Matcha is the newfound sensation in the world of health enthusiasts, be it celebrities, fitness freaks, scientists, or any tea lover! This ultimate exquisite, powdered-green tea, backed by centuries of tradition, is not just used as a matcha green tea blend, but has a variety of uses in cooking as well, being used to make ice creams, muffins, cakes, and a plethora of other dishes. Surprised?
Be ready for more!
Once revered in Asia alone, matcha green tea now has a strong standing across global health stores, wellness shops, cafes, and culinary outlets. It’s not the just the perfect umami taste that it has, but it boasts of having the highest content of rich antioxidants and has a range of incredible health benefits and nutrient profile.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is finely ground green tea powder that is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant which gives us all other kinds of tea - black, green, white tea etc. However, there is a special, rather unique way of growing the green tea used to make Matcha. The tea is actually grown in shade, which means that the plant tries harder to reach the sunlight and produces more nutrients and chlorophyll. Hence matcha green tea has proven to contain much more nutrients than the regular green tea. 1 Cup of Matcha Green tea contains 10 times the amount of antioxidants than what is present in 1 cup of regular green tea.
Interestingly enough, matcha dates back to ancient Japan in the 12th century, introduced and popularized by Zen Buddhist monks. It continues to be a staple beverage or a culinary ingredient, because of its high content of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to the lovely umami-sweet taste that is there to it.
What does it take to grow Matcha?
For making matcha, cultivators cover the tea bushes for about 20-30 days before harvest and cut off direct sunlight. This process increases the chlorophyll production, boosts amino acids, and gives the plant a darker green color. Once the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and the veins are removed and the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder, which ultimately is consumed as Matcha.
How does matcha tea taste?
Matcha tea boasts of a combination of umami, sweet and earthy flavors with a fresh, vegetal aroma. The taste is often described as the taste and aroma of moss, edamame and seaweed. It also features a creamy finish with a savoury flavor, which makes it all the more indulgent.
11 Ultimate Matcha Green Tea Benefits Explained
4 teaspoons of Matcha powder generally packs about 280 mg of caffeine, but the combination of caffeine with L-theanine in matcha green tea provides a clean, stable, and extended boost of energy. This means that matcha green tea powder benefits the body of a long lasting energy, minus the anxious jitters and crashes of caffeine found in coffee.
Great for immunity
One of the ultimate benefits of matcha green tea is that it's packed with antioxidants known as polyphenols and catechins. As a matter of fact, matcha green tea contains more antioxidants than any other superfoods. Matcha green tea powder benefits the human body tremendously, especially with the presence of the most prominent catechin called ‘EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate’. EGCG interferes with oxidation, which enables it to offer a wide breadth of health benefits including the neutralizing of free radicals and to protect the body against a host of bacterial and viral infections. In simpler words, matcha for good immunity is a sure-shot bet.
Prevents Heart Disease
Matcha green tea powder benefits the heart in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that regular intake of matcha green tea blend lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks, by helping the body metabolise fats more easily and it also regulates blood sugar levels.
Boosts Brain Function
Regular intake of matcha green tea blend has been proven scientifically to improve one’s brain function by reducing stress and alleviating symptoms of anxiety as well. Any matcha contains more caffeine than any regular green tea hence, along with the presence of L-theanine for a sustainable, clean sort of energy boost. Regularly drinking matcha can lead to faster reaction times, increased attention, and enhanced memory. This was the prime reason that the Zen Buddhist monks took to matcha, for it helped them to meditate for long hours.
Aids Weight Loss
One of the biggest matcha green tea powder benefits is that it aids weight loss by boosting your metabolic rate. Since matcha tea is naturally calorie-free and also helps with losing more calories during physical exercise, in addition to increasing endurance levels. It also makes it an ideal candidate for a pre or post workout beverage, instead of sugary juices or sodas or shakes.
Promotes Oral Health
When matcha green tea was tested for oral health, it showed that this tea actually helps to reduce the concentration of the gases that are responsible for bad breath. And, naturally any green tea has antibacterial properties that keep bad bacteria at bay.
Makes you Smarter
Researchers have found out that drinking matcha regularly causes improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory.
It also helps you manage your stress better, thereby helping your brain focus on what’s at hand.
One of the greatest matcha green tea blend benefits is that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine, which does wonders for concentration by increasing the activity of alpha-waves in the brain. This help in relaxin the person and induces mental clarity and a more focussed mind.
Reduces the Risk of Certain Cancers
Matcha green tea contains health-promoting compounds, especially high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that has been shown to have powerful anti-carcinogenic properties and to reduce the risk of certain type of cancers. Drinking matcha regularly also helps in improving the immunity and keeping it in shape.
Protects the Liver
Matcha green tea helps prevent both liver and kidney diseases and hence, is vital in flushing out toxins, metabolizing drugs, and processing nutrients. In other words, it keeps your liver in shape too.
How to prepare a good cup of Matcha?
While your regular tea is made from soaked leaves, matcha is prepared from ground whole leaves. And, we are here to share how to prepare a steaming hot cup of matcha in a traditional Japanese way so as you reap the maximum matcha green tea powder benefits.
Take a spoon full of matcha into a heated tea bowl. Add hot water to about 70 degrees, whisk it, until it becomes smooth with froth on top. Depending on the consistency of the tea that you like, you can make yourself a standard, thin, and thick cup.
Just remember you don’t really need special equipment to make a good cup of matcha. A cup, a teaspoon, and a small whisk will do just fine. Although, a traditional Japanese matcha tea uses a bamboo spoon and a special bamboo whisk.
So, without any doubts, just pour yourself a cup of matcha and cheers to good health. Enjoy the best matcha green tea benefits and flavours the Japanese way!
Until Next Time,
Authored by : Heena Mahajan, Contributing Wellness Author for Vahdam India
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