What you should know about consuming matcha
Matcha tea is a traditional drink from Japan made from ground, condensed and dried green tea leaves. The matcha is very concentrated. Green tea powder is said to have a variety of beneficial health effects. A nutrition expert explains how to use matcha to get as many health benefits as possible.
Matcha has long been a tradition in Japan. Consumption of this ground green tea is said to produce many health benefits. (Image: Subbotina Anna / stock.adobe.com)
Julia Zumpano is a nutritionist at the famous Cleveland Clinic in the United States. In a current article from the clinic, the expert explains why matcha is so healthy and how tea can best be incorporated into the diet to benefit from the many healthy ingredients.
An old pick-me-up
Matcha tea is known in Japanese tea ceremonies. Japanese Zen monks used it to stimulate alertness due to its high caffeine content. “Matcha is extremely nutritious in powder form,” Zumpano says.
What makes matcha so healthy?
As Zumpano reports, matcha contains many health-promoting ingredients compared to most other types of tea and is high in various polyphenols. These aromatic compounds are said to boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. They are also said to aid digestion and help with diabetes, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The following ingredients make Matcha so healthy:
Catechins: This type of polyphenol is beneficial for the heart, memory and skin. It also helps prevent cancer. Matcha contains around 130 times more antioxidant catechins than most other green teas. L-Theanine: An amino acid that supports the immune system and can reduce stress and anxiety. Flavonoids: These antioxidant substances protect cells from oxidation, which keeps them young and prevents disease. Chlorophyll: this pigment promotes the production of red blood cells, responsible for the absorption of toxins in the body.
Class instead of mass
Zumpano recommends paying attention to the quality of Matcha tea. Since the powder is very potent, small amounts are enough to absorb enough of the healthy ingredients. The rule of thumb for quality is: the more intense the green color and the finer the taste, the better the quality. High quality matcha usually has a stronger green because it is dried in the shade, not the sun. In addition, more and more young leaves are used, which grow at the top of the plant and taste much finer. Since high quality Matcha requires more complex production, it is therefore more expensive.
According to Zumpano, if you want to enjoy matcha as pure tea, you should better use high-quality products. It is essential to check the label to ensure that the tea has not been made greener with food coloring. But matcha cannot only be consumed in the form of tea. There are many ways to incorporate this precious powder into your diet.
Matcha consumption possibilities
According to Zumpano, cheaper and lower quality products can be used for cooking and baking, for example. Many recipes can be found on the internet, ranging from matcha hummus and matcha cookies to matcha noodles. Here are some ideas.
Green tea powder is also great as an ingredient for smoothies. Zumpano Libling Smoothie consists of half a teaspoon of matcha, a cup of spinach, half a cup of almond milk and a fruit of your choice, for example banana, berries, apple, pineapple or mango and some ice cubes.
Healthy chia matcha pudding
Matcha is also easy to consume as a healthy dessert. “Mix the chia seeds with a little almond or coconut milk and add some matcha powder,” suggests Zumpano. The resulting mass can be topped with fruits, nuts and coconut.
Matcha soups and other ideas
Matcha can also be simply added as an ingredient to homemade soups. The tea powder goes particularly well with asparagus soups. Matcha powder can be added to many other dishes and drinks. For example for:
Tofu, granola, oatmeal, coffee and latte, popcorn, guacamole, ice cream.
Coconut Matcha Latte
Another favorite Zumpano matcha recipe is coco-matcha latte. To do this, heat three quarters of a cup of almond or coconut milk and add a teaspoon of matcha. This drink brings a lasting boost to the day, especially in the morning. “Remember, however, that matcha is full of caffeine, so you shouldn’t be consuming matcha too late in the day,” Zumpano explains.
Matcha energy balls
For a simple matcha snack, mix two cups of coarse, unsalted peanut butter with two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, half a cup of dried apricots, and one tablespoon of honey. Shape the mixture into balls on parchment paper and place in the refrigerator – the energy snack is ready.
Do not combine matcha with animal milk
Finally, Zumpano has a tip: “Matcha should be consumed without animal milk like cow’s milk, as this appears to reduce its antioxidant benefits.” (v)
Also read: Turmeric as a supplement – What should be considered when taking it.
Author and source information
This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate Editor (FH) Volker Blasek
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.