The Magic of Matcha

What is it about the magical, mystical properties of this ground green tea that makes it one of the most desirable weight loss elixirs, and a nutritional powerhouse as well???

To answer that question, let’s start with clarifying what Matcha really is…

What is Matcha?

Matcha (pronounced MA-cha) literally means “powdered tea.” This miracle elixir has been traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies for hundreds of years. It is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan (in most cases). The green tea leaves are grown in the shade to increase chlorophyll content, which creates the gorgeous green colour. Growing in the shade also triggers the growth of leaves with better flavor and texture. Then, the leaves are hand-picked, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, stemmed and de-veined before being stone ground into a fine powder. Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green colour and antioxidant properties.

Unlike traditional green tea, matcha tea powder is not strained out before drinking, so you are basically consuming the entire leaf, making matcha more potent than other tea varieties.

What is so magical about Matcha?

Although there are a million varieties of tea available in supermarkets, when it comes to weight loss, without any doubt matcha trumps the competition. And that’s because it has more than double the amount of EGCG – Epigallocatechin Gallate (a potent fat-burning antioxidant) – than other teas, including green tea. Loaded with all-around amazing antioxidants and belly fat-busting compounds called “catechins,” this green tea powder packs a whopping punch in terms of good-for-you nutrients!

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent ageing and chronic diseases. They are the body’s defense agents. Put simply, the more you antioxidants you have, the better equipped your body is to fight against infections and diseases.

This tea is so powerful because entire leaves are dissolved in water rather than steeped in bags. So, instead of throwing away the leaves after brewing (as with other teas), with matcha you ingest it all, and stand to benefit tremendously from all its antioxidant powers.

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea?

  • Matcha green tea far outweighs some of the most powerful superfoods when it comes to its antioxidant content. Matcha delivers a mega dose of antioxidants in every sip, which has the ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.
  • This beautiful bright green tea has been found to prevent cancer because the EGCG present in matcha is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen.
  • Since matcha is high in EGCG, consumption of matcha green tea increases thermogenesis, which promotes fat oxidation and weight loss (of course, when incorporated with regular exercise and clean eating).
  • Matcha contains various antioxidants, polyphenols, EGCG, and L-theanine which collectively contribute in boosting immune system of the body and helps provide protection against various antigens.
  • Matcha is grown in shades, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants, and is a very effective detoxifier that can aid in the elimination of unwanted toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals from your body.
  • Matcha enhances calmness and aids in concentration because it’s rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the functioning of the brain.
  • Matcha green tea has been found to raise metabolism, which in turn, burns more calories.

 

How to Use Matcha?

Matcha green tea is available as a concentrated powder and can be found at health food stores. I recommend organic matcha (sourced from Japan), because it is produced without any artificial fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.

  • You can brew your tea with it by whisking half to one teaspoon of matcha tea powder with 2 oz of hot water. For best results use water that is just under boiling.
  • You can also make an iced matcha tea
  • Blend it into your morning smoothies or milk shakes
  • You can bake with it – matcha puddings and cakes are very popular in delis across the world today!
  • Add it to your pancakes or waffles to enrich your breakfast.
  • Shake up your favorite mocktail/cocktail with the matcha twist.
  • Add it to your overnight oats, puddings, or cereal bowls.
  • Make a matcha ice cream!
  • You can get creative with it in any way you want! For indian kitchens, don’t forget to try matcha idlis and dosas, or add it to your parathas instead of the usual methi. Being mildly flavored, it blends well into different foods and adds the vibrant colour.

So next time you go to a supermarket, don’t forget to buy this anti-aging, cancer-fighting metabolism-enhancing, stress-reducing, immune-boosting, and cholesterol-lowering  miracle elixir called Matcha, and experience the magic!!!

 

Article Credits – Priyadarshini Das (Guest)