6 Health Benefits of Matcha and Why This Green Tea is Worth Sipping
Green tea, which is consumed by millions of people around the world, is having a star moment in the US, in the form of Matcha. It could be the vibrant green color (great on Instagram) or the fact that it boosts the body's natural weight-loss abilities. It also delivers caffeine-like energy but with a calming state.
Matcha is a great coffee alternative for when the 3 pm afternoon slump kicks in, and it's one of the most photogenic drinks on Instagram. And now more than ever, there's no escaping the hype of matcha madness. Heck, they even sell matcha body lotion.
Matcha is not a new fad since it's been around for almost 1,000 years. If you're just finding out about this popular powder, here are some ways you can splurge on a matcha dessert or beverage. My personal favorite based on taste and texture is Navitas Organics Matcha Powder, which comes in an easy-to-store pouch, which you can buy on Amazon for $16.
Some other favorites: Buy your best friend a matcha sponge cake for her birthday online at Lady M, and even better, take her to a hip matcha cafe like Cha Cha Matcha (in New York and Los Angeles). We recommend ordering the matcha soft serve ice cream with the lavender twist (see below). Visit the Matchaful Cafe on Canal Street in New York for tasty Matcha treats and purchase a ritual set for at-home tea preparations. But we're not going to lie, it is a pricey visit. (One pack of 100 grams, equal to 1 cup, of the powder, is $79.)
The next time you go to a Starbucks or any boutique coffee shop, chances are the person next to you will take a photo of their matcha latte with a heart-shaped foam topping, and post it with a hashtag like #matchalover #lovethissomatcha. You might find yourself jumping on the bandwagon and doing the exact same thing (your secret is safe with us).
1. Matcha powder creates a one-step delivery of the nutrients into your body.
Unlike the normal green tea package, like any Lipton product or the loose leaves where you steep a tea infuser in water and let the flavors dissolve, matcha comes in a powdered form made from the tea leaf itself. This creates a drink that is actually better for you and has a higher concentration of nutrients than when you steep tea from the leaf, which after all you don't ingest.
2. Matcha is an incredible source of energy.
Matcha delivers the same kick as caffeine, but without the jitters or anxious feeling. Why? Matcha has a balanced combination of caffeine and L-theanine, which is a natural amino acid found in plants that helps with relaxation without the drowsiness. Some people also consume it when they are dealing with stress. And don’t worry about feeling too relaxed, the caffeine will help jump-start your day and the L-theanine will make you feel grounded. Generally, one scoop of matcha, 1 gram, equals the same caffeine in an espresso shot, or 35 mg of caffeine.
3. Matcha can help promote natural weight loss.
The holidays are coming. If you're like us and plan to indulge in our favorite foods, matcha can be your friend, since So how can you lose weight? Matcha contains EGCG (aka, epigallocatechin gallate), a powerful plant compound that has several known health benefits, including reducing inflammation and increasing CCK (aka, cholecystokinin), which is a hormone that makes you feel full. For best results, try to drink matcha between meals and you are likely to eat fewer calories when dinner time comes around.
can also put you in a better mood, and put you in a state of relaxation.
4. Matcha can reduce the risk of cancer.
Like I mentioned above, the powder contains the powerful EGCG, which is used as "chemoprevention" which is able to work against cancer cells as they form. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, explained that "EGCG is the most abundant and powerful antioxidant in green tea for cancer chemoprevention [18,19]" according to the authors. "Our previous study showed that EGCG enhanced the effects of ginseng compounds in the inhibition of colon cancer cell growth, indicating that green tea could be an effective synergist with anticancer drugs for cancer chemoprevention." So what do you do with this information? We say, drink at least one cup a day since 1 g of Matcha -- enough to steep a cup of tea -- contains 61 mg of EGCG, according to Matcha Source.
5. Matcha is high in antioxidants.
Matcha contains a class of antioxidants called Catechins, which are natural chemical compounds found in the leaves of the plant. The longer you steep the tea, the more antioxidants you will receive in every sip. Why are antioxidants good for us? They help stabilize free radicals that are known to damage cells, lower your immune system and increase aging. Our tip: To avoid getting sick this winter, try drinking more matcha.
6. The taste is delicious.
Matcha is similar to green tea, but with an earthier taste: Something between wheatgrass and sweet vegetables, like cucumber. Matcha delivers a seaweed aftertaste but in a good way. It has a richer taste than normal green tea and blends well with lavender, jasmine, coconut and other flavors. Try adding a scoop of matcha powder to your green smoothie or vanilla yogurt to boost the benefits. The leafy taste adds rich flavor and thickening texture to either. Don't worry about the cost: With all these health benefits, you should thank yourself very matcha.