It seems like health drinks are available in every store today, but what sets matcha apart from mainstream health drinks is that it is completely natural and 100% good for you.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a bright green powder made from the crushed leaves of camellia sinensis, the tea plant. This is the same plant that green tea comes from, so what sets the two apart?
Well, green tea is traditionally made by steeping the leaves from the tea plant in water and then drinking that water. Matcha, however, is made by grinding up the leaves into a fine powder and then mixing the powder with hot water. So when you drink matcha, you are actually drinking the entire leaf!
This means that you get much more nutrients and natural health benefits from matcha than you do from other teas or plant-based beverages like coffee. Some of these benefits include increased focus, better protection from diseases, and even cancer-fighting organic compounds called catechins.
Catechin EGC + Antioxidants
Matcha contains a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients because it’s all natural. While this makes it super healthy and great for your body, one of the best antioxidants it contains it called “catechin EGCG” (epigallocatechin gallate).
This compound fights elements called free radicals that attack your cells, increasing the risk of disease and cancer. Since antioxidants are usually obtained through the diet, they’re also typically mixed in with vitamins and minerals, all of which contribute to strengthening your body’s natural defenses and keeping you healthy.
While our body produces some antioxidants, we must ingest the rest through outside sources like our food. Why not enjoy a delicious drink and gain some amazing benefits at the same time? Antioxidants are measured on something called the ORAC scale.
Foods like spinach, pomegranates, goji berries, and nuts rank high on this scale as they contain a lot of antioxidants, but matcha beats them all. According to matchasource.com, Matcha’s ORAC ranking is 1573, compared to the second-ranked Goji berries at just 253. While hard evidence of matcha’s superfood powers isn’t available yet, there is no doubt that matcha has a lot of qualities our body needs and more than many other foods.
You’re more relaxed and focused
Have you ever heard of L-theanine? Neither had I. L-theanine is an amino acid that helps our brain focus. While energy drinks like coffee and some teas give you a caffeine boost, they are often accompanied by side effects like feeling jittery, hyper, having concentration lapses, and restlessness. And don’t forget about that energy crash a few hours after you drink!
Matcha, on the other hand, combines caffeine with L-theanine to make the perfect energy combination. The caffeine provides energy that is released over several hours instead of in one quick jolt, and L-theanine helps to focus that energy by keeping your brain and body calmed and relaxed.
This way, it’s possible to stay alert yet focused for longer periods of time, and it makes matcha the perfect drink to have right before a big meeting, creative session, or just as a pick-me-up.
Make sure to leave plenty of time before your last cup of matcha and your bedtime, because like all caffeinated beverages, it will keep you up!
Healthy weight loss
While there is no cure-all weight loss food (not yet, anyways), matcha comes pretty close to being the perfect natural resource for healthy weight loss.
Because it is an all-natural plant-based product, it’s loaded with amazing properties that can help your body drop pounds safely.
First, it contains almost no calories, and it’s so versatile! Everyone can find a way to include matcha in their daily diet. Mix it into your early morning drink, sprinkle it on your breakfast yogurt, or blend some into a smoothie for your midday energizer! There are truly countless matcha recipes online, and with so many options there’s definitely one that’s right for you.
Matcha also benefits several of your body’s systems that are important for weight loss. Drinking a sufficient amount of matcha can boost your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories. Matcha can even increase your bodies’ rate of using calories which can lead to burning more fat cells!
Add to that the fact that matcha is easy for your body to distribute and doesn’t cause any side effects like raised blood pressure or stress, and you have an amazing resource at hand for safe weight loss. If you have any concerns about drinking matcha related to your health, ask your doctor before consuming matcha.
Matcha is set apart from other teas even before the leaves are picked and processed. When the tea plant starts to mature, the plants are shaded from the sun. This causes the chlorophyll levels to increase, and since chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of plants, it’s also what gives matcha powder that brilliant green coloring.
When the leaves reach the appropriate shade they are harvested and ground into powder. (This is also how different types of matcha are created-the darker, richer leaves at the top of the plant are ground separately from the lighter, younger leaves at the bottom of the plant.)
Since chlorophyll is a super strong natural detoxifier, when you ingest matcha you’re getting potentially high levels of chlorophyll depending on the type. This makes matcha an excellent detoxifying agent as it cleanses your body of toxins and waste materials.
Chlorophyll is in every kind of tea, but matcha has two benefits that other teas don’t. First, it is ground from the leaf, so it contains more nutrients than teas steeped from leaves. Second, matcha plants are always shaded to increase the chlorophyll levels to ensure maximum benefit.
Natural teas are awesome for your health, but matcha really stands out because of the unique way it is prepared and distributed. The health benefits it offers are second to none, and it’s so versatile that it can be ingested in countless ways. Why not head over to your local coffee or health store and try a matcha beverage, or better yet, buy matcha powder and create your own amazing drink!
Matcha can be found online, in health stores, and from private retailers. Because it is produced primarily in Japan and in limited quantities, be prepared for the price. Matcha is more expensive than green or black teas, but the benefits you gain from drinking matcha are worth it!