By now, you've probably heard many of the health benefits of matcha tea. If you haven't tried it yet, you may want to stock up because it's so good for you!
The wellness community is ever-changing and there seems to be no shortage of trendy diets and superfoods to try out. But how do we navigate through what is actually effective and what is nonsense? The science behind matcha, the green powder that people have been putting into smoothies and lattes, has proved that this superfood does indeed have some health benefits. Read on to learn more about why you should start incorporating matcha into your regime and all of the health benefits of matcha tea that you can enjoy.
So what is matcha? Matcha has been used in Japan for centuries as a traditional sacred beverage. Today, you can’t go to a coffee shop or juice bar without seeing it offered on the menu.
Matcha is a green powder made from a particular type of green tea leaf. Matcha differs from regular green tea because unlike green tea, matcha is covered and grown in the shade for up to 20 weeks before being harvested. Living and growing in the shade allows the chlorophyll levels to increase, giving matcha powder a bright green coloring. After 20 weeks, the green tea leaves are dried out and ground into a fine powder, ready to be used in your favorite coffee creation.
The health benefits of green tea have been scientifically proven time and time again and that goes for matcha as well. Thanks to the antioxidant epigallocatchin gallate (EGCG) found in matcha you can expect:
- Increased metabolic function
- Decreased risk of most types of cancers
- Improved skin appearance
- Improved brain function
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Slower aging process
- Immune system support
- Decreased inflammation in the body
Basically, it does everything for improved overall health and can even reverse many existing health conditions and diseases. Both matcha powder and green tea possess powerful antioxidants and healing properties, but matcha has a higher potency. Compared to your standard green tea, studies have proven that matcha has up to three times the amount of EGCG!
You might be wondering how much of the green powder you have to consume to get the greatest benefits. From the research, the optimal dosage is about 100 to 200 mg of EGCG, which equates to about 2 to 5 cups of matcha a day. To get the most out of this superfood, try to drink it as a tea without adding milk or any other ingredients. You can still enjoy a matcha latte in moderation - just try to include other sources as well.
The positives of drinking matcha tea outweigh the negatives, but like most things in life there are pros and cons. Heavy metals such as lead can be found in many plant products because they absorb them from the soil. All teas, not just matcha, absorb lead at a higher rate and it’s thought to be higher in matcha because you are consuming the whole leaf, not just what is left after steeping it. To decrease your exposure to heavy metals in your matcha tea, try to avoid any tea that comes from China. Studies have shown that the pollution in China causes the leaves to contain higher levels of lead. Read the label on your matcha tea and make sure it’s from Japan.