1. HEALTH BENEFITS OF MATCHA
1. Green Tea Matcha is considered a super food, because it includes a mega dose of antioxidants, which have many health benefits.
What are antioxidants and how are they beneficial to the body?
Antioxidants come into the body through foods and slow down the oxidation of other molecules. This is good because when molecules in the body oxidize, they create free radicals in the body, which cause cells to be unstable. Antioxidants work to slow this process, therefore, making it harder for free radicals to attack other healthy cells and break down the body’s health.
What are the types of antioxidants, and how much are in matcha?
There are many types of antioxidants, and they are broken into three classifications: water-soluble, fat-soluble and both water-soluble and fat-soluble. There are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients/phytochemicals. Matcha is rich in the polyphenol and catechin types of antioxidants, including EGCGs, which have many health benefits. When compared to other foods rich in antioxidants, matcha is said to have much higher concentrations.
Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Levels
6.2 times that of Goji Berries
7 times that of Dark Chocolate
17 times that of Wild Blueberries
60.5 times that of Spinach
How do antioxidants prevent life-threatening ailments?
Free radicals naturally occur in the body and play an important role in normal cellular processes. However, they also cause problems because, if there are too many, they attack healthy cells. They are linked to causing cancer, arthritis, aging, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants are known as “free radical scavengers,” and they attack the free radicals and prevent life-threatening diseases.
How do antioxidants benefit the skin?
Polyphenols and catechins antioxidants work with the body to help battle and control the harmful effects of UV radiation. They slow down and attack the free radicals in the body to also help fight against acne, skin eruptions and roughness. The EGCGs in matcha also slow the cell degeneration with aging and promotes smooth, tight skin that looks more healthy and natural.
What is ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) and how does green tea match stand up to this?
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) measures the antioxidant concentration within a food and its ability to eliminate free radicals. Matcha has an ORAC rating of 1,384 TE/g, which is one of the highest levels of concentration. It is 10 times higher than regular green tea. The EGCGs in matcha are 137 times more than regular green tea.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds in foods that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Matcha has more antioxidants, by far, than another other super food.
2. DISADVANTAGES OF MATCHA
1. Contains caffeine
Who should not have caffeine?
Caffeine can be a reason to not drink matcha. However, while it has caffeine in it, it does not create the same side effects as other caffeinated beverages because it is natural caffeine that is slowly released into the system. If you are sensitive to caffeine, it is best not to drink it.
What are the symptoms?
Caffeine sensitivity symptoms include: Restlessness, irritability, sleeping problems, tremors, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, upset stomach, nausea, frequent urination and skin rashes.
What levels of caffeine are in it and what is too much?
Matcha has less caffeine than coffee and energy drinks, but more than soda. It is recommended to have between ½-2 teaspoons of matcha daily. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, start with a lower amount and see if it is okay. Also, talk to a doctor if you are concerned.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Since matcha contains caffeine, it is recommended to not drink it if you have a sensitivity to caffeine.
3. TOP 100 MATCHA RECIPES
4. MATCHA RECIPES IN VIDEO
5. ABOUT MATCHA
Where does matcha come from?
During the Tang Dynasty (7-10th centuries), tea leaves were cultivated, pulverized and turned into what is now called green tea matcha. Zen Buddhists were very aware of the benefits of matcha and would drink it before afternoon meditations for a greater sense of clarity and well-being. The benefits were better than they have ever experienced, and the tea became known as the ceremonial tea for high priests at the temples. Even warriors drank the tea. The Buddhists and Chinese brought the tea to Japan in 1191, where they continued to perfect the process. It was only produced in small amounts and was considered only for nobility because it was so rare. In 1738, a man came on the scene and invented a new way to process in a more efficient way. The methods used are still in practice today. Farmers were taught the secret processing methods, which had a tremendous impact on production. Now, the tea is mass-produced and everyone can enjoy the healing benefits of the frothy tea.
How was it originally used?
