A favourite comfort of mine during a long workday is to start brewing up a warm mug of matcha in the pantry. As I recline in my chair and breathe into the steam that rises from this green froth, I am instantly transported to the hilly countrysides of Japan and what an idyllic setting that can be. It is only after coming back to reality do I start thinking about the health benefits of matcha. Surely with such a herbal taste to every sip, there must be some health-boosting qualities to this green powder. After doing my research, I am not wrong to think so. Within matcha lies countless qualities that make it such a terrific health booster.
What Is Matcha?
If you know green tea, you should be rather familiar with matcha since they are rather similar. Matcha actually derives from camellia sinensis, the same shrub that gives us white tea, yellow tea, oolong and dark tea. The only thing that separates them all is their mode of preparation that includes the way they are dried and roasted. Matcha is most similar to green tea in that they are roasted and dried in the same manner, but what sets the two apart is this little difference. When you are fixing yourself a cup of green tea, what you are doing is to set the tea leaves in hot water for the leaves to infuse its herbal contents onto the water. In matcha, the tea leaves are actually ground into a fine powder before it is stirred with hot water. Since you are ingesting the leaf of the plant, you are essentially getting a stronger blend of nutrients and antioxidants as compared to what you would get from a green tea infusion.
Benefits Of Matcha
Since matcha shares most of its qualities with green tea, you can expect to see similarities in their health benefits. A few benefits that you should look out for is how matcha has the potential to boost our alertness, slow down the ageing process and help with weight loss.
To begin with, it is in l-theanine, a natural substance in matcha, that would cause you to feel much more alert with a cup of matcha in your hands. Unlike the rollercoaster changes that caffeine might impose on your body, matcha would keep you staying sharp without any of the caffeinated drawbacks associated with coffee.
Antioxidants are the plant compounds in teas that help prevent damage to the cells in your body. At the centre of it all, it is catechins that sought out those harmful free radicals and shield them from the oxidative damage that they do to your cells. From the outside, you would notice that your skin would start looking much brighter with lesser signs of ageing showing up.
Another reason why matcha is favoured by most is that it can help with weight loss. Even if you are not actively looking to drop the pounds, matcha does that while keeping the pounds away as well. Due to the EGCG nutrient in matcha, it helps your body break down fat better and resist the formation of up and coming fat cells. As compared to green tea, the concentration of EGCG is in abundance in matcha and is found to be 100 times more in this spiffy beverage.
How Is Matcha Consumed?
Perhaps the easiest manner in which matcha can be consumed is by turning it into a warm beverage with hot water. For those looking for a little bit of creativity, some cafes have taken the task of mixing matcha with beverages like chocolate and in milkshakes to give it a healthy vibe. Based on my personal experience, I have noticed how matcha has been used as a topping placed onto desserts from ice cream sundaes, acai bowls to cheesecakes and it seems like there is no wrong way to add matcha into your diet. Go wild and try out new ways to incorporate matcha and report back to us, the world could use more inventive ways to bring out the best from this magical green powder!
Believe it or not, matcha has the potential to reboot your health with its rich nutritious content. But if you are looking to matcha as a way to detox your body, we have to break the news to you. The word from the fake news brigade is that matcha would help your body get rid of the nonsense and metals that have accumulated in our body, but that is discovered to be false since matcha does little to do that. It is our liver and kidneys that are responsible for the detoxification process in our body and they are at work every day of the week. If you are looking to lose weight based on matcha, the consumption of matcha over other sugar beverages would surely help to a certain extent but the decision still relies on you, your diet and your exercise regime. By maintaining regular exercise and a diet that consists of nutritious and whole food (and matcha), you can expect to see transformative changes as a whole on your body.