While green tea drinkers have been around for some time now, the spotlight is now shining on the health benefits of matcha, its cousin that’s made from green tea leaves. Here, we reveal how drinking matcha tea can boost weight loss, what the health benefits are and how to make the perfect matcha latte.
What is matcha and all the health benefits of the wonder ingredient?
This superfood is a specifically concentrated green tea powder, bursting with flavonoids called catechins and if you’re a matcha drinker already, you’ll know its health benefits span the whole spectrum from weight loss, to protection against heart diseases, improved skin, energy and focus.
Wondering about the benefits that other brightly coloured foods can have? Check out our
guide, you’ll be amazed at the purple power!
What makes matcha good for you?
Matcha is made from the green tea leaf that’s grounded up to form a fine powder. The powder is then whisked with hot water, but this is different to drinking traditional green tea. Why? Think of it as boiling a pan of spinach. You wouldn’t throw away the spinach and just drink the water, because you’d be missing out on all the incredible antioxidant compounds and not getting the full matcha benefit – that’s what drinking brewed green tea is like. Let’s take a deeper dive into the health benefits of the green stuff and why it beats regular green tea consumption hands down.
Matcha is an antioxidant powerhouse
Matcha has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) count of 1573 per gram. In comparison, one of its closest rivals, the goji berry, holds a mere 253 units per gram.
What is ceremonial grade matcha?
First there’s ceremonial, which is produced from the first flush (the first harvest of spring) and tastes smooth and slightly sweet. Then premium, which is ideal for drinking and then basic, which is reserved for cooking purposes as it has a stronger flavour.
Does matcha help you lose weight?
A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8 percent 10 percent of daily energy expenditure, to between 35 percent and 43 percent.
One cup of matcha green tea is equal to three cups of regular green tea
One study found that it contains three times more of the catechins called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – an antioxidant linked to fighting cancer, viruses and heart disease.
Matcha green tea contains more caffeine than regular green tea. But not as much as coffee… it’s the perfect balance of calm and alert. That’s right. Matcha green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid which helps improve learning and memory.
It can improve your brain power
That’s right. Matcha green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid which helps improve learning and memory. An additional key component of powdered green tea is it’s proven to help with mental wellbeing and brain health; epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This is a type of antioxidant-filled polyphenol, demonstrated to provide anti-inflammatory actions and is particularly prominent in the green tea plant as well as oolong tea.
How much fibre is in one serving of matcha?
Matcha trumps green tea by boasting 31 times more fibre in just one serving and we all know the importance that can have on bringing our blood sugar level and blood pressure down.
Is matcha healthier than coffee?
Love a cup of joe? If so, you’re in luck, as the effects of caffeine on performance and recovery are well-documented and researched. However, instead of reaching for a flat white or a builder’s brew next time, try sipping a cup of matcha green tea before you hit the gym. This powder powerhouse will provide you with a kick of caffeine as well as the added benefits of its high antioxidant capabilities, and you’ll find that drinking a cup before you work out will reduce soreness. It also helps to protect your body from free radicals, improving both heart and lung health, and will increase your metabolism.
How can I use matcha?
Did you know you can also use matcha tea powder in baked goods? Impress your vegan friends with this delicious twist on the classic keylime pie. The cashew base provides a creamy and decadent texture, while the zesty lime gives it the perfect finish.
1 tbsp vegan spread, melted
4 medjool dates
260g cashews soaked overnight
1 scoop Vanilla Vega Essentials or Clean* Protein
120g maple syrup
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
½ tsp matcha powder
80ml lime juice
Zest of 4 limes (including zest of 1 lime to decorate cheesecake)
Place the cashew nuts into a bowl and cover with plenty of cold water, leave to soak for 4-6 hrs preferably overnight.
Place the walnuts, melted vegan spread and dates in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Line the base of a small loose bottom cake tin with a circle of parchment paper. Tip the crumb mixture into the cake tin and press into an even layer using the back of a spoon.
Place the soaked cashews along with the remaining cheesecake ingredients and the zest of 3 limes into the food processor and blitz until perfectly smooth.
Empty the cashew mixture on top of your prepared base and even out with a spoon or spatula.
Place in the freezer for 2-3 hrs to firm up before serving. Decorate with the remaining zested lime.
Top tier matcha green tea powder
Good quality matcha is hard to come by, but the good news is you don’t have to leg it to your nearest coffee shop to get your dose, as we’ve selected the best powders and tea bags to add to your cupboard, stat. Super Tea, £6.95, Pure Chimp
Premium Matcha Green Tea, £20 for 30g, Tea Pigs
Bloom Tea SUPERCHARGE Matcha, 16.99 from Holland and Barrett