10 REASONS YOU NEED MATCHA IN YOUR LIFE
Bree Jenner for our lovely friends at Chief Active
Matcha is a green tea powder sourced from the young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is renowned for its health benefits and unique flavour, and if you haven’t already fallen for this little powerhouse, here is why we think it will sweep you off your feet.
Firstly, and most importantly, Matcha tastes amazing. It has an astringent, or drying, mouth feel that is a signature of Matcha, and a long-lasting sweetness. Matcha pairs well with chocolate, mint and a range of fruits such as raspberry, mango, banana and coconut. Matcha can also lend its unique flavour to savoury dishes such as noodles and soups.
Matcha is a versatile addition to your diet that can be added to smoothies and juices, Matcha lattes, raw treats, oat and chia puddings and healthy takes on your favourite desserts such as cookies, slices and protein balls.
Matcha boasts four important polyphenols called catechins, Epicatechin (EC), Epigallocatechin (EGC), Epicatechin gallate (ECG) and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). From these catechins come most of the unique health benefits such as the positive management of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Catechins have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions. These components, particularly EGCG, are those thought to possess the anticarcinogenic and free radical scavenging actions.
4. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory
Matcha is a great addition to your ‘rainbow-a-day’ to boost the antioxidants and nutrients in your daily routine. It contains beta-carotene that can be converted in the body to vitamin A, a potent antioxidant and essential for immune function and skin integrity. It is found in richly pigmented green, red and orange plants, fruits and vegetables. Matcha also contains vitamins C and E, also rich antioxidants.
5. Weight Management
It is thought that the catechins found in Matcha may help to maintain healthy weight management through the promotion of thermogenesis, the process the body burns calories to produce heat. The antioxidant activity of Matcha may also reduce fat oxidation that may improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately how your body digests and stores energy.
6. Natural Colouring
The young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are grown in the shade to optimise the chlorophyll content. The high chlorophyll content that not only saturates Matcha with its beautiful green hue, but also assists in the body’s ability to detoxify and cleanse. Matcha is often used to colour foods such as soba noodles and desserts. Use Matcha powder as a natural food colouring for your delicious homemade creations.
7. A natural pick-me-up
Matcha contains a small amount of caffeine, but also contains theobromine (also in cacao and a little in coffee). Matcha is a source of amino acids, in particular, L-theanine, which has mood enhancing and blood pressure lowering properties and a sweet flavour. Glutamine is important for healing post injury, gut inflammation and muscle recovery.
8. Helps Decrease Coffee Intake
Whilst matcha still contains around 25-30mg of caffeine per cup, in moderation, the theobromine and L-Theanine can help to moderate the jittery buzz often felt with a cup of coffee. The calming effect on the central nervous system that these components have may help to make the switch from coffee to tea, avoiding some of the withdrawal effects such as headaches and mood changes.
9. Drink All Day Long
You can enjoy up to 4-5 cups of Matcha a day, however if you are sensitive to caffeine or oxalates, Matcha might not be for you. Speak to your health professional if you are unsure, or have noticed side effects such as headaches, dizziness or palpations.
10. Choose Good Quality, Organic Matcha
It is important to choose a quality product to ensure you are getting the nutrients and health benefits that Matcha has to offer. Some inferior products can be sweetened or artificially coloured, or have been found to have pesticide residue or heavy metals. A little Matcha goes a long way!
Bree is a Naturopath at the Health and Wellbeing Studio in Camberwell. She celebrates food as medicine and loves developing and sharing her delicious, nourishing and balanced recipes that fuel your body, mind and spirit helping you to shine as your best self. Her idea of meditation is burying her hands in the soil of her veggie patch (usually negotiating with her husband to keep just a few more weeds for salads and pesto!), or losing her toes in the sand at the beach.