What is Matcha?
Matcha is a unique and edible substance made of high-grade Japanese powdered tea leaves. It is known for its nutrient profile, health-promoting benefits and medicinal qualities. This form of green tea is unparalleled in that is almost 10 times more concentrated with antioxidants and polyphenols than other green tea varieties due to the way it is grown. The shade-grown leaves from the plant help to retain the unique chemical composition that provide matcha’s distinct vibrant green color and incomparable earthy flavor.
- Anti-Inflammation: Matcha is rich in antioxidants which help to protect against cellular damage and reduce inflammation in the body. Regular consumption can help to prevent chronic disease development and progression.
- Performance: Matcha has a special compound, L-Theanine. Paired with its natural source of caffeine, the powder provides performance-enhancing benefits: energy, focus and relaxation all at once.
- Immunity: Matcha possesses antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it an immunity powerhouse. It can increase T-cell production to help boost overall immune function.
Top Five Health Benefits of Matcha
- Brain Health: Enhances cognitive function and memory; increased neuroprotection; mood-booster; strong focus
- Heart Health: Increased cardioprotective effects; strengthens blood vessels; lowers LDL-cholesterol; blood pressure management
- Antioxidant-Rich: Decreases oxidative stress, cell damage and inflammation in the body helping to prevent against certain illnesses and disease states
- Energy: L-theanine (a rare amino acid) mixed with the natural caffeine content in matcha provide a jitterless boost of energy with increased feelings of calmness and laser focus, without the stimulant-like side effects
- Immunity: Increased T-cell production; reduced inflammation; antibacterial and antiviral; disease-fighting
Four Ways to Incorporate Matcha into Your Daily Intake
- Powdered forms make for an easy food additive to smoothies, smoothie bowls, overnight oats, or chia pudding
- Prepare matcha infused beverages such as hot specialty lattes, iced teas, lemonades or spritzers
- Bake matcha inspired desserts such as matcha cheesecake, matcha ice cream, matcha cookies, matcha mochi, etc.
- Make matcha inspired breakfast by adding matcha your batter for pancakes, muffins or waffles
Menu Item Spotlight
- Try the “I Am Vibrant” Latte at Cafe Gratitude: A high quality beverage composed of ceremonial grade matcha and honey that can be prepared hot or cold
- Ingredients: ceremonial grade matcha, honey, plant-based mylk
Jayne Pinsky, Gracias Madre’s Resident Dietitian, RD
- Kochman J, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Mruk H, Janda K. Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules. 2020;26(1):85. Published 2020 Dec 27. doi:10.3390/molecules26010085
- Sivanesan I, Gopal J, Muthu M, Chun S, Oh J-W. Retrospecting the Antioxidant Activity of Japanese Matcha Green Tea–Lack of Enthusiasm? Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):5087. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115087
- Jakubczyk K, Kochman J, Kwiatkowska A, Kałduńska J, Dec K, Kawczuga D, Janda K. Antioxidant Properties and Nutritional Composition of Matcha Green Tea. Foods. 2020; 9(4):483. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040483