matcha tea benefits

9 Benefits of Matcha Tea

Matcha, the vibrant green powder tea, has humbly become a global favorite. It is celebrated for more than just its rich umami flavor. Brewed from shade-grown leaves of Camellia Sinensis finely grounded into a powder, Matcha tea offers a unique sensorial experience.

Matcha Tea Powder

The tea is deeply rooted in Japanese and Zen Buddhist cultures. So much so that the Japanese have a special tea ceremony, fondly called Chanoyu; in this traditional ceremony, matcha green tea is a symbol of respect and purity. It teaches us to appreciate the beauty in simplicity and being in the present moment. 

From mental calm to improving heart health and reducing stress, the matcha tea benefits are unparalleled. Have a look [or read] for yourself! 

Which Matcha Is The Best Grade?

You will find matcha green tea in 3 different grades – ceremonial, premium, and culinary. They differ in their purity as well as their taste. The question is, “Which one should you opt for?” Well, there are two options you can choose from –

The first one is the purest of all three grades. In fact, ceremonial grade matcha is used in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples. It is well suited for preparing 'koicha' or thick tea. 

The next grade, premium matcha, is made from the young leaves off the top of the plant. As a result, it boasts a fresh, grassy, and subtle flavor profile. It has an intense sweetness and a deeper flavor profile compared to matcha tea harvested later in the year. This makes it well-suited for everyday brew!

Now that we have covered which matcha green tea powder you should choose let's see what makes this tea so special! 

Benefits of Matcha Tea

#1 Rich in Antioxidants

Did you know that polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, account for 30% of dry Matcha green tea weight? 

Polyphenols include a wide range of components in it. They're considered to be exceptionally powerful antioxidants, with their effects as good as Vitamin C. One of these phenolic compounds is catechins. Matcha green tea boasts four different types of catechins, of which the EGCG is the most active and abundant. 

These catechins actively neutralize the free radicals in your body. You may wonder, "Why is there a need to neutralize these free radicals?" Because a high number of free radicals in your body can - 

  • Damage your cell structures
  • Accelerate the aging process 
  • Trigger inflammatory responses
  • Weaken your immune system
  • Damage blood vessels

Thus, Matcha tea, thanks to its catechins, helps you maintain an internal balance.

#2 High in Nutrients

Your diet may not be able to give you everything your body needs in the needed amounts. Adding Matcha green tea to your daily routine can replenish your body with:

Nutritional Profile of Matcha Tea

#3 Calorie and Sugar-Free

Like any other drink, Matcha green tea varies in its calorie component. This means that you greatly decrease it to your liking as part of your weight management efforts. 

For instance, matcha tea powder only has about 2-7 calories in a single teaspoon. So the total calorie count depends on how you prepare your Matcha green tea, whether you have it with coffee, water, or any variety of milk. 

#4 Matcha and Improved Brain Function

Drinking matcha green tea is also linked to improvements in cognitive function. The presence of L-theanine, an amino acid, promotes relaxation and reduces stress. 

Drinking Matcha Tea

Research findings, though limited, reveal that Matcha green tea improves both short-term memory and long-term brain functioning. The presence of EGCG in the Matcha is linked to improved alertness and concentration. Since it has relaxing properties, it makes the tea effective for reducing fatigue. 

#5 Energy Boost and Increased Metabolism

Typically, a cup of Matcha contains less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. Mind you, these two drinks are often compared for this reason alone. The combination of less caffeine content and L-theanine, which, by the way, is absent in coffee, makes it possible for Matcha to give sustainable energy. That, too, without the crash or jittery effects that are often experienced with coffee. 

When it comes to increasing metabolism, the catechins, especially EGCG, have a great role to play. Some researchers claim that catechins boost metabolism and increase calorie-burning capacity.

#6 Support for Heart Health

Matcha can protect your heart by regulating your cholesterol levels. Yes, it's a drink for your heart, and research supports it! 

Studies show that moderate to high levels of matcha consumption significantly reduces the total amount of cholesterol. To be more specific, it reduces the amount of LDL level of cholesterol, commonly known as the 'bad' cholesterol. Simultaneously, it increases HDL or the 'good' cholesterol levels. This, in turn, reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues. Who is to be credited with all of this? The catechins in the tea! 

