We all know green tea offers numerous health advantages. From low key benefits like increasing alertness to bolder claims like preventing cancer, matcha is touted as a powerhouse of health. In the interest of keeping this a blog post rather than a novel, I’ll keep it short and sweet, and touch on some of the more exciting and well-researched claims.
But first, what is matcha?
Matcha is a form of green tea. All tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The level of processing determines whether the final product will be black tea, oolong, green tea, etc. Matcha is finely ground up green tea leaves (stems & veins removed), but where matcha has an advantage over other teas is that instead of steeping the leaves and tossing them out, you’re actually consuming the entire leaf. In fact, it is said that to equal the nutrients in 1 cup of matcha, you would have to drink 10 to 15 cups of regular brewed green tea!
What’s so great about matcha?
- Antioxidants and more
Matcha is packed with antioxidants, including EGCG, which has been shown to decrease inflammation and fight cancer. Matcha has also been shown to increase cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies also show that matcha improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels. While matcha certainly isn’t a magic bullet, the results of studies so far are very promising!
Have you ever had too much caffeine? You’re jittery, sweaty and anxious. It usually isn’t the result you had in mind when you decided to down a couple cups of coffee to increase your alertness. Matcha has a clever way around the negative effects of caffeine. While matcha does contain caffeine (about 25mg vs 125mg in coffee) it also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which alters the effects of caffeine by promoting alertness, but in a gradual way that includes increasing relaxation while decreasing stress. As an added bonus, L-Theanine may help memory, learning and ability.
- Boosts metabolism
Some of the most exciting and hyped news to come out about green tea and matcha is the potential to boost metabolism and encourage weight loss. Matcha does this in a couple of ways. First, matcha increases endurance, meaning you can exercise longer. Second, matcha increases thermogenesis, which is the body’s rate of burning calories. In the same realm, matcha can reduce fluid retention, stabilize blood sugar levels and promote overall reduction in tissue inflammation.
These are just a few benefits of matcha, with new research being done all the time. If you’re in need of focused energy, a boost of antioxidants, and an increased metabolism, look no further than matcha! Try a scoop of matcha powder in your smoothie, or whisk up a latte, or even try baking with it!