Matcha green tea’s vibrant green powder tastes a lot like green tea, but it offers more potent and meaningful health benefits.
Matcha green tea is a fine powder green tea native to Japan. Matcha green tea tastes like green tea, only a bit more full-bodied. In one gram of matcha green tea there are 34 milligrams of amino acids, 14.26 milligrams of L-theanine, 35 milligrams of caffeine, 318 milligrams of fiber, 447 milligrams of carbohydrates, 1.75 milligrams of vitamin C, 291 units of vitamin A, 26.6 milligrams of potassium and just 3 calories. Each gram also contains 105 milligrams of catechins.
Matcha tea and stylish accessories retailed Matcha Source was founded by Alissa White, who is a huge proponent of matcha tea and its life-changing benefits, both on the inside and out. Alissa says, “Drinking matcha in concert with eliminating or reducing sugar is a powerful way to clear up your skin and promote your inner glow. Its highly alkaline and the chlorophyll in it helps to remove heavy metals from the body. Thus matcha naturally eliminates body odor. Try iced-matcha in the summer instead of iced-coffee for a hydrating pick-me-up.”
What is in the matcha tea to make it so beneficial? Catechins. Catechins are a type of antioxidant found in tea, red wine, chocolate, berries and apples. Part of a molecular family called flavonoids, catechins function as antioxidants – they protect the body from free radicals and play a prominent role in everything, from heart disease to cancer to aging.
A diet rich in catechins reduces body fat and may be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, most notably obesity. It has also shown to aid in the prevention of age-related disorders, such as artherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The catechin most active and abundant in matcha tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). EGCg has shown in clinical applications to reduce inflammation, improve skin cell health, treat arthritis, control blood sugar levels in the body, suppress tumor promotion, improve survival rates of bladder cancer patients, lower the incidence of breast cancer and prevent and treat lung, pancreatic, skin and stomach cancer. Each gram of matcha green tea contains 61 milligrams of EGCg.
Matcha green tea is available in powdered form, which makes it particularly beneficial to the body. When you drink matcha tea, you ingest the entire leaf, receiving 100 percent of the nutrients of the plant. (This is unlike brewed green tea, in which you ingest the water that leaches nutrition from the leaves but not the leaves themselves.) Matcha powdered green tea boasts three times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. It’s safe to say that matcha offers unparalleled nutrition, especially with regards to its antioxidants. It completely runs other antioxidant powerhouses to the ground. Its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is valued at 1,573 units per gram, while goji berries, pomegranate, blueberries, acai berries, broccoli and spinach hold only a 253, 105, 93, 60, 31 and 12.6 rating, respectively.
So, how do you get started? Alissa says, “I recommend starting with one-two teaspoons of powder in the morning. See how you feel. You can add a second serving in the afternoon or add a little more powder to your morning ritual. Matcha does have a caffeine but it’s also rich in L-Theanine which is a natural mood enhancer. Part of the lore of the tea is that Buddhist monks drank it prior to meditation because the caffeine kept them alert while the theanine kept them calm. The result is a gentle sustained lift lasting several hours. Perfect for work or play. Matcha is full of fiber and can help kick start your system if you are sluggish. Be sure to drink plenty of water if this applies to you. Some of our Matcha Source customers, drink it 2-3 times a day and can’t imagine a day without matcha tea!”
Try Matcha Source’s classic grade organic morning matcha tea to get started. Matcha Source works with farmer and growers who have been cultivating premium quality matcha teas for centuries. Tea, like wine, is impacted by quality of soil, water and climate. In addition to location, or terroir, the handling of the leaf during production is also critical for creating rich tasting smooth creamy matcha tea flavors. Matcha Source teas are shade covered at end of harvest to enrich chlorophyl production. At harvest they are hand-picked, steamed, air dried and then ground on hand-carved stone grinding wheels. The early harvest selections are blended by tea masters for ultimate mouth feel and incredible flavor. Also all matcha is shade covered at end of harvest for three weeks. This is a critical step in creating the unique nutritional profile of authentic matcha. There are other “green tea powders” on the market but they are not shade covered and do not have the same benefits or flavor.
Watch Alissa prepare matcha tea so you know how to do it yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Related on EcoSalon
Photo Credit: cyclonebill