Superfood Sunday // Matcha – health & nutritional benefits + recipes
Hello lovelies! I know it has been a very long time since I last did one of these posts, but I promised I would bring them back once I had the time and now I finally do, so get ready for another post in my ‘Superfood Sunday’ series! This week it will be all about one of my absolute favorite superfoods – matcha!
If the term superfood is new to you I would recommend reading my first post in the series, which focuses on superfoods in general – find it right here. Also make sure to check out my previous posts on chia seeds, maca, blueberries, broccoli, goji berries and acai.
Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that origins from Japan, where it is an important part of the country’s tradition and culture. In contrast to regular green tea, you do not strain the matcha green tea before consuming – you actually ingest the entire leaf! This means that when you drink a cup of matcha tea you receive 100% of the nutrients instead of only a fraction as you do with regular green tea, where you strain and remove the leafs before drinking it. Because of this you actually get the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea when you drink just one cup of matcha green tea – how amazing is that?!
One of the biggest health benefits from consuming matcha is that it is absolutely bursting with antioxidants, which among other things helps prevent aging and chronic diseases. And it is not just rich in any type of antioxidants, no it gets better, matcha is particularly rich in EGCg, which is known to be the most potent and beneficial type of antioxidants there is – it is particularly recognized for its cancer fighting properties! As you probably know, many foods and supplements are high in antioxidants, but matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Matcha is actually the highest rated antioxidant rich food by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method – it even contains up to twenty times more antioxidants than blueberries!
⋅ Absolutely jam-packed with antioxidants – including EGCg
⋅ Aids the body with its natural detox process
⋅ Helps boost the metabolism and burn calories
⋅ Boosts memory and concentration
⋅ Increases energy levels and endurance
⋅ Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
⋅ Helps lowering cholesterol levels
⋅ Helps lowering blood presssure
⋅ Induces relaxation without drowsiness
Why I personally love matcha
So I have just provided you with a long list of health benefits from matcha, but I would like to also share the reasons why I am so fond of this superfood. First off, I am of course very interested in the high amounts of antioxidants and all the benefits it brings, I see it as an investment in my health to be able to enjoy a cup of matcha very single day. It would be amazing if it could play a part in potentially helping me prevent developing cancer, alzheimers and dementia + it can help prevent premature aging as well!
Secondly, I really love the energy boost it gives me. I do not drink coffee and I often work long hours, so I love that I have a healthy option for some extra energy + it makes for the perfect pre-workout!
Third, this is probably not the best reason, but I love using matcha in my recipes because it is so pretty! Haha I love that bright green color and it can really add a nice boost to any recipe ;) I love the flavor as well of course, but only if we are talking high quality matcha, the cheap stuff has an awful bitter taste.
How to use it
I prefer to simply make traditional matcha tea with my matcha powder, it is the easiest way to enjoy the health benefits that matcha offers. I usually drink a cup or two a day. Simply add 1 gram of matcha to a small bowl (I have a little spoon that measures the right amount and I usually run it through a small sifter to break-up the clumps), add boiled water that should not be warmer than 80 c / 160 f and whisk vigorously with a bamboo whisk for about 30 seconds to create a nice froth. Enjoy the tea right away.
I love to get creative with my matcha as well though and you can find more of my favorite matcha recipes right here!
Where to buy it and what to look for
When purchasing matcha it is very important to make sure that it is good quality or you will not fully reap all its amazing benefits. I will always recommend buying organic matcha that is ceremonial grade and from Japan. You can buy culinary/food grade matcha for baking and recipe experiments, but for making tea and lattes (and if you want all the nutritional- & health benefits) I really recommend buying the ceremonial grade matcha for the highest quality and purity.
If you buy organic ceremonial grade matcha, then you should have some quality matcha on your hands, but sadly not all brands are as high quality as they would like to appear. One thing to look for is that the matcha powder should have a very vibrant green color, if it has a yellow/brownish hue then it is not good quality. High quality matcha has a mild and creamy flavour and should not be bitter.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the price as good quality matcha is sadly not cheap, if it seems too good to be true, then it usually is. However, I have found a couple of more budget friendly matcha brands that have really impressed me, so while matcha will never be cheap, then it doesn’t have to break the bank! I have shared my favorite brands right here!
I can really recommend buying a cute little matcha tea starter set with a bamboo whisk, matcha bowl and spoon as well, they are of course not necessary but they do take the whole matcha tea experience to a whole new level – I really like this, this this and this one ♥
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I would like to point out that I am not a nutritionist, doctor or anything of the sort and the information presented is simply data that I have come across doing research on the matter – please feel free to do your own research as well, this is simply meant as an introduction to my favorite superfoods for those who might share my interest in health and nutrition.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions about matcha or super foods in general just let me know!