Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder that’s made of leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. Matcha’s unique nutrient composition stems from the fact that it’s planted and harvested differently than ordinary green tea plants.
When growing matcha, the plants are shade-grown for about three to four weeks before harvest. This process causes the plants to produce more caffeine and theanine, which explains matcha’s high antioxidant content.
What is Matcha?
Matcha and green tea come from the same plant, but there are some differences between them. Matcha is ground up green tea leaves, and you usually drink it by mixing the powder with hot water. Traditional matcha aficionados mix the powder with hot water using a bamboo whisk, but a milk frother might be used instead.
Many people in the world enjoy drinking green tea, but most of it comes from China and Japan. When grown under the tarp and exposed to less sun, the plants produce more chlorophyll, which gives matcha its vibrant green color.
Nutritional Facts about Matcha Powder
As per the USDA, 100 gram of matcha green tea contains 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of sugar. Protein content is also zero.
Matcha does not provide significant amounts of macronutrients, such as protein and fat. However, depending on the preparation method and additional ingredients (such as milk and sugar), matcha can contain carbs and fat.
Matcha powder has a variety of health benefits, including anti-cancer properties and the ability to improve heart health and cognitive performance. Some of them are:
1) Enhances brain function
Matcha can help enhance brain function over time, according to some studies. In one study, researchers gave participants a matcha or placebo tea to drink and then did a series of tasks designed to measure brain performance.
The ones who drank the matcha performed these tasks better than those who consumed the placebo tea.
2) Prevents Cancer
Matcha is rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant found naturally in tea. It's also known to have 137 times more catechins than green tea. A compound in matcha called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to prevent skin, liver and lung cancers, in test tube studies.
3) Keeps your heart healthy
Green tea's beneficial antioxidants may help prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that drinking matcha is good for cholesterol levels, reducing both total and LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL or 'good' cholesterol.
It also helps lower triglycerides, which is a form of fat found in blood. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, matcha can help keep your heart healthy.
4) Maintains liver function
Drinking matcha has been shown to help maintain the health of your liver. The liver is an important organ that helps flush out toxins and process nutrients.
Elevated liver enzymes are a sign that there might be damage to this key organ. During a trial, 80 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were given a placebo or 500 mg of green tea extract. After 12 weeks, it was found that liver enzymes in ones taking the green tea extract were significantly reduced.
5) Keeps your skin healthy
Matcha can help with oily or acne-prone skin because it has tannins. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on irritated skin and reduces sebum production. Green tea was found to be useful in treating acne, in one study.
There are multiple health benefits in consuming matcha, which is why many people enjoy it.
The tea is easy to make, and you can add it to your menu in a variety of ways so that you don’t get bored with the taste. Whether you’re looking to gain more energy or boost your metabolism, adding matcha to your diet is a healthy option you shouldn’t overlook.
Easy ways to use matcha in your diet
Making traditional Matcha tea is simple and delicious. To make a cup of matcha, sift one teaspoon (2 gram) of matcha powder into your tea cup. Add 2 ounces (59 ml) of hot water.
Mix them together with a bamboo whisk to dissolve the powder, and enjoy. If you prefer a thinner consistency, reduce the amount of powder to ½ teaspoon (1 gram), and mix with 3–4 ounces (89–118 ml) hot water instead.
Many people enjoy the benefits of drinking matcha green tea. If you want a more concentrated version, mix 2 teaspoons (4 grams) of powder with just 1 ounce (30 ml) of water.
If you feel creative, try whipping up matcha lattes, puddings or smoothies to boost the nutrient content of your favourite recipes.
As always, moderation is key. Although matcha is absolutely packed with health benefits, more isn't always better.
Some people who consumed large volumes of green tea on a regular basis have been documented to have liver problems. Drinking matcha can increase your exposure to toxins, such as pesticides, chemicals and even arsenic, found in the soil where tea plants are cultivated
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
Matcha tea is made from shade-grown green tea leaves. Chlorophyll content contributes not only to matcha's green color but also its grassy flavor, which tends to be more pronounced compared to standard brewed green tea.
Many plants contain natural sweetness, but matcha is not one of them. However, the tea does have a pleasing aftertaste of astringency—not enough to be bitter, but just enough to be noticeable. And what really sets good matcha tea apart taste-wise is its umami.
Umami is a distinct flavor category that’s rich and savory, often linked to mushrooms and red meat. Matcha has more umami than other green teas because it contains high amounts of l-theanine and glutamate.
Matcha is definitely worth your time. It provides a unique way to incorporate medicinal tea into your daily routine without consuming excessive caffeine. It also has the added benefit of providing a balanced ratio of nutrients that boost a healthy lifestyle.
Matcha tea has more essential amino acids than many other teas, making it a great nutritional addition to your diet. It also tastes delicious, which is always a plus.
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