Welcome back Matcha lovers,
This week has been absolutely crazy here at Lil Matcha HQ as we got our hands on our first shipment of Matcha for you all. We thought this week would be the perfect time to team up with dietician Elena Zimeng Zhang to share the amazing health benefits for anyone who is still on the fence about whether or not to get their hands on a packet. We’ve asked her to share her favourite benefits and a little about why she loves this green powdered goodness.
Take it away Elena!
Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is taking the world by storm – foods, beverages, supplements, skin care, all over our social media feeds, the internet and TV. What is matcha? Where does it come from? What does it do? There are so many questions.
My personal love for matcha began in 2009 when my father, an avid tea collector introduced me to a cup of matcha tea for the first time. I was slightly unsure… where are the tea leaves? Why is it powdery and so, so green? My doubts quickly faded like steam disappearing from the rims of my cup - the earthy, warm and wholesome flavour left such a unique impression and I wanted more. Nowadays, there are so many more ways to enjoy matcha than the traditional tea. You can have it as ice cream, pudding, smoothie, a cake, donuts or basically anything else you could think of. As a dietitian and somebody who is passionate about health, I needed to find out everything I could about matcha. Today, I would like to take you on a journey to the green and aromatic paradise.
Matcha is a powdered form of Japanese green tea that is used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. A specific type of tea plant named Camellia Sinensis is used. The plant spends a great length of its lifespan growing under shade, which increases the amount of chlorophyll it contains which gives it its bright green colour. After the young leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed and the grinding of stones turns the remaining leaf materials into a fine powder.
Matcha is gaining popularity as a ‘superfood’ and the topic of hundreds of research articles and tests to determine the positive health benefits. Matcha is rich in a type of antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), and amino acids namely L-theanine and 5-N-ethyl glutamine, both significantly higher than ordinary green tea grown in sunlight. Additionally, unlike ordinary green tea where leaves are discarded and only the infused water is consumed, matcha tea powder itself is ingested, which means your body can absorb up to 137 times more EGCG than drinking ordinary leafy tea. Additionally, matcha also contains caffeine, making it a healthier and more versatile alternative to coffee.
Here are 11 reasons why I love matcha so much!
A number of studies have been conducted on the benefits matcha has on physiological and psychological stress. The L-theanine induces calmness in the central nervous system which reduces the feelings and physical effects of stress. Matcha is a 100% natural de-stresser for those living a fast-paced lifestyle.
When we are tired, our brain’s alpha wave activity level decreases, leading to the feeling of fatigue and lack of concentration. L-theanine in matcha can increase the alpha wave activity level significantly which elevates our attention span, concentration level and alertness while suppressing mental fatigue and anxiety. It is a natural performance booster without the chemicals that can be harmful to our health. Win-win!
Caffeine without the side effects
A standard cup of matcha contains around 30mg of caffeine per cup similar to a cup of coffee. However, the use of matcha does not lead to tension, headaches and the feeling of mood deterioration some coffee drinkers may experience - it is a natural ‘pick-me-up’.
Rich in antioxidants - Beautiful, youthful skin and cancer prevention
Our body produces a type of toxic substance called free radicals when we consume alcohol, fatty foods, smoke tobacco and when we are exposed to pollutants or UV rays from the sun. Free radicals can cause physical damage to our body from skin wrinkling, pigmentation, to different types of cancers including breast cancer.
Matcha is very rich in antioxidants, which can protect us from free radical damage. Just how much does matcha stand out in terms of antioxidant content? The amount of antioxidants in matcha is 6.2 times higher than Goji berries, 17 times higher than wild blueberries, and 60 times higher than spinach!
Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in many countries. Studies have shown that matcha has beneficial properties such as decreasing the levels of blood cholesterol and blood pressure which are important in the prevention of heart diseases and stroke.
Matcha is naturally high in chlorophyll which has shown to have a beneficial effect on the health of liver cells. A healthy liver is essential for detoxifying chemicals and other potentially harmful substances in our body, as well as storing important vitamins such as vitamin B112, Vitamin A, D, K and iron. A healthy liver is needed for our general well-being.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease, where the bones are fragile due to low bone density. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, as we generally have thinner, lighter bones and will begin to lose calcium faster after menopause. Numerous studies have shown that regular matcha drinkers have a higher bone mineral density which is important in preventing osteoporosis and fractures.
Prevention and management of diabetes
Studies have shown that the use of matcha can reduce blood glucose levels and triglyceride levels, which are beneficial in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.
Matcha is naturally rich in fibre, which is ingested when we consume matcha. Fibre is important for the health of our bowels by promoting the movement of material through our digestive system, keeping our bowel movement regular. This will keep constipation at bay, and decrease our risk of developing colon cancer.
Matcha is a guilt-free cuppa – it has only 3 calories per serving! Additionally, matcha drinkers have been observed to have higher metabolic rates and resting energy expenditure levels – this would translate to potential weight loss and healthy weight management.
Boost our immune system
Matcha is a great source of vitamin C and chlorophyll, both are natural immune boosters. It has also been found to have antiviral properties, and has shown to protect us again the influenza virus – be gone, sniffles!
Don’t forget on all orders over $25 we are offering free shipping! Matcha is creating a buzz through the health and social industry- what are you waiting for?