Start experiencing these 7 Benefits of Matcha Tea when you add this healthy beverage into your daily routine.
You’ve probably heard of Matcha tea or come across it on the shelf in your local Trader Joe’s next to Green tea, but do you know what it is or what the benefits of drinking Matcha tea are?
Matcha tea is a form of green tea made into a rich, green powder and whisked with hot water. With numerous varieties readily available from Matcha lattes to frappuccinos, Matcha tea is becoming a highly popular drink choice for many.
But does it actually benefit you health-wise, or do people simply enjoy drinking it for its sweet taste? Here I take a look at what Matcha tea is and the key benefits to your health if you drink this tea.
What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is a type of green tea that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. But unlike green tea, at around 20-30 days before it is due to be harvested, the tea plant is covered to avoid direct sunlight. Doing so increases the amount of chlorophyll produced, the number of amino acids and causes the leaves to turn a darker green color.
After this, the leaves are harvested and ground into a fine powder, known as matcha. When the leaves are processed, they continue to remain in the dark to protect the nutrients.
Unlike green tea where the leaves are infused with water and then removed, matcha tea powder is whisked with hot water and then drunk.
Depending upon the matcha tea powder used can have a significant impact on the taste and texture of your matcha tea.
A high-quality matcha powder will be smooth with a slightly sweet taste. You will also notice that the powder is bright green.
Lower-quality matcha tea powder will be more of a yellow hue than green, will have a bitter taste, and may be more grainy in texture. The leaves in this tea will often not have been shaded properly, or from lower down on the plant.
Generally speaking, with matcha tea powder, the higher the price, the better the quality.
A good rule of thumb, particularly when buying Matcha tea powder online is to check for the grade of matcha. The best Matcha tea powders are Ceremonial grade as it uses the darkest leaves leading to matcha’s famous sweet flavor.
Benefits of Drinking Matcha
High in Antioxidants
Unlike green tea leaves, matcha tea is highly concentrated and hence has an increased amount of antioxidants. Matcha tea is produced directly from the leaf of the plant and hence you drink the entire leaf. Compared with when using green tea leaves, the leaves are added to hot water but then removed, so you don’t gain the same nutritional value.
Antioxidants are natural chemicals that help to prevent chronic diseases. Matcha tea itself has been found to have more than 10 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries.
Supports Weight Loss
Not only is Matcha tea almost free of calories, but it has also been suggested to support weight loss. Studies have suggested that matcha tea may help to speed up metabolism and boost the amount of fat burnt.
Matcha tea contains the amino acid, L-theanine. This amino acid has been shown to reduce stress and promote feelings of relaxation. Matcha contains up to five times more L-theanine than other forms of tea, hence its increased effectiveness in reducing stress.
Improved Brain Function
Although other teas and coffees contain a level of caffeine, Matcha tea is suggested to contain a higher concentration. Caffeine has been linked to promoting alertness, an increase in concentration, and increasing activity in the brain. However, Matcha tea does this without the ‘crash’ often found when drinking coffee due to Matcha tea containing L-theanine.
Promotes a Healthy Heart and Lower Levels of Cholesterol
Drinking Matcha tea has been suggested to reduce the risk of heart disease. A compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in Matcha tea has been found to reduce bad cholesterol. When a particular type of cholesterol builds up, it increases the number of fatty acids in the arteries which can increase the risk of a heart attack. EGCG helps to reduce this build-up and hence keeps your arteries clean. Though of course, for maximum effect it is best to combine drinking Matcha tea with a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Improves Liver Health
Your liver is an important organ in your body that helps to remove toxins and processes nutrients.
Drinking Matcha tea has been found to decrease risk of liver disease and lower liver enzyme levels. Having high amounts of enzymes are linked with liver damage, so a reduction in these enzymes is a positive outcome.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Matcha has high levels of vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K. Vitamin C has been found to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a protein in your body that helps keep skin elasticity. As you age, the amount of collagen you produce lowers. Hence, stimulating collagen production can help improve the sign of wrinkles. Vitamin B promotes healthy skin turnover, also aiding signs of aging, with vitamin B2 helping to improve skin tone and dryness.
Now that we have taken a look at the benefits of Matcha tea, you may want to try this green tea for yourself.
How to Make It?
To make a proper matcha tea using matcha tea powder, you only need water, matcha tea, and then a specially made matcha bamboo whisk called a chasen.
First, sift your matcha tea powder to minimize its clumping together in your cup. Then, while adding hot water, whisk with your chasen and continue to whisk until your drink is smooth. There should be no lumps in your drink. Whisking with a chasen, it provides a foamy consistency ready for you to drink.
Other variations include:
- Chocolate Matcha
- Coffee and Matcha
- Matcha Latte
If you have been considering trying Matcha tea powder, now you know what all the fuss is about. This drink doesn’t just offer an alternative to coffee but provides numerous benefits to your health. From ensuring you don’t experience jitters from a caffeine slump to supporting weight loss, Matcha tea is both nutritious and satisfying to drink.