The tea leaves were originally thought to be grown in the Yunnan Province in southern China. The Chinese emperor Shen Nong began the custom of drinking tea and strived to discover the medicinal benefits of all kinds of natural edibles. Tea leaves were initially eaten as medicine long before it was turned into a drink. Once it was brought to other areas, it was revered as a ceremonial drink because it was rare and only produced in small amounts. In Japanese, “cha” means tea, and “ma” means powder. Zen Buddhists would drink the tea before afternoon meditations due to its profound health benefits.
How is it typically prepared?
Matcha is harvested once a year, usually in May. About six weeks before harvest, the fields are covered, so the plants are forced into the shade. This slows the photosynthesis, therefore increases the chlorophyll and amino acids in the leaves. The smallest, youngest leaves of the plants are picked and dried. Once dry, they are sorted for quality, destemmed and deveined. It is ground into a fine powder. It takes an hour to grind 30 grams, which is why it is so special.
6. MATCHA VS. BLACK TEA
Both green tea and black tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), they are just “finished” (or processed) differently. Green tea is simply steamed and dried after being harvested, while black tea is fermented and crushed to allow the naturally occurring enzymes to convert the catechins to more complex forms, resulting in a richer taste and color. Both types of tea are rich sources of antioxidants called polyphenols that have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer by fighting free radicals in the body. Indeed, green and black tea (there’s no difference between the two) has about 10 times the polyphenols as most fruits and vegetables, though they contain different types of these flavonoids. Green tea typically contains less caffeine than black tea, but that depends on the type of tea. Both green and black tea can contain anywhere from 10 to 50 grams of caffeine per cup, and both are available in decaffeinated varieties as well.
7. HISTORY OF MATCHA
Green Tea Matcha comes from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis.
Where did it originate?
Matcha comes from a tea shrub native to the Yunnan Province southern China. It is known as the healthiest due to the lack of processing. The tea plants spread to other parts of Asia, parts that have the right type of soil and weather conditions. The Chinese emperor, Shen Nong, is said to have started the custom of drinking tea and introduced the tea plant to people around 2700 B.C. He was devout in his efforts to discover medicinal effectiveness of various roots, grasses and tree barks. Therefore, it was initially eaten as medicine. There are still some tribes in southern China, Thailand and northern Myanmar that eat pickled tea leaves. Once the process was refined, and word spread, Buddhist monks and Japanese leaders would use it for ceremonies. It was revered as a high society drink due to the small amount produced and the highly nutritional values and effects.
What was the initial preparation process?
The process has not changed much, only there is more produced than historically. The plants are moved to the shade about six weeks before maturity. This is to slow down the photosynthesis and ensure more production of chlorophyll and amino acids. Once ready to pick, only the small, young leaves are taken. They are then dried, sorted for quality, destemmed and deveined—all by hand—and ground into a fine powder.
What was the original use?
Orignially, the tea leaves were eaten for medicinal properties. Once they learned more about tea, they took the smallest, young leaves and, through a process, ground them into the potent powder. It was used in ceremonial tea drinks for nobility and monks, who used it before afternoon meditation.
8. Q&A ABOUT MATCHA
What does matcha taste like?
Matcha has a rich, frothy, slightly astringent flavor with a lingering sweetness.
What kind is best for me?
There are different grades of matcha. Look at these factors when purchasing:
• Texture, quality and density
• Quality (are there stems in it?)
• Fineness of the powder
• Has there been any prolonged exposure to oxygen?
• How was it ground up?
• How was it treated prior to processing?1
How long does matcha last?
If the container isn’t opened, it lasts about a year under ideal conditions (no heat, air or light). Once it is opened, it should be used within six to eight weeks. It should be stored in the freezer if you do not plan on opening it for awhile, or in the fridge after opening.
9. NUTRITIONAL INFORMTION
This is the nutritional information for one serving of matcha green tea.
|Calories from fat 0g|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0.0g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 0.0g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.5g||2%|