5 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
5 minute read
Matcha is green tea – supercharged! It harnesses all of the goodness of green tea in its purest and most potent form, bringing you big health benefits from very small amounts.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a premium finely ground green tea powder which is made using shade-grown Japanese tea leaves.
Any powdered green tea made using tea leaves from outside of Japan cannot technically be named Matcha for this reason – think of it as the Champagne of the green tea world!
It is most commonly used to make a hot drink with either milk or water, which can be sipped and enjoyed for its amazing benefits!
Where Does Matcha Come From?
It may seem as though Matcha appeared all of a sudden, finding its way into lattes, protein balls and smoothie bowls everywhere, but Matcha has actually been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years - and there’s a lot more to it than its vivid green colour!
It is thought that Matcha’s origins can be traced all the way back to the Tang Dynasty in China, an empire which ruled over 1000 years ago. This is when the first Matcha powder was made and enjoyed by locals for its healing properties.
Matcha was enjoyed by Monks in China for hundreds of years before being introduced to Japan sometime around 1911 by a Buddhist Monk named Eisai. Here it was an important item in Zen monasteries and eventually became popular with locals as its availability increased.
Since this time Matcha’s popularity in Japan has outgrown that of China and it has been part of Japanese culture for over 800 years. Today, Matcha is exported and enjoyed globally thanks to its superfood status and incredible nutritional profile.
How is Matcha Made?
Matcha is made from green tea leaves, which are finely ground into the powder we all recognise as Matcha. Whilst other green teas are grown throughout much of Asia, it is generally recognised that true authentic Matcha is always grown in Japan, where its cultivation was perfected.
Matcha differs from other green teas in two main aspects of how it is farmed and processed:
🌱 The green tea plants for Matcha are ‘shade-grown’ for 3-4 weeks before harvest: farmers cover the plants for around 30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight, this increases Matcha’s chlorophyll and amino acid content
🌱 The stems and veins of the leaves are removed before processing: this allows the entire leaf to be made into a fine powder, using the whole leaf also boosts the antioxidant load and caffeine content
5 Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is renowned for its antioxidant properties and ability to cleanse the body of toxins. Not only is it good for your physical health but it also helps to instil mental clarity and boost mental performance. Here are just some of the amazing benefits of drinking Matcha green tea.
1. Matcha is a Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants fight against oxidation in the body, helping to protect us from free radicals before they can cause damage which is often the root cause of disease. Antioxidants are found in many plant-based foods such as green tea and Matcha in particular.
Matcha is considered to be one of the most potent antioxidants in the world. It is extremely rich in flavonoids named catechins, which are particularly potent thanks to the geographic area Matcha is grown in, as well as how it is grown and harvested. This is what sets Matcha apart from other green teas!
Research has found that the concentration of catechins in Matcha is as much as 137 times greater than those found in regular green tea. As Matcha utilises the whole of the green tea leaf as a fine powder, it’s antioxidants are far more bioavailable compared with green tea bags steeped in hot water.
2. Matcha Helps to Detoxify
Drinking Matcha has been shown to have a protective effect on the organs involved in detoxification. Green tea intake has been found to help prevent damage to the liver and kidneys, which are essential to flushing out toxins.
Not only does this help to protect the liver and kidneys from damage and disease but it also helps them work more efficiently. So, by supporting these organs Matcha can help with overall detoxification, helping to minimise damage from environmental toxins common in the modern world, like air and water pollutants. Supporting your natural detox mechanisms is also important to enhance immune function.
3. Matcha Boosts Brain Function
Renowned for its ability to increase focus and concentration, many studies have shown that drinking Matcha can enhance brain function. Studies have shown that Matcha can help to improve attention, reaction time, concentration and memory.
Many of Matcha’s brain-boosting benefits are linked with it’s high caffeine content, providing around 70mg caffeine per teaspoon - compared with 28mg found in regular green tea and 63mg you’d get with a shot of espresso.
Caffeine is a known brain stimulant which helps to increase brain processing speed and improve cognitive function. It also works to fight against a chemical called adenosine, which reduces neurotransmitter function and has a negative effect on brain function.
