10 Surprising Ways Matcha Green Tea Can Boost Your Overall Health

Matcha Green Tea: A Guided Tour of the Healthiest Beverage on the Planet

If you are a green tea fan, then you have to try matcha green tea. This concentrated form of green tea adds the leaves in powdered form directly to your drink, giving you the full benefit of its nutrients and active compounds. But what is matcha, and why is it becoming so popular?

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a form of green tea that originated in China in the 9th century, but it became popular among the monks of Japan in the 1300s. For over 900 years, it has played an integral role in the Japanese tea ceremony, valued as a part of meditation practice. The plants used to make matcha are called tencha plants, and they are grown in the shade. They are then harvested by hand, steamed, stored, and lastly, ground into a lovely emerald green powder that is used to make the matcha tea drink.

What are the Health Benefits of Matcha?

Matcha offers a wide variety of health benefits for those who drink it regularly. It provides a substantial amount of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, trace minerals, active phytochemicals like catechins and chlorophyll, and amino acids like L-theanine.

Many of these active compounds have powerful antioxidant properties, which green tea has been linked with for positive outcomes for a number of serious chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. Also, in clinical studies, it has been linked with anti-cancer properties, particularly against cancer of the breast, but also against colon and bladder cancer.

Additionally, the combination of caffeine and catechins (which are also antioxidant compounds) has made matcha popular among those looking to help boost weight loss. Both active ingredients are known to help boost the metabolism, and in several studies, green tea has been linked to the faster breakdown of fat, especially the visceral fat that can build up around organs like the liver and cause serious health problems later on.

How Do You Use Matcha?

Matcha is available in the United States in the form of a bright green powder or as already-prepared drinks. You can drink it hot, cold, or frozen. You can also use the powder in a variety of both sweet and savory recipes, including dishes like matcha puddings, muffins, and ice cream, as well as matcha soups, sauces, and stir-fries. The possibilities are endless, and once you get comfortable with its flavors, you can learn to experiment and make dishes all your own.

If you are brewing matcha on your own, the technique is slightly different than making regular green tea. Bring water to a boil in a kettle, but let it cool for about ten minutes. Add the matcha powder to your teacup, pour in the water, stir, and let it steep for a minute before enjoying.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Matcha?

As great as matcha is, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before indulging yourself. Matcha does have a strong flavor, stronger than regular green tea, and usually needs to be sweetened. You can use honey as a more natural alternative to sugar, but this will still add calories to the drink, which can be a drawback if you are drinking it to help with weight loss.

Additionally, even high-quality organic green matcha tea can be contaminated with lead. This happens because the tea plant draws it up naturally from the soil, and most of the lead then moves into the leaves. Since matcha tea uses the leaves directly in the drink instead of infusing them, it is believed that it can contain up to 30 times the amount of lead as regular green tea. For this reason, matcha should only be enjoyed once a day and not given to children.

Final Thoughts

Matcha is a great, tasty beverage to add to a healthy lifestyle. It can be purchased at health food stores as well as some regular supermarkets. Try some today if you are already a fan of green tea and would like to take it to the next level.

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