If trends are anything to go by, then we can safely say that swapping a latte for a warm cup of green tea instead just may be a fad that is here to stay for longer. And if, health doctors and nutritionists weren’t singing enough praises about green tea already and even claiming that this was the first superfood that could be ‘drunk’ as opposed to other superfoods that need to be eaten; the world suddenly discovered Matcha Green Tea as well. So, is Matcha green tea actually a green tea or a variant and why should learning about its benefits actually make a difference?
To start with, Matcha is a powdered green tea that is mostly grown and packed in Japan. It is believed that protecting the leaves of the green tea plant from the sun during the last three weeks of its growth, plays an important role in increasing the presence of chlorophyll and enhances the green color of the leaves too. The extra green leaves are then taken and ground by hand or with a stone grinder to produce a coarse green powder that we call Matcha. The discovery of green tea as such is attributed to the Tang dynasty in China where green tea used to be powdered and then dried into bricks for storage purposes. As and when somebody felt like brewing a cup of green tea, a small piece from the brick was broken off and used accordingly. It is said that in the 1100’s, the concept of powdered tea was brought to Japan by a Chinese monk and since then, the tradition of drinking powdered green tea has endured and only become stronger.
Today, the Japanese include Matcha green tea in many dishes and have even created an ice-cream flavor featuring the strong taste of Matcha, not to forget smoothies and milkshakes blended with a dash of Matcha in it. Boil Matcha in water and what you get is a green tea that is rich in taste and even has froth unlike a cup of tea made using green tea granules. Unlike green tea which can be best be flavored only with honey, a dash of lime or with the essence of flowers, Matcha is more versatile when it comes to playing around with other ingredients to create a sweeter flavor. What you need to keep in mind is that, only ½ tsp of the powder is needed to brew a cup of antioxidant rich Matcha.
So, should you swap your cup of green tea for some Matcha green tea brew instead? We say yes because doing so, can actually give your health a fantastic boost and re-energize you in many ways.
1. Give Yourself an Antioxidant Rush
Nutritionists are forever talking about how eating antioxidant rich food can cleanse your body of toxins and actually give your health a boost of much deserved nutrients. And it’s so true! Think of antioxidants as the secret elves that work from inside out to keep your skin looking younger, healthier and for helping you fight a range of illnesses and diseases. One antioxidant food that most of us secretly heart is dark chocolate. But did you know that just one cup of Matcha green tea can give your body more than 5 times the antioxidant boost in comparison to other products? It’s one product that deserves all the hype associated with it.
2. Cancer Buster Properties
You may have come across many other antioxidant rich food that’s often hailed for its ability to fight cancer. Ever wonder what the wonder ingredient is? It’s called Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCg which is actually a kind of catechin. Matcha green tea has more than 50% of this specific compound which has already been patted on the back for its cancer fighting abilities. If you’re still not entirely convinced, then here’s another fact- Research shows that Matcha green tea contains more than 90 times EGCg than any other tea that can be purchased at your local supermarket.
3. Promotes Calm and Relaxes
The very act of preparing a cup of matcha green tea is akin to meditation and hence taken very seriously in Japanese culture. This form of green tea helps to relax the mind, promotes calm and may even help one to meditate at a higher level as well. This tea has been shown to relax the brain entirely and to help one ‘be in the moment’ without causing any form of drowsiness at all.
4. Natural Memory Booster
It’s no secret that as we age, so does our brain. It could be one reason why so many elderly people tend to forget things easily and struggle to remember even the smallest details as they grow older. Drinking Matcha green tea enhances the production of dopamine and serotonin in the body and both these chemicals have been shown to be fantastic for improving memory and promoting concentration. And yes, you’ll feel its benefits quickly once you start drinking it regularly.
5. Power up Energy Levels
Japanese tales talk about brave Samurai warriors drinking Matcha green tea before going into battle and this can be attributed to the fine powder’s ability to boost one’s energy levels. Matcha green tea like every other tea that’s commercially available, also contains its fair share of caffeine but doesn’t leave you feeling hyper, on the edge or even nervous as say, coffee may. You’ll feel a wave of good clean energy coupled with the power to think clearly and to focus well on the task at hand.
6. Reliable Calorie Burner
As if we didn’t already love all the great benefits of Matcha green tea, here’s another reason why you should consider drinking it for yourself. It’s been certified as a reliable calorie burner because it actually does burn body fat quite effectively and maybe even four times better than the next nearest competitor. What’s good about it is that unlike most other calorie burners that come with side-effects like bloating, gastritis or even an increased heart rate, Matcha green tea is gentle and soothing to the body.
7. Toxin Remover
All antioxidant rich food have the ability to work like a vacuum cleaner in our bodies. Besides removing harmful toxins that could accumulate over time and cause more serious diseases, it rejuvenates each organ that works round the clock from within. Matcha too has wonderful detoxifying abilities and that could be because of the high chlorophyll content in the leaves.
8. Improves Immunity
One reason why you may be catching a flu every time there’s a change in season, or sneezing due to an allergy could be because of a weak immune system. So, just by consuming one bowl of Matcha green tea every day, you give yourself a good helping of naturally occurring Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Protein and Calcium. Although more studies need to be conducted on the same, there’s also a possibility that Matcha can protect the body cells from HIV attacks.
9. Better Cholesterol Levels
In short, Matcha can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and raise the levels of good cholesterol, simultaneously. This also means that it keeps your circulatory system in top notch condition and protects you from getting heart disease too.
10. Can be used in Cooking
Don’t fancy drinking a cup of Match every day? Well there’s no reason why you can’t get more creative and add Matcha to your cooking as well. Make your cakes, cookies and puddings more delicious just by adding half a spoon of Matcha to the mix. Use it in soups, stir-fry’s, dips and even in your breakfast morning smoothie. With such a versatile ingredient to experiment with, you’ll find that there are many ways to give your body the same benefits as brewing a fresh cup of Matcha green tea.
So, isn’t it time to think about switching over to Matcha to give your body a double dose of health boosting nutrients? Move over coffee, the new reloaded green tea is finally here!