Matcha tea powder is packed with vital health benefits. It’s a metabolism and immune system booster, powerful detoxer and natural weight loss aid. It supports a clear and relaxed concentrated mind, and it could help with cancer prevention!
Read on to learn why you might want to swap out your morning espresso in exchange for a zen matcha moment.
What is Matcha tea?
Matcha is green tea leaves which are ground into a powder. The tea is specially cultivated using techniques that bring out some super health benefits from the plant.
Traditionally Matcha was used in tea ceremonies in Japan but recently it has enjoyed a surge in popularity as it is an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be added to anything from cakes and cookies to smoothies and lattes.
Is Matcha better for you than ordinary green tea?
When you drink Match you consume the whole tea leaf. The tea leaf is ground up into a powder and you mix it with water and drink the entire contents.
Actually one cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 4-10 cups of green tea from nutritional content!
Imagine if you boiled spinach and just and drank the cooking water – think of all the nutrients and fibre in the actual spinach that would be wasted. That is essentially what you do each time you make normal green tea and throw away the leaves at the end.
Matcha give you you all of the goodness and fibre from the tea leaf as well as the nutrients that infuse the water.
10 Reasons to drink a cup of matcha tea every day (starting tomorrow)
1. It’s green!!
Ever wondered why all healthy foods are green? That green colour comes from the Chlorophyll element and Matcha is packed with it due to the shaded cultivation method (this substantially increases the Chlorophyll content compared to other green teas).
What does Chlorophyll do? It is natural detoxifier, helping to eliminate heavy metals and chemicals from the body. Is also helps in maintaining alkalinity in the body (acidic tissues lead to disease).
If you have seen high quality Matcha powder in person, you will know that the green colour ‘pops’ out at you – it’s so deep and vibrant! This is one of the reasons why Matcha makes such a great addition to baked goods and other foods. It imparts a unique flavour and beautiful green colour to anything it is added to.
Chlorophyll can also help to regulate your appetite. Drink Matcha and eat more greens to fuel your body with some Chlorophyll goodness!
2. Matcha boosts your powers of concentration and relaxation, simulataneously
Did you know that Matcha was first cultivated by Buddhist monks in Japan because it helps to induce a relaxed state of sustained alertness? It became popular because this was ideal in supporting a daily meditation practice.
Even if you don’t meditate daily, if you can regularly reach a state of relaxed alertness you will probably find your productivity multiplies.
Relaxed alertness is when you feel alert and stimulated, but at the same time relaxed and confident in your ability to react to any situation or problem. Research show that this state improves learning ability, self confidence and resilience.
I know for sure that if I am not relaxed then the quality of my work decreases – if you also experience this I recommend giving Matcha a try!
3. Matcha is energising (without a crash)
Matcha has a unique composition of caffeine and a rare amino acid, L-Theanine. Caffeine gives you an energy boost, and L-Theanine stimulates relaxation without causing drowsiness. This stops the buzz/crash effect that you might experience from the caffeine content of a regular cup of coffee, because L-Theanine counters the jittery side effects.
The result of this powerful combination is clean, sustained energy for around 6 hours after you drink Matcha tea.
Is Matcha tea better than coffee? If you are prone to crash after the initial energy buzz you get from caffeinated drinks, Matcha may be a good option for you to try.
(Please be aware that if you are sensitive to caffeine, Matcha does contain caffeine so if you think it is suitable for you to try Matcha, it may be best to start with a small quantity. Pregnant women are advised to consult a doctor in relation to their caffeine content during pregancy).
4. Matcha boosts your metabolism
Matcha is a great natural weight loss aid. Matcha boosts metabolism and burns fat – one study found that drinking matcha tea can increase the body’s rate of burning calories from 8-10% (normal daily energy expenditure), to 35-43%!
Even better, Matcha does not raise heart rate or blood pressure. The same cannot be said for ‘quick fix’ weight loss supplements available on the market, which can put considerable stress upon your body.
However drinking Matcha is not a substitute for eating well and exercising regularly, so enjoy it as part of a balanced lifestyle 🙂
5. Matcha boosts your immune system
Matcha is loaded with antioxidants which are powerful chemical compounds that prevent chronic diseases and aging. Gram for gram, Matcha contains 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries!
Antioxidants power up the bodies immune system; essentially the more antioxidants present in your body, the better equipped you are to fight infection and disease – a matcha a day keeps the doctor away…?
6. Matcha possesses cancer fighting properties
Matcha is rich in EGCg (epigallocatechin), a catechin studied for its cancer fighting properties.
Often we are not in control of the amount of pollution and chemicals that are bodies are exposed to because they are so common in our environment today. Chemicals, pollution, UV rays and radiation all lead to free radicals which damage cells in the body, and can eventually lead to cancer. Catechins protect the body by countering these free radicals.
This knowledge might sweeten your cup of Matcha more than any honey could!!
7. Matcha reduces body fat and cardiovascular risk
As well as their cancer fighting properties and complexion boosting properties, green tea rich in catechins have also been shown to reduce body fat and cardiovascular risk in humans.
Is there anything that catechins can’t do!? Matcha contains up to 137 times more catechins than regular green tea!
8. Matcha makes your skin glow
Catechins help to protect your skin from damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, as well as increasing blood flow, leading to glowing, rosy cheeks. It protects against skin blemishes, acne, scarring and redness.
9. Matcha is calming
Matcha is synonymous with the famous Japanese tea ceremony, and if you have ever been lucky enough to witness a performance you will know it is a beautiful and serene experience.
If you take time to stop and slow down as you prepare and drink your Matcha tea, it will leave your mind and spirit at peace as you continue your day.
10. Matcha tastes good!!
I have tried my fair share of superfoods and I must admit that I can only stomach some of the stronger green powders (I’m looking at you, spirulina!) if their taste is masked by other ingredients in a smoothie. However, I do not have this problem with Matcha at all! Matcha tastes amazing! When I am eating out or shopping, if there is a Matcha flavoured option you can be sure I will opt for it!
On top of that, Matcha incredibly versatile! You can make lattes, cookies, tea and oatmeal just to name a few (for a post showing different ways to use Matcha click here). I love cooking with Matcha and the unique flavour it imparts.
Find this useful? Feel inspired? I highly encourage you to try and introduce a cup of Matcha a day into your lifestyle and see if you can experience the benefits yourself.
Interested to buy Matcha tea?
Matcha originated in Japan, and Japan still produces the highest quality and tastiest Matcha. For an authentic experience, I highly recommend that you check the packaging to ensure your Matcha is produced in Japan if you are purchasing it.
This is the brand that I personally buy when I’m in Japan, you can find it on Amazon. Take care as Itoen also sell Matcha mixed with normal green tea powder (NOT the same thing), so double check if you are buying elsewhere!
Heapwell Organic Matcha
Or if you prefer faster shipping, the Heapwell brand is also available. It is a certified organic product and they source their tea directly from Kyoto, the birthplace of Matcha. Kyoto produces the highest quality Matcha in Japan.
Finally, be sure to check out Nami’s guide on how to make the perfect cup of matcha tea over at Just One Cookbook! Her other food recipes are also incredibly delicious!