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5 Awesome Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea


Posted by on August 7, 2015 / 16 Comments

The health benefits of matcha green tea are wide ranging. Here are 5 awesome health benefits that’ll have you adding matcha to everything.

matcha health benefits

Matcha green tea is taking the world by storm. If you scroll though any foodie’s Instagram feed you’ll see vibrant, electric green recipes, with matcha playing the starring role. And drinking matcha simply as tea? Oh, that’s so limiting! Matcha can be added, sprinkled and blended into almost any recipe under the sun.

Acai and pitaya are well loved in the wellness community, but matcha seems to be the new lovebug – and for good reason.

Now, in full disclosure, I may have been a little slow to the matcha party. I only discovered it a couple of months ago, after drinking a matcha green tea latte with the trademark barrista swirl on top. But since then, I’ve quickly fallen in love with this Japanese green tea and developed cravings for the slightly bitter, somewhat umami, grassy flavor – which, in all honestly, I didn’t think would happen.

What is matcha?

Quite simply, it’s a fine powder made from grinding whole green tea leaves. Unlike other green tea that’s manufactured into tea bags, then steeped in water – with matcha you’re drinking the entire leaf, in powdered form.

Matcha is also unique in how it’s harvested (mostly in Japan). The leaves are shaded from the sun several weeks before harvest to slow down growth, increase chlorophyll levels and boost the production of amino acids, like L-Theanine. That unique flavor you taste in matcha? That’s the amino acids you’re tasting (which is good!).

What are the health benefits of matcha?

It’s an anti-aging, antioxidant powerhouse

There are exponentially more antioxidants in matcha than other “superfoods.” It has 6 times more antioxidants than goji berries, 17 times more antioxidants than blueberries and 60 times more antioxidants than spinach. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help to prevent aging, chronic disease and infection – and in this regard, matcha is unsurpassed.

It can help with weight loss

Studies have found that the concentration of ECGC (epigallocatechin gallate) in matcha is 137 times greater than that in a standard cup of green tea. Why is this important? Research has shown that ECGC in high doses may help increase calorie burn and alter levels of “hunger hormones,” helping to reduce appetite.

It can improve your concentration and energy

Many drink coffee for the jolt of caffeine. But what if you could have a similar boost without the jitters or post-caffeine drowsiness? Matcha is rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation and increased memory, while preventing the nasty side effects of caffeine. A boost in clarity without the jitters? Win win.

It’s a powerful detoxifier

You may know that green foods are natural detoxifiers in the body. This is purportedly due to the chlorophyll, which purge the body of harmful elements, chemicals and heavy metals. Because matcha is shade grown it has significantly more chlorophyll than other green teas.

It prevents heart disease

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that the catechins in green tea significantly lowered total serum cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Over time, reduced LDL-levels helps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Bonus: Two of my Favorite Matcha Recipes

I’ve got several more matcha recipes coming your way, but if you’re looking for a little recipe inspiration, here you go! I use this particular matcha in my recipes, which is a culinary matcha and not ceremonial grade matcha. If you’re using matcha in recipes (rather than drinking straight up), I recommend choosing a culinary grade matcha. You get more bang for your buck. Enjoy!

Matcha Pistachio Bliss Balls

Iced Matcha and Salted Caramel Latte

 


These health benefits made me a convert – how about you? Are you a matcha lover? What’s your favorite matcha recipe? Share in the comments below!

PS – This is the brand of matcha I use.

  • sue

    wow Lisa, I had no idea what the mythical matcha was or it’s many benefits… I’m definitely going to put it on my to try list!
    thanks so much for sharing. xxx

    • Awesome – great to hear Sue! It did take me a while to get used to the flavor, but now I absolutely love it. Hope you do too! :) x

  • Oh matcha – I’ve eyed it off but haven’t given it a whirl yet. The bliss balls sound amazing. xx

    • The bliss balls are a great way to ease yourself into the matcha flavor, if you’re a newbie. The dates help to offset some of the slightly bitter/grassy green tea flavor (which, I now love!). :) x

  • Matcha is awesome in smoothies and desserts :D
    Try frozen bananas, matcha powder, pistachios, vanilla and milk of choice. And if you need it a bit sweeter, add either a date or honey (your choice).

    Love your blog btw, it looks great :)

    • Thanks sounds fabulous – and thanks for the compliment! Much appreciated Angie!! :)

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  • Heather L.

    What is your opinion on ceremonial matcha vs. traditional organic matcha? I have been drinks it as a tea and the only reason I haven’t branched out in experimenting is the expense of the ceremonial grade. I know more money doesn’t always mean better….but, that is why I’m asking! Love your recipes and everything you share!!!

    • Hi Heather – ceremonial matcha is great if you’re drinking it pure (i.e. – only mixed with water). But when making lattes, smoothies, bliss balls or added to any other recipes, I only use culinary matcha. Yes, it’s cheaper, but the main reason is it’s stronger flavor profile. In fact, ceremonial matcha would not do well in these recipes as the other ingredients (even just sugar or milk) would over-power the more delicate flavor. So save some money, buy culinary matcha and have fun experimenting! :) x

      • Heather L.

        Thank you so much for your reply and the information, I will add your recommended brand to my Amazon order. I can’t wait to make your bliss ball recipe and add it to smoothies!!!

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  • Super cool article… thanks for sharing :)

  • Kayla

    Thanks for the article. I’m only new to drinking matcha but I absolutely love it! My favourite is an organic matcha from Matcha Pure Tea ( http://www.matchapuretea.com ) I’ve been adding it to my morning smoothie but I’ll have to try your matcha pistachio bliss ball recipe now :)

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