Nourish - What’s the Scoop on: Matcha
Today’s blog post is all about Matcha Green Tea. Let’s dive right in!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea made by finely stone-grinding young delicate green tea leaves into a powder.
This tea has a slightly sweet, grassy, delicate yet somewhat bitter flavour that’s relatively thick in texture.
Matcha green tea is very popular in Asian cultures with a history of use scoping centuries. Importantly, this tea is used in traditional tea ceremonies; particularly in Japan.
Interestingly, this type of green tea is unique in the fact that the entire leaf is consumed rather than the leaves being discarded after brewing.
Brewing matcha involves whisking the powder into a paste with warm water and gradually adding more water until it becomes a tea. This is opposed to simply steeping the leaves and then removing them.
This is what gives matcha its characteristic flavour profile as well as its fantastic nutritional properties that trump many other types of tea.
The Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
No. 1 – Rich in Antioxidants
Matcha tea has extremely high levels of antioxidants to help combat free radicals in the body. Free radicals are linked to damaged tissue cells and DNA, causing pre-mature ageing and increased risk of disease.
Importantly, modern scientific research confirms matcha as a great source of naturally occurring antioxidants. For example, matcha is gram for gram one of the most powerful antioxidant you can consume.
Just 1.5g of matcha gives you the antioxidant equivalent of:
- 230g of broccoli
- 300g of Cherries
- or 85g of blueberries!
It also contains over 137 times the antioxidants of regular steeped green tea. Crazy huh?
No. 2 – Aids Relaxation, Concentration and Mood
Matcha contains the amino acid L-theanine which helps to:
- enhance mental focus
- induce a balanced state of relaxed alertness
- improve mood and concentration
- decrease anxiety and stress.
Welcome to my life you gorgeous green mug of happiness!
It is the relaxing effect on the mind and body which is why traditionally monks used to drink matcha tea. It eased the mind for meditation and improved their focus.
Equally, this quality makes Matcha tea an excellent addition to the diet for anyone:
- undergoing exams
- hardcore study sessions
- work deadlines
- busy mums
In fact, here in Nourish, we find it’s a huge favourite for busy mums rushing around. Plus students who need a little help with focus and concentration, or for anyone feeling a bit blue.
No. 3 – May Aid Weight Loss
In addition to its other fantastic qualities, matcha also helps to accelerate the metabolism over a 24 hour period. This is believed to be down to the synergistic effect between caffeine and catechin polyphenols.
Green tea polyphenols show to noticeably inhibit the process of fat digestion in humans. As a result, this reduces the amount of energy being stored as fat in the body, in particular abdominal fat.
No. 4 – Helps Blood Sugar Regulation
If you’re one to start ogling the biscuit tin by 11am or reaching towards that choccie bar by 3pm, opt for a cup of matcha instead.
Matcha is very effective at keeping your blood sugar levels stable. It actually helps regulate insulin and glucose levels so you’re not so tempted to reach for the naughty stuff when those blood sugars start to drop.
If you’re eyeballing the coffee thinking that’s a better solution, think again. Unlike coffee, Matcha controls your food cravings rather than causing them. You read that correctly. Coffee actually messes around with your blood sugar levels. Indeed, it can cause all kinds of havoc with your blood sugar levels and ultimately your cravings. (Which is rarely the urge for something healthy!).
No. 5 – High in Chlorophyll
Matcha is very high in chlorophyll, which gives the tea its beautiful deep green colour and it’s cleansing and detoxifying properties. Chlorophyll helps to purify the blood and flush out unwanted toxins from the body. Your liver will love you for it!
No. 6 – Excellent Coffee Substitute
While Matcha does contain caffeine, the caffeine in Matcha works very differently to the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine in coffee impacts on the adrenal glands and causes spikes in adrenaline glucose and insulin levels. The result? Jitters, nervousness sleeplessness and hunger pangs. Not so fun.
Matcha on the other hand gives an energy release 4-6 times longer than coffee. It does this is via a time-release fashion. This allows the caffeine to enter the bloodstream slowly over time.
As a result, a steady level of energy is given over time rather than a spike and crash within 1 hour. It does this whilst simultaneously regulating blood sugar and offering up some L-theanine effects.
Perhaps I can interest you in the sensations of feeling relaxed and calm, rather than overstimulated? See my previous blog here for more about L-Theanine and how it works.
If you want to quit coffee or just lower your intake, Matcha is definitely the way to go!
We stock the Following Matcha Tea
For more info about matcha and how to use it, have a read of the following blog posts:
- How to make Matcha
- 7 Superfood lattes you need to try
- Herbal Teas: From Sunrise to Sunset
- Support Your Sanity this Festive Season
- Natural Ways to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Fear Whilst Also Supporting Your Immune System – Part One
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication
Photo Credit: Koyu Matcha