Matcha is a finely grounded, bright emerald green tea powder. The Ceremonial Matcha is a natural, organic green tea that has been an integral part of the famous Japanese tea ceremony. Originally from China, it was used as a drug for treatment of various ailments.
Matcha green tea was originally grown in China and was introduced to the Japanese in the year 1191 by a monk, Eisai. The Zen monk planted the tea seeds, and it greatly flourished, and so did the use of the Matcha as a meditation aid as well as the adoption of the tea ceremony rituals. Over time has been the central part of the Japanese cultural rituals.
So How Different is the Matcha Green Tea from Other Green Teas?
The Japanese matcha comes from similar species, Camellia Sinensis, as all other teas, but about four weeks before it’s harvested, the tea field is shaded with bamboo. This shading technique results in a 90 percent sunlight reduction. The plant now growing in semi-dark conditions produces a lot of chlorophyll in compensation of low sunlight making the tea leaves rich in amino acids, L-Theanine. Unlike other green teas, matcha is briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation, thus leading to preservation of nutritional content and flavor and is usually drunk in powder form.
Nutritional Value of the Organic Matcha Powder
A serving of Organic Matcha Powder is nutritionally comparable to ten cups of ordinary green teas. According to Komes, Dranenka, et al., Matcha is rich in super antioxidants activities such as the catechins, polyphenols, and chlorophyll. Besides that, it’s a source of Vitamins B complex, A, C, K, and E as well as trace elements. The presence of the amino acids such as the theophylline and L-theanine makes Matcha a nutritional powerhouse with incredible benefits.
Benefits of Organic Matcha Powder
Antioxidant Activity: Matcha is rich in antioxidants. As the human body’s cleanup crews, antioxidants protect against the harmful free radicals responsible for tissue damages, aging as well as agents of inflammatory diseases. Antioxidants significantly increase metabolisms, lowers blood cholesterol and controls the blood sugar levels. Based on ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), Organic Matcha Powder ORAC value is 1384 as per the gram basis. To put into perspective, Organic Matcha Powder has more antioxidant activities than all the polar antioxidant rich foods when even combined. The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechin and polyphenols in organic matcha powder, helps to reduce inflammations while maintaining the health of the arteries as well bringing about regenerations of body cells.
Type 2 diabetes: Organic Matcha tea is valuable in the maintenance of healthy metabolisms in diabetic persons. The antioxidants present in the matcha powder reduces the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and the contents of the hepatic glucose. Research done by Wolfram, Swen in 2007 on diabetic subjects administered with organic matcha showed that Matcha exerts inhibitory actions against the hepatic and renal damages by restraining the accumulations of glycation end by products in the human kidney.
Cardiovascular health: A study carried out by Kim, Hae-Suk, et al. in 2013 demonstrated that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in the organic matcha powder significantly reduced the total LDL cholesterol and the total serum cholesterol in the blood. The said catechin reduces the accumulation of lipids, thus promoting autophagy of the vascular endothelial cells.
Improves Memory and Prevents Dementia: Based on De Mejias, et.al study on Brain, behavior, and immunity carried out in 2009; there is no doubt that Organic Matcha Powder tea, improves the functions of the brain. Catechin found in Matcha is effective in protecting the neurons against degenerations, thus lowering the potential risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s is often associated with the death of the Dopamines which are responsible for the productions of neurons in the human brain. Alzheimer’s on the hand causes deterioration of the human brain resulting in dementia.
Sustained & Focused Energy: Organic Matcha Powder contains essential amino acids, particularly L-theanine. According to Kimura, Kenta, et al., L-Theanine promotes relaxation naturally while heightening the concentration thus significantly reducing anxiety and enhancing moods. Besides that, it stimulates the productions of alpha wave activities in the human brain, resulting in a state of calmness and alertness. It’s no wonder; the matcha was always used by the Buddhist Monk before meditations and the Samurai warriors before a battle or wars as a health elixir.
