Matcha is the super power of all green teas. It has so many incredible benefits–so much so that it should find its way into your daily routine. Your health can’t afford not to consume this incredible emerald liquid.
So, what is matcha? Matcha tea is a finely ground green tea powder. Matcha’s super high-quality tea leaves remain covered from sunlight for 20 days before picking to accentuate the color and enrich the amino acid content. These rich green leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder, in a way that keeps oxidation to an absolute minimum.
What makes matcha so special? First, you consume the whole tea leaf, not just water brewed tea leaves. It is the equivalent of 10 cups of brewed green tea! Second, because it isn’t oxidized at all, all of the antioxidants and rich chlorophyll in the leaf remain.
Matcha gives you the following benefits:
- Antiaging free radical fighter. The ability of matcha to absorb free radicals (the ORAC value) is one of the highest in the super-food realm, at about 1,348 units per serving. This is one bad ass antioxidant to keep you forever young.
- CANCER HATER. This is the one I love: Matcha is especially high in an antioxidant called EGCG. Matcha has up to 137 times the amount of EGCG as other infused green teas. This particular antioxidant has shown promising results in helping fight against HIV, cancer and many other disorders and diseases.
- Metabolism booster. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that matcha helped with metabolism rate, which holds promise for faster fat loss.
- Keep calm and carry on with a spring in your step. Matcha plays both sides of the fence when it comes to energy. One study found that matcha had a relaxing effect without causing drowsiness. This calming effect is strangely coupled with an energy lift from caffeine and other elements from the tea leaf. Coffee can cause the jitters and a caffeine high with a crash afterwards. Matcha, while still containing caffeine, tends to cause a more even, long-term energy rise. Plus, with all of those healthy antioxidants, it is a great way to fight against disease and cancer.
KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY. As with all teas, quality is super important. And cheaper is definitely not better. You want to purchase your tea from an importer who moves through their stock so that you get the freshest product. It is interesting to note that all tea comes from the same plant. The quality just depends on the region and processing method.
How to make it? Use a teaspoon of the magic green powder in a bowl with a third of a cup of hot water heated to just less than a boil. Then mix it with a bamboo whisk (or a latte whip) and you are ready to go.
Get creative. Use matcha in smoothies and salad dressings. Just up at The GEM, a chopped veggie salad with a spicy matcha vinaigrette. Super umami (that’s yummy in Japanese)!
For more information, read Dr. Weil’s article on buying green tea.