Matcha tea facts: what it is and why it’s good for you
• A variety of green tea that is carefully grown and harvested, matcha is made of the whole leaf, the main reason behind many of its superior health benefits.
• Matcha has been cultivated and enjoyed in Japan and China for centuries, but, in the past couple of years, this source of green goodness has gained popularity worldwide.
• The leaf is ground into a powder and mixed with water or milk, unlike regular green tea, which is made by steeping the tea leaves in water and then discarding them.
• Unlike other teas, matcha does not stay fresh for long periods so should ideally be bought in small, vacuum-sealed packs and stored in the refrigerator.
• Drinks aside, matcha is also a popular ingredient in savoury dishes, spreads and desserts.
• It’s best enjoyed after a meal rather than during, and is most beneficial after breakfast.
• The official nutritional profile indicates that one cup of matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
• A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that tested the effects of matcha tea on rats with type 2 diabetes concluded that it reduced their cholesterol, blood sugar and harmful blood fats. It was also shown to protect the rats from liver and kidney damage.
• Matcha tea contains the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate in much higher quantities than green tea and is thought to be one of the reasons why the health benefits are so much greater. This could mean that the documented benefits of green tea – reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, degenerative disease, anti-cancer properties, weight loss and others – would also apply to matcha tea, but in a more powerful way. Of course, with limited research, this is speculation at this time, but initial indications look promising.
• According to caffeineinformer.com, a cup of tea made with matcha powder contains 70mg of caffeine (coffee contains about 160mg of caffeine per cup).
Updated: July 21, 2017 07:02 PM