Food bloggers, Celebrities, Dieticians and Chefs everywhere are going crazy over this new drink in town. Quite recently, Matcha tea became talk of a town. It is not only being used in making tea, but juices, coffee and people are even spreading this green powder over traditional holiday cookies. If you want to avail most potent of health benefits, drink a cup of Matcha tea. Loaded with antioxidants, it is a traditional tea of Japanese culture originated from Southern China. The tea was bought by Monk Eisai and later became integral part of Japanese culture. It has a vibrant green color and what makes it so special is that, it is consumed with whole leaf which means all nutrients are properly stored in a powder form. The leaves are shadow grown, carefully picked and then stone grinded to maintain quality. Its aroma, taste and extra zest of energy comes from a special amino acid called L-Theanine.
Matcha consumers all over the world rated Matcha being more superior and effective as compare to regular coffee when it comes to performing everyday tasks with more awake fullness. In addition to this, Matcha consumers are also buying kitchen ware to prepare this special drink at home; such as its special bowl, bamboo whisk and wooden spatula to drain water from strainer.
Benefits of Drinking Matcha
This tea from Japan is loaded with health benefits, so much that other tea powders just stand and envy this green powder. Here are some benefits of Matcha green tea:
- First of all, due to heavy presence of antioxidants, polyphenols, ‘Epigallocatechin gallate’ (ECGG) and L-Theanine helps in boosting natural immune system and helps body in fighting against various antigens.
- It prevents type 2 Diabetes by lowering amount of total glucose content, hepatic glucose and LDL.
- It enhances cardiovascular health: By increasing fast recovery in endothelial cells and reducing arterial plague. Matcha powder definitely comes on board with building a healthy and happy heart. Fourthly,
- It works as a perfect energy booster. A unique content known as ‘theophylline’ works well for a sustained energy boost as oppose to sugar crash with regular coffee. It not only helps in carrying tasks of daily importance but also maintains optimum hormone levels along with finest workings of adrenal glands.
- It also works as a Detoxification ritual. Dieticians nowadays highly recommend detoxifying to shed some weight and gain glow in skin. High level of chlorophyll content is a key to maintaining alkalinity in cells and blood stream, which results in lower number of heavy metals along with flushing away of excessive fatty acids.
- It helps prevent HIV: High amount of ECGG helps in shielding brain of HIV patients from further damage. It is only possible due to high penetrative power of mentioned content as compared to other commercially available drugs
- Protection of gastrointestinal health. Regular consumption of this tea helps in stimulation of fecal excretion, which results in removal of toxins and harmful chemicals.
- Protection against cancer; High levels of polyphenols and ECGG acts their role in preventing growth of tumor induced cells. In addition to this, they also cause enhanced level of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a malignant tumor. Two most prominent cancers that could be highly prevented by consumption of Matcha are (a) colorectal cancer and (b) bladder cancer.
- Protection against various infections. ECGG doesn’t just strengthen immune system; it also helps in preventing various forms of infection including bacterial, fungal and viral. A recent research study shows that ECGG could bind to lipid membrane, which then acts as inhibitory object in growth of various infectious pathogens; such as Influenza, Herpes, Hepatitis B and C, Candida Albican yeast and Adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
- Calming effect and mental alertness. Japanese monks are consuming this tea from four hundred years for long hours of meditation. It was only recently that scientists were able to discover their secret. L-Theanine compound activates alpha waves in human brain which results in a soothing and calm effect for long period of time along with mental alertness. In addition to this, L-Theanine also helps in preventing psychological and physiological stress by preventing excited neuron role plays in these situations.
Weight Loss Miracle
Matcha tea is not just about above listed benefits, the most important function of Matcha is weight loss due to which people around the world are going crazy over adapting to consuming this tea in various forms possible. Now, it is important to know that Matcha tea is loaded with high level of catechin (anti-oxidant) named ECGG which is known to be responsible for increase weight loss. A study conducted on thirty five Japanese men divided into group of two indicated that, the group which was given higher amount of catechins resulted in higher weight loss as compared to group which consumed tea with lower amount of catechins. In addition to this, levels of LDL (Low density lipid) dropped down significantly in participants who took part in study.
Another study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that high thermogenic content of Matcha tea could body’s ability to burn calories by up to 40%. Matcha tea is also extremely suitable for a healthy and beneficial exercise regime. Various published research papers indicated that high levels of ECGG helps in reversing oxidative stress on muscles and rebuild of new cells for faster recovery in athletes. Evidence also suggests that exercise immediately after consumption of Matcha tea results in up to 25% more fat burn out as compared to participants who did not consumed this miraculous beverage.
One must have witnessed celebrities aiming for flat stomach; let me tell you a secret. It is not just for looking good in magazines; belly fat is rated as the worst kind of fat on human body (visceral fat). It sends inflammatory objects and fatty acids into blood stream all over the body which could increase amount of arterial plaque, resulting in increased risk of a heart attack. Consuming Matcha on daily basis helps in reduction of belly fat with its widely available number of polyphenols and zero calories.
