If you are a follower of food trends or a fit fiend, you've likely heard that Matcha is the "it" ingredient to include in everything from power smoothies to healthy baked treats. From Starbucks and juice bars to Pinterest, Matcha is everywhere. So what is so special about this beloved and celebrated traditional Japanese tea?
The editorial team at RecipesPlus explored this wondrous green tea from its health benefits to its diverse uses in the kitchen. Here is everything you need to know about Matcha Green Tea and why you should include it in your diet.
What is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha Green Tea is a Japanese drink which has been a part of the culture's beloved and celebrated tea ceremonies since the 12th century.
How is Matcha made?
Matcha is made by grounding up the entire green tea leaf and when mixed with hot water, becomes a frothy green drink.
What makes Matcha different than regular green tea?
Because Matcha is made using the entirity of the green tea leaf, Matcha Green Tea drinkers consume 100% of green tea nutrients. Whereas with loose leaf tea, brewers can expect only a small portion of the amazing benefits. According to Matcha Source, one cup of Matcha Green Tea is the equivelent to 10 cups of regular green tea. That means Matcha drinkers can expect a ten-fold increase in healthy reasons we drink green tea in the first place.
What are the Health Benefits of Matcha?
Matcha May be the Perfect Alternative to Coffee
Nearly every coffee addict has attempted to swipe out their morning fix with tea because we heard it's a healthier option—and nearly every coffee addict was left unsatisfied, lethargic and grumpy. If regular green tea left you low on energy, Matcha may be your match.
One cup of Matcha has up to 70 grams of caffeine. That is almost the equivalent of our beloved morning cup of coffee goodness, which has around 95 grams. That's just enough caffeine to make you alert and energetic without giving you unhealthy jitters.
Matcha = Antioxidants
The term "superfood" is used a bit loosely, but Matcha is certainly worthy of the title. One single teaspoon of Matcha powder delivers a powerful punch of antioxidants, which protect your body against harmful free radicals. According to One Green Planet, traditional super-foods are no match for Matcha; one teaspoon of Matcha holds 17 times the amount of antioxidants found in a serving of blueberries and 60 times the amount of antioxidants found in spinach.
Matcha Speeds Up Metabolism
Trying to stay lean or lose a few pounds? Matcha may be your new friend, as it contains EGCG polyphenols (dietary cheerleaders, basically) which help your body naturally burn more calories throughout the day.
Matcha Helps with Stress
Feeling stressed or anxious? Do what the Japanese Monks do. As the main focus of the Japanese tea ceremony, Matcha tea was used by the monks as a way to stay calm throughout the day and is widely associated with relaxation and meditation. Matcha Tea contains a special amino acid called L-Theanine which aids in producing a state of alert calmness.
Matcha Boosts Overall Immune Health
Many studies have shown that the amazing stress-fighting amino acid L-Theanine found in Matcha also helps naturally boost the body's immune system.
How to Use Matcha in the Kitchen
Matcha green tea baking
Matcha potential goes beyond tea! Try adding a teaspoon or two to your favourite meals, baked goods and other treats:
By Kortney Gruenwald
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