Matcha has become a popular trend in the health and wellness community over the last couple of years. Nutritionists all over the world rave about the antioxidant-filled likes of green tea, especially matcha. It is believed to be one of the most potently rich superfoods in the world; just one cup provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food. Keep scrolling for the 411 on adding this superfood to your daily diet.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is part of the green tea family but is a slightly more unique variation. Unlike traditional green tea – where one would soak the leaves in hot water – matcha is the powder made from the tea leaves ground up. This allows for a higher concentration of the leaves’ nutrients, giving you more benefits. Among chlorophyll, matcha includes other health-boosting nutrients like polyphenols, L-theanine, fibre and potassium.
Matcha vs Loose-Leaf Tea
When you brew a cup of traditional green tea, you’re only getting a fraction of the nutrients it has to offer. This is due to the fact that water can only extract a small amount of the tea’s benefits. The majority then remains unused, trapped in the tea leaves. The best way to take advantage of green tea’s full potential is to consume the entire leaf. Since matcha is straight, stoneground tea leaves, it provides you with all that green tea has to offer.
- Packed with antioxidants: Matcha contains antioxidants such as catechins and polyphenols. These help reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease. Simply put, antioxidants are the body’s defence agents. The more you have, the better equipped your body is in the fight against infections and disease.
- It’s a great source of caffeine: Matcha powder has about 3x the amount of caffeine as other brewed teas. That’s about the same energy benefit (or slightly less than) a cup of coffee.
- Can reduce stress: Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to reduce stress. A 2016 study found that consuming high levels of L-theanine can be super beneficial for those dealing with anxiety. Matcha offers the same smooth alertness as coffee without the jitters, which is often linked to its L-theanine component.
- Promotes healthier cholesterol and blood sugar levels: Matcha contains a powerful antioxidant, EGCG, which is often linked to cancer prevention. It’s also been shown that consuming matcha can result in a decrease in cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Boosts metabolism and reduces bloating: Besides being nearly calorie-free, matcha is great for weight loss as it boosts metabolism and burns fat. At the same time, it does not put any stress on the body either. It doesn’t raise blood pressure or the heart rate, making it a safe and healthy way to boost your metabolism.
- It’s detoxifying: Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll, one of its main elements, is a powerful detoxifier that helps to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. It’s also what gives it that signature green colour!
Matcha for the Skin
Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your skin, which is why it’s super important to incorporate nutrient-rich foods in your diet. Experts say that having a cup of matcha every day is one of the best ways to improve your skin. Essentially, it contains loads of antioxidants that are vital for healthy skin. They help protect your cells from free radical damage caused by environmental stressors such as UV damage and pollution.
Be sure to check out my Lazy Girl Matcha Latte recipes for a quick and easy way to get this powerful superfood into your system!