Why do I love matcha so much?
Well for one it helps to burn body fat… now I have your attention don’t I? That's right, it boosts your metabolism and burns calories.
A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure. Sign me up for that one please!
Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties.
Most importantly, EGCg and other catechins counteract the effects of free radicals from the likes of pollution, UV rays, radiation, and chemicals, which can lead to cell and DNA damage. Since over 60% of the catechins in matcha are actually EGCg, that makes it a good idea to incorporate matcha daily into your regime. I love the fact that I can have it iced in summer and warm on rainy or winter days.
Matcha is naturally detoxifying. So how does this whole detox thing work? Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature green colour is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body.
Matcha is known to help enhance your mood. It will boost your concentration and while it’s at it you will notice it also calms the mind and relaxes the body. So you get a boost of energy and clarity without the jitters associated with coffee. Monks used to use this prior to meditation as it has a nice calming effect, your cup of java can’t do that for you.
Matcha is rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the brains functioning. While stress can induce beta waves an excited, more agitated state, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness. And while L-Theanine is common in all tea, matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas. This makes it a good substitute for those suffering with adrenal dysfunction.
As an additional benefit, L-Theanine may help memory and learning and ability all the while inhibiting any possible side-effects from caffeine, a natural component of green tea. Therefore, a bowl of matcha promotes concentration and clarity of mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee.
Matcha is rich in chlorophyll, vitamins like vitamin C and of course fiber. Add in some selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium, yup it has all that too.
Want some help balancing blood sugar levels and lowering the bad cholesterol? Yup it does that too.
Did I mention that I love the fact that I can have it iced in a smoothie or warm in a frothy latte and still reap the benefits. Did you know that one small amount (single serving of 1-2 tbsp) is equivalent to 10 brewed cups of standard green tea when we compare nutrient density and antioxidants.
We know blueberries are rich in antioxidants and same for goji-berries, but what happens when we compare them to matcha?
Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more so than pomegranates or blueberries. Matcha's ORAC rating is a mighty 1573 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 93 units. Even goji berries only come in at 253 units.
Looking for recipes to add matcha to your daily regime? Check out some of my favourites.
Which matcha do I prefer? Well it depends what you are doing with it. Quality control is a must, make sure you purchase organic and make sure you know when it was harvested. I like the 2nd harvest (also known as summer harvest) for my smoothies or adding to a beverage of choice.
When using this stuff straight I go all out for the flavour. Plus I find the first harvest has a few more of the medicinal benefits.