Moreover, Matcha tea contains high level of dietary fiber, which results in relieving constipation and maintaining sugar levels in blood. Consumption of dietary fiber could result in a full stomach, thus leading to eating less and gaining less weight in a process. Most importantly, drinking a cup of this green tea could lead to sustained energy levels for up to six hours as compared to short bursts of energy that comes with coffee or regular tea. Sustained energy doesn’t lead a person to experience fatigue which means sweets and junk foods are often ‘off the table’.
For weight loss, one can use Matcha in whatever they like. You can use it to drink a cup of tea, in cooking or even in baking. It completely depends on your taste, ease and preference.
What Matcha Taste Like?
Now, here is something you should know; A bowl of Matcha have a low content umami sweetness along with slight bitterness. It also has a deep vegetal taste and a very strong aroma. It works in such a way that you are always drooling over the next sip. As oppose to that, “KaiMatcha Premium” which is a ceremonial grade Matcha does not consists of any bitterness or sharpness. These are the true signs of high grade ceremonial Matcha. There is also low quality Matcha available in market which leaves your mouth with not so pleasant and slightly bitter taste, such as; “cooking grade”, “Second harvest” and “kitchen grade”. Drinking a cup of low quality Matcha would clearly ruin one’s experience of enjoying marvel which this Japanese green tea is. They also happen to have less antioxidants and are nutritionally poor as well. However, low quality Matcha could be used in making several recipes or could mask effect of several drinks such as shakes. In addition to this, they are comparatively cheap to buy as compare to high grade expensive Matcha tea powder.
Numerous suppliers who regularly buy Matcha from Japan stated that they haven’t been able to find a single class of Matcha which is completely bitter less. A slight bitterness is common in all grades of Matcha.
Popular Matcha Recipes
Now, we will look at some of the most common and popular Matcha recipes to cook and enrich our taste buds with these delicacies.
- Matcha crepes with chocolate spread: Buckwheat flour combined with Matcha powder makes these crepes so special. Perfect for a weekend brunch. You could spread chocolate over it and serve these tasty green crepes with whipped cream or a handful of fruits.
- Matcha pudding (Chia seed style): If you are running late for office, just place a handful of chia seeds in bowl, a half tea spoon of Matcha powder along with some warm milk. You have your protein boost pudding breakfast ready to be served. Not gaining weight and eating a healthy dose of breakfast daily. Now that sounds like a goal.
- Macha Latte (Coconut style): It is known to be the most popular beverage amongst coffee consumers who recently tried Matcha latte. Rich, frothy and with a dollop of natural sweetness coconut milk combined with Matcha powder makes a perfect evening coffee. Just try it once and there is a very high chance that you will bid farewell to your regular expresso.
- Matcha Coconut Fudge: A perfect blend of grated coconut and psyllium husk makes this fudge tasty and healthy. Along with that, adding a few tea spoons of Matcha powder makes a hungry person embark on a luxurious journey of soft creamy sweetness. A must try one.
- Matcha granola blueberries: As listed in above paragraph, Matcha powder does have a strong smell and a slightly bitter taste. Here, we are getting boost of antioxidants by combining it with berries and toning down its original taste. It is perfect for a 10am office snack boost.
- Matcha Smoothie (Vanilla flavored): With Matcha’s ability to promote calm alertness and sustained energy levels. It is highly recommended for a pre-exercise snack boost. Green yogurt, some ice cubes, vanilla essence and a table spoon of Matcha powder could make for a perfect well rounded smoothie.
- Matcha Date Bars: Feeling low this afternoon? Enjoy a bar of Matcha date snack. Cocoa powder combined perfectly well with smashed dates which are then sprinkled with Matcha powder, works well for a sweet and fulfilling snack.
- Matcha Mug Cake: Now you’ve seen it all. You could also make Matcha mug cakes. Just substitute chocolate with Matcha and add white sugar to balance the taste. You can have tasty and healthy mug cakes. The world just got better.
- Matcha Chocolate Butter cups: Peanut butter, the king of tasty butter combined with rich creamy chocolate, almond butter and a dash of Matcha powder could make a very yummy treat for kids.
- Matcha cucumber lemonade: Looking to detoxify with a boost of energy. Look no farther than making this amazing summer drink. Amazing combination of Matcha, cucumber and lemonade could not just fulfill thirsty throat but is also a complete guilty free afternoon workout drink.
Stay Strong and Keep Drinking Matcha!
Now that we’ve witnessed Matcha in all its beauty and glory: let us also have a look at some of the possible side effects of consuming Matcha. Although Matcha is recommended as the healthiest plant material to consume but one should not consume it in excessive amounts. Excessive consumption could lead to various unwelcome symptoms, such as insomnia, headache, diarrhea, constipation, heart burn and stomach upset.
To conclude: A famous Japanese proverb goes by like that; “If you drink Matcha with your back straight, the pleasure of your experience would double”. So, consume Matcha if you want to but consult your physician first for any signs of irritability; specially, if your body is sensitive to try new things and show sudden reaction. Let me wrap this section with most awaited news, Matcha is not just about above listed benefits and a few short comings. It also acts as antiaging. Now you don’t have to visit your doctor for a Botox appointment. Just enjoy a cup of Matcha tea.