Metabolism & Weight Loss: The epigallocatechin gallate EGCG catechin in matcha is mainly known for boosting the rate of metabolism by regulating weight through oxidation of the fat and thermogenesis. In fact, the concentration of the EGCG is far much greater in Matcha than other average green tea. According to Cooper, Raymond, D et.al article, the catechin promotes the productions and excretions of cortisol, the human body’s fat storage, and stress hormone. Research done by Anderton R. Christopher and David J. Weiss in 2003 shows that ECGC increases caloric burns and significantly alters the levels of the hunger hormones, eventually reducing appetite.
Natural Detoxification: Organic Matcha Powder’s green color is due to the abundance of chlorophyll, which is widely known as a natural detoxifier. A study carried out by Le Galls, Gwénaëlle, Marianne Defernez and Ian J. Colquhoun in 2004 suggests that the chlorophyll found in the matcha increases the capacity of the blood in delivering oxygen and other significant nutrients to the body cells. Thus, it cleanses and regenerates the body at both the cellular and molecular levels. Additionally, it contains dietary fiber, an important detoxifying agent which controls and regulates the blood sugar level, eases digestions as well as controls appetite.
Choosing a Good Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Here are a few significant things to consider.
Always buy from a certified organic product. You should buy products that are free from the harmful effects of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals used in the products of the non-organic products. A good Organic Match Powder product should be organically certified and should be from Japan since their organic certification is stricter than other countries. Japanese organic matcha powder is the best, not just due to its superior taste but rather due to the traditional methods that are used in the Japanese production of the Matcha.
The better the quality of the matcha the greener and finer the powder should be. A high-quality powder will significantly give a much creamy taste and smoother than the low-quality products. Besides the poor nutritional value in the Poor quality of organic matcha powder, it will result to a green tea that is bitter, coarse and potentially gritty when drank. In essence, choose a high-quality product from certified suppliers and producers of the matcha products.
Is There Any Negative Implication with the Consumptions of Organic Matcha Powder?
Organic Matcha Powder may contain some caffeine that may trigger allergic reactions in some people. They may include cardiac arrhythmia and diarrhea. Thus, if you are trying for the first time, it is advisable that you ensure natural vigilance before consumption.
Andertons, C. R., & Weis, D. J. (2003). Determinations of the Catechin in the Matcha by the Micellars Electrokinetics Chromatography. Journals of the Chromatography A, 1011(1), 174-181.
Coopers, R., Morrés, D. J., & Morrés, D. (2005). The Medicinals benefit of the green tea: Reviews of the non-cancer health’s benefit. Journals of the Alternatives & Complement Aries Medicines.
De Mejias, E. G., Puangpraphants, S., & Ramirez-Mare, M. V. (2009). Bioactives Component of Green Teas: Inflammation, Cancers, and Behavior. The Brain, behaviors, and immunity.
Le Galls, G., Defernez, M, &. Colquhouns, I. J. (2004). The Metabolites Profilings Using the 1H NMRs Spectroscopys for the Quality Assessments of Camellia sinensis (L.). Journals of the Agricultural and Foods Chemistry.
Wolframs, S. (2007). The Effects of EGCG and Green Tea on Metabolic health and Cardiovascular. Journals of the American College of Nutrition’s, 25(5), 393-399.
Kims, H. S., Jang, J. H., Montana, V., Kim, A.J. A. & Parpura, V., (2013). EGCG Stimulation on Autophagy of the Vascular Endothelial Cell: Probable Roles for Reducing the Accumulations of Lipid.Journal of Biological’s Chemistry, 288(31), 22693-22705.
Kimura, K., Juneja, L. R., Ohira, H & Ozeki, M.,. (2007). L-Theanine Decreases the Physiological and the Psychological Stresses Response. Biological Psychologies, 75(1), 38-46.
Komes, D., Belščak, A., Ganić, Vulić, I. & Horić, D., K. K., (2010). Green Tea Preparations and its Influences on the Contents of Bioactive Compound. The Food Researches International, 43(1), 167-176.
Yamabe, N., Hur, Yokozawa, T. J. M., & Kang, K. S. (2010). Matcha, Powdered Organic Teas, Ameliorate the Progressions of Hepatic and Renal Damages in Type 2 Diabetic OLETF Subjects. Journals of the medicinals foods, 13(3), 716-726.
Writer: Dr. Ellian (Nutritionist)