Matcha powder is a type of green tea made from the actual leaves of the green tea plant. The hype surrounding matcha is surreal—it surged in popularity years ago and remains relevant even today. As such, many food companies include matcha products in their stores, some mixing it into their food and beverage products, such as in bread, ice creams, and coffee, to name a few.
However, many people have asked, does matcha deserve the hype? Is matcha good for you? Read on to learn about some of its vital components and what good it brings to your body.
Catechins are a natural antioxidant that helps reduce cell damage and prevent chronic diseases. It also protects the skin from UV rays, which causes skin cancer such as cell carcinoma and cutaneous malignant melanoma.
Since matcha powder is made from the actual plant leaf, you get all the nutrients from it. Hence, matcha has more catechins than any other type of green tea. In fact,studies say that it has up to 137 times of catechins.
Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, and cacao plants. When taken, it stimulates the brain and central nervous system, which is why drinkers feel more alert and less tired.
Research says that matcha powder is better than brewed coffee since it has about three times the amount of caffeine. Experts say that since matcha contains a natural substance called L-theanine, its caffeine content gives an “alert-calm” sensation where drinkers feel more relaxed but minus the drowsiness. The caffeine content in coffee is absorbed relatively quicker than the caffeine in matcha green tea, where its content is slowly introduced to your system in a more balanced manner.
L-theanine is a type of amino acid found in tea plants called Camellia Sinensis, and in some mushrooms. Like the above components, matcha contains five times more L-theanine than regular green teas.
Studies say that this component helps reduce stress, and it is good for people who have high anxiety. This component helps activate the dopamine and serotonin receptors, which regulates the mood of a person.
EGCG is a subgroup of catechins which is said to increase a person’s attention and processing speed when paired with caffeine. Some studies also link EGCG as a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cancer, specifically those that concern the breasts, prostate, and lungs.
Additionally, a2016 review of studies found out that this compound found in matcha helps combat bad cholesterol, called LDL, which causes heart attacks and strokes.
Matcha powder is intentionally grown in the shade to force the leaves to overproduce chlorophyll, which is the green pigment found on plants. This component can be used as a natural food coloring. As such, you can safely use this whenever you're baking or cooking.
Aside from its good taste, people love drinking matcha powder because it offers a lot of health benefits, from reducing stress to preventing chronic diseases. Additionally, since it is made directly from green tea plants, you can get a lot more of its nutrients compared to regular green teas.