For many of us green tea is the tea of choice when it comes to a warm beverage. We know it has many health benefits including being high in antioxidants.
Matcha green tea has also become very popular over the past few years, and we’re often asked just what the differences are between matcha green tea and regular green tea. I guess we could class matcha green tea as the “Rolls Royce” of green teas. As we know, with regular green tea we brew the leaves then throw the leaves out which means we are missing out on much of the goodness. When we consume matcha green tea we in fact drink the whole tea leaf because the leaf is actually stone ground into a fine powder. This means we ingest 100% of the green tea’s nutrients instead of 10% of the nutrients consumed in normal steeped green tea. By ingesting the whole leaf, we benefit from all the nutrients contained in the leaf.
It’s also interesting to note, to increase the chlorophyll and amino acid levels in the matcha leaves, these bushes are grown under cover for 3-4 weeks before harvest and matcha green tea is believed to contain 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea.
So, what are the real health benefits of matcha green tea?
Mega Dose of Antioxidants - we know antioxidants contain a combination of chemicals which help to prevent chronic diseases and ageing. We often talk about the antioxidant properties of certain fruits and vegetables, however testing undertaken by Tufts University using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) found matcha was 20 times more potent than blueberries and pomegranates. Antioxidants may also assist in boosting our immune systems and deterring those free radicals which can trigger cancer in our bodies.
Supports Weight Loss - at this time of the year, with Spring arriving, many of us are looking to lose some weight. We have known for some time green tea in high dosages can boost the metabolism and burn fat. It is believed matcha green tea may increase thermogenesis, which is the body’s rate of burning calories, from 8% which is a normal rate to between 35% and 43% of our daily energy use.
Concentration and Focus - matcha is high in the amino acid L-Theanine which helps with relaxation. Whereas L-Theanine is found in most teas, matcha is believed to contain up to 5 times more L-Theanine than black or green tea. This is great news for matcha drinkers as it not only produces alpha waves which create a more tranquil state, it also helps with memory and concentration. Zen Buddhist monks have for centuries been known to use matcha tea during meditation to stimulate their mental alertness whilst at the same time producing a tranquil, meditative state.
Detoxifier and Cleanser – I have written previously about the benefits of chlorophyll. It is the chlorophyll which provides matcha with its green, vibrant colour and is beneficial for cleansing and detoxing our bodies, eliminating chemicals and heavy metals. It’s also believed to improve the production and oxygen capacity of healthy blood cells as well as sustaining a healthy liver.
Increases Energy – although matcha does contain a small amount of caffeine it isn’t the caffeine which gives us a lift in energy but the fact this powder is so nutrient rich.
Enhances Skin – if you have concerns about fine lines and wrinkles, here’s the good news matcha is thought to protect our largest organ from the harmful UV rays which we know causes premature ageing.
Matcha is great to include in a protein smoothie to help with endurance and stamina whether it be to help out with our gym workout, endurance run or just everyday life.
Matcha is extremely concentrated which means we only need to ½ teaspoon per serve. It is more expensive than regular green tea however this nutrient dense tea is so high in antioxidants and nutrients it is in fact quite cost effective.
Matcha is very versatile as it can be used in many ways. We can drink it as a warm beverage, include it in a smoothie or a juice, add it to our favourite breakfast, yoghurt, or chia pudding. It’s great to include in our superfood energy balls.
For more information on matcha green tea or any other health issues call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita your health shop in 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on 2EC every Wednesday on Go Get Healthy at 12.30pm.
MATCHA CHIA PUDDING
3 tablespoons chia seeds; ½ tsp Kintra Matcha Green Tea Powder; 1 tbsp White Wolf Vanilla Protein Powder; 1 cup almond milk; 1 banana
Combine chia seeds, matcha powder, protein powder and milk in a jar and mix well. Stir again after 15 mins giving a good stir to mix the chia, matcha and milk as it thickens. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour then top with your favourite yoghurt and fruit.
MATCHA KIWI FRUIT PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
1 tsp matcha powder; 1 ripe kiwi fruit; ½ chopped banana; 1 tbs White Wolf Vanilla Protein Powder; 1 ½ cup almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy.