want to add some ideas on mixing Matcha green tea powder with some yummy ingredients!
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