In the world of beverages, trends come and go, but some manage to transcend the fickle nature of fads and carve a permanent niche for themselves. One such luminary is matcha, a vibrant green tea powder with roots deeply embedded in Japanese culture. Beyond its trendy status, matcha is a beverage that captivates not only taste buds. “Matcha is more than just a trendy beverage; it’s a nutritional powerhouse with a wide range of health benefits. Its high antioxidant content, metabolism-boosting properties, heart-healthy attributes, detoxifying abilities, and immune-boosting potential make it a valuable addition to any diet,” says the team at The Skin Diet Company, a homegrown superfood and vegan skincare brand.
The Rituals Of Matcha
To truly appreciate matcha, one must delve into its origins, which trace back to ancient China and Japan. It was during the Tang dynasty in China that tea leaves were first ground into a fine powder, laying the foundation for what we now know as matcha. However, it was in Japan that matcha found its spiritual home, intertwining with the philosophy of Zen Buddhism.
What sets matcha apart from other green teas is its unique production process. “Matcha is made from shade-grown green tea leaves called Camellia sinensis. About three weeks before harvest, the tea bushes are covered to protect them from direct sunlight. This process enhances the production of chlorophyll and amino acids, giving matcha its characteristic vibrant green colour and unique flavour profile. After harvesting, the leaves are steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder, which is what we know as matcha,” explains the brand.
Unlike traditional green tea, where the leaves are discarded after steeping, matcha is consumed in its entirety, maximizing the intake of its valuable nutrients.
Beyond its enchanting flavour and cultural significance, matcha boasts an impressive array of health benefits, making it more than just a trendy indulgence. Here are some of the key advantages:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Matcha is a powerhouse of antioxidants. “Antioxidants are compounds that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that can lead to various health issues, including chronic diseases and ageing,” the team adds. “Matcha contains a type of antioxidant known as catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is renowned for its potent antioxidant properties. Matcha is one of the best sources of this compound. Consuming this regularly can help your body combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.”
“The antioxidants may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and
improving blood pressure,” they add.
2. Boosts Metabolism
Matcha is a natural caffeine source that provides a mild energy boost without the jitters and crashes associated with coffee. “The caffeine in matcha is complemented with a compound called L-theanine. This promotes relaxation and mental clarity. This unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine can improve focus, concentration, and cognitive performance,” the skincare brand brings to notice.
Additionally, it has been linked to a boost in metabolism. “Some studies suggest that it can increase calorie burning and fat oxidation, making it a potential aid in weight management,” they add.
3. Detoxifies The Body
It has a natural detoxifying function. Chlorophyll has detoxifying effects. That ingredient is responsible for matcha’s brilliant green hue. It aids in the removal of pollutants, heavy metals, and toxic substances from the body, supporting general health.
4. Enhances Immune Function
The catechins have antibacterial qualities, which may help boost the immune system and fight infections. Matcha use on a regular basis can help your body fight off infections and stay healthy.
But, how do reap these benefits? “To reap the full advantages, include it in your daily routine by drinking matcha tea, adding it to smoothies, or incorporating it into culinary creations. With each sip of this green elixir, you will be nourishing your body and encouraging general well-being,” the brand suggests.
Beyond the ephemeral realm of trends, it emerges as a timeless elixir. So, the next time you savour a cup of matcha, remember that you’re not just indulging in a trendy beverage.
Cover image credits: Canva
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