Happy Q+A Tuesday! Let’s matcha you up with some good stuff today.
Q: “Tell me how you feel about matcha.” –T.B. in London, ON
A: I think it’s great! And let me tell you why.
First, matcha is the powder of green tea leaves. And many of us know the benefits of drinking steeped green tea leaves. So imagine the additional benefits you get from consuming the whole leaf. Awesome, right? Wait, there’s more.
Just in looking at the antioxidant value of matcha, it has more than 10 times the antioxidant content over blueberries and pomegranate. And this is based on a measurement system food scientists use called an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value. So if you’re foraging/shopping around for different types of high antioxidant foods, especially berries or greens (fresh or in powders), this is a good unit of measurement to be familiar with. To give you a general idea of what this means, matcha has an ORAC value of approximately 1,300 units per gram and blueberries have an antioxidant value of approximately 90 units per gram.
Because of the potent antioxidant content of matcha, it’s great for anyone in this day and age since everyone has some degree of exposure to free radicals. The body produces small amounts of free radicals as well as part of its metabolism, especially in athletes and those who exercise regularly, therefore making even higher nutrient-dense high antioxidant food choices especially important for this group of people. And for those who are dealing with lowered immunity or elevated toxicity (e.g. cancer), antioxidants, like the EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), vitamin C, and vitamin A found in matcha green tea, help to support a healthy immune system.
If you’re looking for a memory, mood, and focus booster, another super awesome surprise bonus benefit to matcha powder is its L-Theanine content. L-Theanine is an amino acid that promotes concentration and a feeling of wellbeing. And if you’re wondering how a substance which also contains caffeine can be calming, I was stumped at first, too. It would seem that the interplay between the caffeine and the focus-inducing L-Theanine keep the nerves in check, however those sensitive to stimulants may want to use matcha with caution and in smaller amounts.
One of the most notable benefits some of you may have heard about recently are the fat burning and metabolism boosting benefits of green tea. And with detoxifying chlorophyll, matcha could certainly help to support a weight loss regimen.
The best places to buy matcha powder are from local health food stores or tea shops as they can speak to the quality of the matcha. If you’re dealing with me specifically at Ezentials, I’ll steer you toward an organic variety to even further the benefits of the powder by reducing your exposure to chemicals potentially used in producing the green tea leaves. There are varying levels of quality in green tea so be sure to ask for a high quality Japanese variety.
The best way to brew a cup of matcha is using hot (not boiling) water and a bamboo whisk to stir and dissolve the powder properly. It’s also a great addition to smoothies, greek yogurt, or hot whole grain cereals. The ways to incorporate it into meals are really limitless. Just make sure not to overcook or overheat it to preserve maximum nutrients.
Enjoy the versatile benefits of matcha green tea! The Japanese have for thousands of years.
Thanks for participating in another week of Q+A Tuesday! xo