Besides catechins, the antioxidants, Vitamin K, and Potassium in the tea help with heart health. It combats oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, protecting you against high blood pressure and stroke. 

#7 Immune System Support

If you go back to the table above, you will realize that immune system support is one of the benefits of the vitamins and minerals in Matcha. Specifically, Vitamins C, E, A, and Zinc.

These nutrients help to strengthen the body's defense mechanisms against pathogens and oxidative stress, thus potentially boosting the immune system's ability to fight off infections and illnesses.

The catechins also have antibiotic properties. It can inhibit the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Thus reducing the risk of infections. Undoubtedly, regular consumption of Matcha is great for overall wellness. The wide range of nutrients, as well as the tea's calming effect, can reduce overall stress levels and make you feel healthier, improving your quality of life. 

#8 Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Matcha green tea has a unique blend of 3 important components - catechins, chlorophyll, and L-theanine. These make it a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

japanese matcha tea

It stabilizes free harmful radicals, which would otherwise cause cell damage and chronic health issues. In fact, it is believed that when you dissolve Matcha in water, it produces 3x more catechins than other green teas

#9 Matcha for Stress Reduction

The presence of L-theanine in Matcha makes it calming and relaxing. This has quite a domino effect on your well-being. 

It starts by reducing your stress levels. This, in turn, helps you sleep better. If you don't sleep well, your body releases cortisol, the pesky stress hormone, which makes you feel further stressed. The L-theanine in Matcha reduces these cortisol levels.

Of course, when you sleep well, you are much more regulated. You feel in control and are able to regulate your emotions well. Furthermore, you are better able to focus and stay alert.

Practical Tips for Consuming Matcha

Choosing High-Quality Matcha

First things first, don't compromise on the quality of Matcha green tea or any other item you consume. Choose a ceremonial or a premium-grade matcha for your beverage. Additionally, check for the source of the Matcha tea and the manufacturing process. Ensure that it is as natural as possible, like ILEM JAPAN's premium 60-mesh Matcha Green Tea.

Brewing Techniques for Maximum Benefits

Brewing Matcha will need some practice if you're new to it. So here are some important tips:

  • Use hot, but not boiling, water (around 175°F or 80°C) to brew Matcha to preserve its delicate flavors and nutrients.
  • Sift the Matcha powder before whisking to avoid clumps and achieve a smooth texture.
  • Use a bamboo whisk (chasen) to froth the Matcha until a layer of fine bubbles forms on the surface.
  • Drink the Matcha immediately after preparation to enjoy its fresh flavor and maximum antioxidant content.

Recipes and Creative Ways to Incorporate Matcha into the Diet

Why limit yourself to just-tea when you have Matcha in desserts, salads, and savory dishes? Here are some Matcha-inspired recipes for you! 

  • Matcha smoothie: Blend Matcha powder with fruits, leafy greens, protein powder, and your choice of liquid for a nutritious and energizing smoothie.
  • Matcha overnight oats: Stir Matcha powder into overnight oats along with milk, yogurt, and sweetener. And there you go, your flavorful and antioxidant-rich breakfast is ready!
  • Matcha desserts: Use Matcha powder to flavor desserts such as cookies, cakes, ice cream, and puddings for a vibrant green color and a hint of earthy sweetness.
  • Matcha-infused savory dishes: Add Matcha powder to savory dishes like sauces, dressings, marinades, and soups to impart a subtle green tea flavor and boost antioxidant content.

Matcha Tea: A Must For Your Health

Matcha green tea, with its many benefits, can truly help you feel better about yourself! 

Matcha Tea

From helping you unwind after a long and supporting your heart health to sharpening your memory and protecting you against life-threatening diseases, a cup of this vibrant green tea can quickly become your favourite beverage in no time. 

Thanks to its rich umami flavour, the Matcha cup of health will also feel like a Matcha cup of comfort! Are you ready to experience it?

👉 Try Matcha and other green teas with our Ocha Bento

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