Matcha tea is a fine Japanese tea, which is prepared with a very specific procedure. Let’s see its properties and benefits.
Matcha is rich in catechins, antioxidants that have anti-cancer effects. It has also been found to improve cognitive function and promote a healthy skin.
People drink matcha to lose weight, because it helps you burn calories and suppress appetite. The caffeine in matcha also increases your metabolism rate.
Matcha tea can be used for various medical purposes: it is helpful for lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease and boosting the immune system.
What is matcha tea and its origins?
Matcha tea is a very fine type of tea, used in the tea ceremony in Japan. This tea is obtained from green tea leaves which, after harvesting, are dried and ground very finely to obtain a powder. Matcha tea, also known as Japanese green tea, has its roots in Zen philosophy and is still prepared today through a specific ritual. Where to buy matcha tea?
Matcha tea can be found in herbal medicine, physical and online stores; the price of matcha tea varies according to the quality.
The best matcha tea is ceremonial (or ceremonial) matcha tea and the price can exceed $25 per pound. You can also find matcha tea at the supermarket, at a lower price and lower quality than the matcha tea sold in herbal medicine shops or specialty tea shops.
You can also find matcha tea at the supermarket, at a lower price and lower quality than the matcha tea sold in herbal medicine shops or specialty tea shops.
Matcha tea, nutritional values and calories
From a nutritional point of view, matcha tea is very similar to green tea. A cup of matcha tea provides very few calories, about 5-6, but is rich in beneficial substances. The tea contains catechins, antioxidants that have anti-cancer effects. Interestingly, matcha tea contains more catechins than black tea. Matcha tea is in fact rich in:
- mineral salts
- as well as chlorophyll
In this tea, the chlorophyll content is higher, because the leaves come from tea trees grown in the shade. Since matcha tea is powdered green tea, this type of tea also contains caffeine. Properties of matcha tea Thanks to the substances present in tea leaves, matcha tea or matcha powder has properties:
The properties of matcha tea are given by all its constituents and, in particular, by epigallocatechins and caffeine, as well as by chlorophyll, vitamins and mineral salts.
The benefits of matcha tea
Drinking matcha tea regularly can contribute to general well-being, if its consumption is included in a healthy diet and lifestyle context.
The properties of matcha tea can in fact help reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar and therefore bring benefits to the cardiovascular system, brain and metabolism.
Furthermore, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of matcha tea can be useful in reducing the risk of chronic and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and various types of cancer.
In addition to the antioxidants, in green tea and matcha tea we find an amino acid – theanine – which has a relaxing action: drinking matcha tea can therefore reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood.
Thanks to the caffeine content, matcha tea has a tonic and stimulating effect, and can also help you lose weight; the slimming action of this tea also seems to be given by the presence of epigallocatechins, able to reduce weight gain.
Contraindications. When not to drink matcha tea
Consumption of matcha tea can reduce the absorption of some nutrients, including iron. People who are anemic or have an increased need for iron should therefore avoid consuming large amounts of green tea and matcha tea, especially during meals.
Furthermore, matcha tea can cause agitation, tachycardia, insomnia if consumed in excessive doses or in people particularly sensitive to caffeine. As we have seen, in fact, matcha has caffeine, therefore it has a stimulating action.
How many times a day you can drink matcha tea therefore depends on your personal sensitivity: two cups a day are sufficient to have benefits and it is better to drink matcha tea away from meals and in the early hours of the day.
Instead, it is better not to drink matcha tea together with other stimulating drinks such as coffee, energy drinks, cola and guarana or if you take tonic supplements. Be careful not to exaggerate in the consumption of matcha tea during pregnancy.
Matcha tea and the thyroid
Matcha tea is gaining popularity for its many health benefits. But did you know that it can benefit the thyroid as well? Matcha tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
These catechins have been linked to a decrease in the risk of developing certain types of cancers, but they also help to regulate the thyroid.
Studies have shown that these catechins have a positive effect on the production of thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid.
They also help to reduce the risk of thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease. Additionally, they can help to reduce symptoms of an overactive thyroid, such as rapid heart rate and tremors.
Matcha tea can also help to improve energy levels, which is beneficial for people with hypothyroidism. All of these benefits make matcha tea an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their thyroid health.
Consumption of green tea and matcha tea, if not excessive, does not appear to present risks for the thyroid, but could interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications such as levothyroxine used in the treatment of hypothyroidism.
10 reasons to drink matcha tea
Let’s list the reasons to drink matcha tea, a sort of small reminder of the benefits of this tea powder:
- It tastes good. If you have never tasted it and wonder what matcha tea tastes like, you should know that the flavor of this tea is more delicate and less bitter than that of other teas, which is why many appreciate it;
- Increase concentration. Although the stimulating action of tea is less strong than coffee, drinking matcha tea can help concentration and memory, also thanks to the antioxidant substances;
- Improve mood. The anti-stress and relaxing action of matcha tea can help reduce anxiety and improve mood;
- Increase your energy. Thanks to the stimulating and anti-stress action, the consumption of matcha tea can make you feel more energetic and counteract physical and mental tiredness;
- Slows down ageing. The antioxidant activity of matcha tea polyphenols also has a positive effect on skin and hair, slowing down the aging processes that lead to wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and tone and gray hair;
- Helps to lose weight. Surely drinking matcha tea without correcting diet and lifestyle does not make you lose weight, but consumed in association with correct nutrition and physical movement, it can help speed up weight loss;
- It protects the heart. The polyphenols and other substances contained in matcha tea help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, with benefits on the cardiovascular system;
- It can reduce cellulite. Thanks to the benefits on blood circulation and draining action, the consumption of matcha tea can also reduce water retention and cellulite;
- Increases the immune defences. Vitamins, minerals and polyphenols can help strengthen the immune system by protecting against infection and disease;
- Helps digestion. The substances present in matcha tea support the functionality of the stomach, liver and intestines, improving digestive processes.
How to prepare matcha tea?
It’s time to take a closer look at matcha tea preparation. Matcha enthusiasts follow an elaborate process when preparing this elixir, and must make use of specialized utensils such as a bamboo whisk called Chasen, along with special spoons or spatulas for each brew – the chashaku.
It can be prepared in two versions:
- The lighter one with a western taste (usucha);
- the denser one (koicha), changing the amount of water.
The water will be brought to a boil and then allowed to cool before being poured over the tea powder. The heat of the water must be around 75°C. After pouring the water on the powder, whisk vigorously with the chasen making M or W-shaped movements until a thick foam forms on the surface.
At this point, it is poured into the chawan tea cup, for matcha tea tasting, and drunk.
Matcha tea in the kitchen
Given its properties, its pleasant and delicate flavor and its beautiful bright colour, matcha tea is also used in the kitchen. For example, it is possible to add mathca powder to yoghurt, smoothies but also to the mixtures of bread, desserts and homemade pasta. Matcha can also be added to breakfast porridge or when cooking rice to color the grains. There are also real recipes with tea powder such as:
- matcha tea biscuits
- matcha ice lollies
- matcha latte
Matcha latteMatcha latte is a drink that is prepared starting from the preparation of matcha tea already seen to which hot frothed milk is then added.
In practice, matcha latte is a sort of matcha cappuccino: it can be drunk hot or cold and possibly flavored with other ingredients such as cocoa and cinnamon.