20 August, 2021 | Ernest Atta Adjei
Matcha Tea: Health Benefits + Recipe
We can boldly say that matcha tea isn't your ordinary green tea with its delightful flavor and vibrant color.
Green tea is popularly known for its healthy drink. But what if you could get an immense nutritional value out of each cup? That's where matcha comes in.
It may come as a surprise to you, but green tea comes in other forms as well, not just in a teabag. It also comes in a ground powder called matcha, and it's packed with more nutritional benefits.
Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about matcha tea is that it’s perfectly delicious. However, there’s more to this tasty green drink than its rich, creamy flavor. And even though most of it is good, not all of it is.
Let’s find out more.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is a green tea powder made from dried tea leaves. (By the way, green tea refers to the actual leaves). Matcha has a slightly vegetal, bitter taste and a vibrant green color due to the high chlorophyll in the leaves.
The drink has been the foundation of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries. However, it lately became popular in the United States due to its health benefits.
Regular green tea has already been praised as an antioxidant powerhouse, but matcha contains far more benefits. And here’s why: When you brew other types of green tea, you steep the leaves in hot water, then you discard them.
But with matcha, you whisk the powder into hot water or milk. So when you take it, you’re drinking the entire tea leaf.
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of matcha.
Health Benefits Of Matcha Tea
As said earlier, matcha comes with a slew of health benefits. And we’ll unpack them in this section. Let’s begin.
Matcha Tea Is Loaded With Antioxidants
The Wall Street Journal study shows that matcha has 137 times the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) compared to regular green tea - and that's a big deal! That's because EGCG enhances metabolism and may cease or slow the growth of cancer cells.
It also reduces inflammations, fights against free radicals, and prevents a bunch of chronic diseases. The Consumer Lab reports that brewed matcha green tea contains more catechins per gram than regular green tea.
It Improves Your Brain Function
Do you need a brainwave? Don't worry, take a cup of matcha tea. It can enhance the alpha waves in your brain due to a high concentration of L-theanine, polyphenols, and rich in amino acids.
The alpha waves are responsible for relaxing the mind and concentrating your thinking with ease and clarity. Mix that with a bit of caffeine found in matcha, and you'll have a combination that can keep you alert effortlessly.
The type of alertness that matcha graces you with isn't edgy alert. Instead, a calm clarity keeps you linked to your sense of purpose.
A study was conducted on the combined effects of caffeine and L-theanine on mood and cognitive performance. It showed that the participant’s accuracy and speed of performance increased along with memory boost too.
So next time you need your mind to perform at total capacity, a cup of matcha can get you into that state.
Matcha reduces your LDL cholesterol. This cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and other health issues if you have too much of it in your system.
Matcha can fight against this bad cholesterol by increasing your HDL cholesterol levels. This cholesterol is the good cholesterol that can clean out the junk from the arteries.
A Study from 14 tests on the cholesterol effects and green tea showed that green tea could significantly reduce LDL concentrations in the body.
Matcha Tea Protects The Liver
The liver is one of the essential organs in the body. So it's vital to keep it in good shape for our entire health and wellbeing, and matcha can help you do just that.
Research conducted gave 80 people with fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic) 500mg of green tea extract for 90 days. Some of the participants were given a placebo instead.
At the end of 12 weeks, those who took the green tea extract had fewer liver enzyme levels than the placebo group.
Improves Your Skin
Take a sip of matcha regularly and see how your skin will glow. Matcha works well with the skin so much that it’s even used as a face mask. But if using the green goo on your skin isn’t your thing, you can add it to your smoothie or brew it up in a post.
Matcha helps the skin slow down aging because it contains catechins, which stop free rascals from causing havoc to your skin. If you struggle with acne, rosacea, or any skin condition that irritates, matcha can help you.
And if you have oily skin, matcha can help regulate sebum production because of the tannins found inside. A study proved that green tea could be used to treat acne due to its sebum reduction properties.
So next time you want younger, more elasticated skin, use matcha instead of costly facials and stock up.
Improves Your Heart Health
A regular dose of matcha green tea can keep your heart healthy. According to a study, the catechins found in matcha can help prevent strokes, heart disease, and heart attack due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic and anti-hypertension qualities.
Taking matcha as part of a healthy lifestyle where you eat veggies and fruits, get enough sleep, and exercise can help you live a long and good life.
Helps Weight Loss
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found catechins found in matcha can reduce weight loss. But how does the beverage do that?
The catechins contain thermogenic properties, and that's the speed used to burn calories. So sipping matcha can increase your speed rate, and it's not only when you're exercising but when resting too.
If you include matcha in your workout routine, you can increase your calorie-burning by 25%.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Indeed, a cup of matcha can't have a significant impact on your blood pressure. But studies have shown that long-term taking of matcha can have desirable results.
After drinking green tea daily for 12 weeks, the study showed that the participants had considerably lower blood pressure. So if you want to decrease your blood pressure, try sipping matcha tea every day.
Matcha Has Numerous Vitamins And Minerals
Matcha is loaded with minerals and vitamins, from Vitamin C to Vitamin A, magnesium, including all the necessary B vitamins you need.
Vitamin C can help you fight off flu and colds, Vitamine A eradicates free radicals, Vitamin F is good for your teeth, and Vitamin P helps cartilage and bone health.
Enhances Your Immune System
Studies have shown that green tea can boost the number of T cells in the body. However, the idea that just sipping matcha each day can reduce the risks of auto-immune disease is simply mind-blowing.
How To Make Matcha Tea
Making Matcha is straightforward. Follow the below recipe to make your matcha at home.
- 2 ounces of hot water
- ¼ teaspoon of matcha
- Six ounces of extra hot water or steamed milk of your choice, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, dairy milk, etc.
- Honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners (optional)
- Sift the matcha green tea into a small bowl or a mug to get rid of lumps. If not, it'll be challenging to get the tea to disperse evenly in the water. Plus, your drink will become lumpy.
- Pour the matcha into 2 ounces of hot water. You can use a matcha whisk or any regular whisk to whisk briskly from side to side. Do this until the matcha is dispersed evenly and a foamy layer appears on top.
- Add the six ounces of steamed milk or hot water and whisk again until you get a foamy appearance. If you prefer, you can sweeten it to taste.
Matcha Tea Should Taste A Bit Grassy (And A Bit Pricey)
When buying matcha powders, you have to be careful because most brands combine sugar and powdered milk. And that's just another hot chocolate, but green.
So check the ingredients if sugar is listed. If so, the health benefits will be reduced. The quality match will likely be costly. Plus, it’ll have a grassy taste, almost tasting like spinach.
If you want your matcha sweet and lovely, you can make it at home. (we’ll show you how shortly.)
Matcha May Contain Lead
And now, for a bit of bad news: green tea, particularly those grown in China, has been known to contain lead. This absorbs from the environment. Because you don't steep but consume the tea leaves, the matcha contains more lead.
According to The New York Times, the matcha contains about 30 times more lead than regular green tea. It may sound scary, but it's not as terrifying as it seems. Just limit the matcha you eat to one cup per day and keep it away from your children.
If you do this, you should be fine, without any consequences.
It's crucial to find a high-quality matcha tea because every matcha is not the same. For example, some matcha powders may already have sweeteners and milk included. And since your focus is on health benefits, sweeteners can reduce their benefits considerably.
Now you know why matcha tea has been a cornerstone for the Japanese green tea ceremonies for centuries. The drink is delicious. Whether you shake it, brew it, stir it or add it in smoothies, your taste buds and body will thank you. Order your favorite matcha online now!