If you think that your Instagram feed has been looking a little bit green recently you wouldn’t be wrong. Matcha powder, made from green tea leaves that are steamed, dried then ground into powder, has been taking over. A quick search of #matcha brings up 1 million posts, and that doesn’t include it’s offshoots #matchalatte, #matchalover or #matchatea.
Despite being enjoyed for centuries in China and Japan where Buddhists sipped it to prepare for meditation, Matcha has officially hit the main stream. This versatile super powder can be used in everything from ice teas and lattes, to face masks, smoothies, desserts, ice cream, baking and more. Not only is Matcha delicious, but it’s also insanely good for you.
It has anti-aging, antioxidant super powers
We all envy youthful Asian skin, but it turns out it’s because they’ve been sipping this stuff since birth! Matcha contains an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or total antioxidant capacity) value of 1348 units per gram. To put that in perspective, fruits lauded for their high antioxidant count, pomegranates and blueberries, have just 105 u/g and 91 u/g respectively. And while we all know green tea is brimming with antioxidant power, a cup of matcha has 10 times the amount.
It gets you in the groove
Matcha has only half as much caffeine as an average cup of coffee – so you can indulge without getting the jitters. It also boosts your mood and alpha waves in your brain encouraging clear, calm thinking. This is because it contains an amino acid, L theanine, which boosts the production of dopamine and serotonin – the hormones that make you feel good. The art of whisking matcha tea is also deeply relaxing.
It keeps you healthy
The plant polyphenols (micronutrients that can prevent some degenerative diseases) found in matcha help prevent hardening of the arteries which can lead to heard attack and stroke. Drinking matcha daily has also been shown to lower blood pressure as it inhibits the production of ACE – an enzyme secreted by the kidneys that can cause hypertension. As well as this, matcha contains vitamins A & C, potassium iron and calcium.
Get your parents & grandparents involved too
Matcha contains and antioxidant known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which has been shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis an inflammation. EGCG also prevents memory loss caused by the plaque deposits found in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Get it in me!
You can drink matcha the traditional way, by adding hot water and whisking with a bamboo whisk, or by simply adding it to your favourite milk drink, smoothie or dessert.