Interestingly, Matcha also contains a compound called L-Theanine which influences the uptake of caffeine in the brain, promoting alertness over a longer period of time and helping to avoid the post-caffeine crash!
4. Promotes Weight Loss
Green tea is a popular ingredient often found in weight loss supplements, so it makes sense that Matcha would be used for that reason too!
Matcha’s high caffeine content can help to boost endurance and performance during exercise. So, many people choose Matcha as their pre-workout drink to get the most out of their exercise.
Matcha is also thought to be useful for enhancing weight loss by boosting metabolism and increasing fat oxidation. One study found that Matcha increased fat oxidation during exercise by 17% compared with a placebo.
Another study also found that Matcha helps to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which helps us to use energy from our food rather than storing it in fat cells - so Matcha also helps to maintain a healthy weight.
5. Helps to Strengthen Bones
One of the lesser known benefits of Matcha is that it is good for bone health. Several studies have found that Matcha can help to increase bone mineral density.
Catechin compounds which are in plentiful supply in Matcha help to create "osteoblasts" - cells which form new bone. This is important for fitness and mobility and also helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as we age.
1 in 2 postmenopausal women will experience osteoporosis, due to a sharp decline in oestrogen which works to protect bones. Drinking Matcha could be useful to help mitigate the impact of decreasing estrogen levels on bone mass in menopausal women. This can prevent fractures and reduce the impact of ageing on our bones.
5 Ways to Incorporate Matcha Into Your Daily Routine
Whether you use regular Matcha powder or our Magic Matcha blend, it’s so easy to add this amazing ingredient to a variety of meals and drinks - helping you to get a daily dose of Matcha magic!
1. Enjoy a Matcha Green Latte
Add 1 scoop of Matcha powder to ½ cup hot water and stir or whisk until dissolved. Top up with warmed milk and finish with a milk frother if available.
2. Use Matcha in Healthy Baking
Add a scoop of Matcha powder to your favourite baking recipes for a savoury flavour and vibrant green hue. Matcha is easily added to muffins, cupcakes, savoury biscuits and even pancakes - it also makes a great natural alternative to synthetic food colourings.
3. Make Your Own Matcha Nice-Cream
Matcha nice-cream is as delicious as it is nutritious, enjoy after a meal to satisfy your sweet cravings and boost your intake of essential nutrients.
Here's a simple recipe for homemade Matcha nice-cream:
- Peel four bananas and freeze overnight
- Add your frozen bananas, 200ml plant-based milk and a scoop of Matcha to a blender, blend until smooth
- Spoon into a container and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours
- Scoop out a portion and garnish with an extra sprinkling of Matcha!
4. Add Matcha to Smoothies and Juices
Add half of a scoop of Matcha per serving to your favourite smoothies and juices. Matcha goes really well with fresh ginger, spinach and kiwi. You can also add a squeeze of agave syrup for added sweetness if you like.
5. The Authentic Original Matcha Brew
Great quality Matcha can be enjoyed the authentic way - made into a long tea drink with nothing added but freshly boiled water. If you’re a Matcha fan you can invest in a bamboo whisk or “chasen” to make your Matcha as smooth as can be!
Magic Matcha: The Focus Blend 🍵
We use ceremonial grade Japanese Matcha in our Magic Matcha blend. This is a premium grade of matcha which can be enjoyed on its own simply mixed with hot water. It’s farmed and processed in the authentic Matcha way and is certified Organic.
Our Matcha is finely ground, full of flavour and brimming with health benefits! Combined with dual-extracted Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Ashwagandha & Ginger, Magic Matcha is the ultimate health-boosting brew for calming energy to keep you focused and alert, nature's way.
Total Antioxidant Content of Matcha Green Tea - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/
Catechin Content of Matcha Green Tea - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14518774/
Detoxification Function of Green Tea - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4538013/
Effect of Caffeine on Adenosine - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209050/
L-Theanine and Caffeine Uptake - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25761837/
Matcha Green Tea, Glucose Tolerance and Insulin Sensitivity - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18326618/
Matcha and Fat Oxidation - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649093/
Effect of Caffeine Intake on Endurance and Performance Exercise - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15657469/
Matcha & Bone Mineral Density - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095528630600163X?via%3Dihub