We’ve all heard about the benefits of green tea, but have you heard about its superpowered sibling, matcha? Both are
derived from the tea plant Camellia sinensis; but matcha is made from young shade-grown leaves that are ground into a fine powder, meaning it contains nutrients from the entire tea leaf. Try a spoonful straight up in a cup of boiling water or add it to smoothies, spreads and dressings. Read on to learn why matcha is our cup of tea.
Matcha contains compounds that may improve brain function, including enhanced memory, concentration and attention. Due to its unique growing conditions and preparation method, matcha contains larger amounts of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine than regular green tea. Caffeine is an antioxidant that reduces neuroinflammation, and regular dietary intake may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in women. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha helps boost energy, alleviate stress and may improve cognitive perform--ance, better than either compound can do on its own.
Compared to other plant sources, matcha is one of the richest sources of flavonoids, especially rutin—a type of polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Of its many benefits, rutin may help improve circulation, support metabolism and reduce cholesterol. Additionally, rutin helps the body use vitamin C—and luckily, matcha infusions are also a source
of vitamin C!
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, primarily a group of phenolic compounds called catechins, which have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects on mental and physical health. The catechin known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is abundant in matcha, and research suggests this superpowered compound may reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. EGCG is also associated with strong and effective neuroprotective properties, especially in combination with L-theanine and caffeine.
BATHORIUM J’adore Matcha Bath Bomb, $12, bathorium.com.
TEAOLOGY Matcha Tea Superfood Mask, $7.50, teaologyskincare.ca.
DAVIDSTEA Ceremonial Matcha TEA, $35, davidstea.com.
Matcha’s antioxidant properties benefit your whole body. Steep in some of that goodness.