Why Opt for a Healthier Version of Caffeine Intake: The Yum Matcha Tea
Have you tried the premium category Japanese green tea, which has become popular due to its distinctive flavor, rich color, and amazingly refreshing, grassy taste and texture? Not to mention its wonderful health benefits… The healthier version of green tea slightly differs from its traditional relative. The finely ground green tea powder is made from the young tea leaves which are packed with beneficial nutrients.
Although Japanese and Chinese people have been enjoying the healthier version of green tea for centuries now, it has only become available and recognized recently by nations farther away. The main difference between green tea and matcha tea is in their make. Therefore, the matcha powder is much stronger, and only a small amount can give you a big boost for you to go on, you shouldn’t drink too much to avoid being over-caffeinated.
Before harvesting, the plants are covered by being left in darkness under the shades. This process is believed to make the leaves more sweet, soft, and bright green. After the farmers harvest the leaves, they quickly steam and dry them. Then they are put into heated ovens for about 20 minutes, and all unnecessary parts are removed, including stems and twigs. Finally, the workers grind the processed leaves into fine powder.
Health Benefits of High-Quality Matcha Tea
Matcha contains less caffeine than black tea or coffee but appears to contain more caffeine than regular brewed green tea. Because of its processing method, it appears to contain more of a beneficial antioxidant, a type of catechin, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). This antioxidant is believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Many population-based studies have indicated additional health benefits, like preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and could aid in efforts to lose weight.
The findings of such studies, even though not being clinical trials, are worth learning about. They can show a clear correlation between how people who had drunk green tea for three weeks managed to drop their blood pressure levels significantly in as much as three months. Even though there aren’t many studies available on matcha tea specifically yet, it should have similar effects to green tea, or in my personal opinion, even stronger healing properties.
Other studies suggest that if you regularly drink green tea, you could reduce the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. One cup of the day can also keep your teeth in shape thanks to its beneficial acids. The quality of matcha can vary, you could recognize good quality matcha by its color and taste, it is quite bright green with a creamy texture. The less quality matcha tends to be yellowish and not as fine, rather grainy. The good quality one should taste a bit sweet, but not bitter at all!
Anti-inflammatory Properties of Matcha
Matcha is not only a great drink to turn to when you need to be on the top of your game and work a lot, but it can also help you reduce inflammation through its advantageous antioxidants. The polyphenols in the tea might support you to reduce conditions like arthritis or could even slow the cartilage breakdown process (the tissue surrounding your joints to ensure smooth movement), which is a consequence of arthritis.
You could either buy readily made matcha latte sachets, in a box just like cappuccino (I sometimes buy these as my favorite treat) or the pure green matcha powder and flavor it the way you prefer. You could drink it with or without milk. Milk makes it quite creamy and rich; you could add any type of milk, be it cow, coconut, soy, almond, goat, you should get a phenomenally grassy and exotic taste. Drinking it hot or cold could also depend on your taste, season, or mood!
Time to Get Creative With Matcha!
Thanks to its rich taste and caffeine content, you could get quite creative in its usage! Only about two spoons of matcha added to your smoothie will give you a more excellent taste, and will energize you! You should experiment with different tastes and find what combination you most like. My personal favorite is bananas, green apples, chia seeds, and two teaspoons of matcha. But I have also tried mixing it with a chocolate shake, and it is not bad at all!!
You could also add it to vegetable soups, or creamy veggie dishes, or even add some of it to your favorite morning cereals, granola, oatmeal, cakes, muffins, or any creamy cake, or sprinkle it on dishes. Another yummy use is to put it into natural greek yogurt and top it with some fresh seasonal fruits. I usually add some honey and sprinkle some matcha on the top for decoration. Matcha can be found in coffee shops nowadays, either as a beverage or in cakes.
More Interesting Facts About Matcha
Matcha could not only boost your brain function, but besides its many healing properties, it could also protect your liver. It is a good idea to drink it regularly if you have any heart problems, as it can aid you in this. In the recent decade, just like fast food, instant or quickly-made drinks have also become popular. You don’t have to bother much with preparing matcha, it is easy-peasy! It is ready in an instant, and you can go about your daily duties feeling charged!
The traditional preparation of matcha includes a special whisk for stirring, to make it foamy and creamy in texture to enjoy it more! You should also be aware that not all powdered green tea is made of matcha! Some people are also careful about consuming matcha, as it reportedly can enhance your exposure to such contaminants as chemicals, pesticides, or even arsenic in the soil of tea plants.
You should test for yourself the daily amount of matcha you are comfortable with, as it can vary individually. Like with everything, moderation is the best! If you want to experiment with matcha, you could make your matcha latte, delicious protein smoothies, or even puddings. Even though matcha and green tea appear to have positive effects on the liver, in several cases, people who have drunk a lot of green tea have developed liver problems.
Easy to Prepare!
Some ways to prepare a delicious cuppa:
- To prepare an average cup of traditional matcha tea, add one or two teaspoons of matcha powder into your cup, and pour 50-60 ml hot water on it. Use the traditional bamboo whisk to mix it!
- For a stronger cup of matcha, use two teaspoons of powder with about 30 ml of hot water.
- If you want to have a lighter tea, reduce the amount of powder to a half teaspoon, and mix it with 90-120 ml of hot water.
- Here you can get creative using the aforementioned milk types, making your favorite beverages, meals, or cakes.
Even though matcha and green tea are extracted from the very same plant, they are not only differently processed but when making matcha, the entire leaf is being used. This provides it with an unmistakable character of leafiness as for its taste, and a very intense antioxidant content.
Studies have shown its highly beneficial healing properties ranging from boosting several key organs to aiding in weight loss. Since it is very simple to prepare and should be easily available to purchase, feel free to consider switching to a healthier option of caffeinated beverage!
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