Is Matcha Really Better Than Green Tea?

Is Matcha Really Better Than Green Tea?

Matcha is a variety of green tea that’s become wildly popular in recent years. What makes this variety special, and is it really better than the original? Green tea is the most popular variety of the Camelia sinensis plant, and for good reason. Dubbed as the healthiest beverage on the planet, green teas multiple health benefits, including improved brain function, fat reduction, and lowered risk of cancer.

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For centuries, green tea has been consumed extensively both in the East and West. In the modern day, it is marketed in many other forms with other mineral infusions and as an ingredient in some pharmaceuticals, among others.

But matcha green tea, despite having been used in China since the seventh century, has only begun its reign in the West in the 21st century.

What’s the Difference?

Unlike the original green tea, which is infused with hot water to make a brew, matcha is the tea leaf itself ground to a powder form and is mixed with the water to create the famous matcha brew. This difference in concentration gives matcha the superior amount of innate substances present in the green tea plant, compared to the traditional way of preparing green tea.

These substances include caffeine and antioxidants. For example, a standard cup of matcha tea, which contains 4 teaspoons of matcha powder, is packed with approximately 280 milligrams of caffeine. That is way higher compared to a standard cup of infused green tea, which only has 35 milligrams of caffeine.

Matcha Is Prepared Differently

Aside from this obvious difference in the consumed form, what makes matcha really distinct from its cousin goes way back to how the green tea leaves are grown.

The green tea bushes used for matcha tea are shielded from direct sunlight for about 20 to 30 days before they are finally harvested. The presence of shade promotes the increased growth of chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for the green color of plants, and helps them produce more amino acids and energy to function and survive.

At harvest, only the stems and veins are removed from the whole leaves, and they are ground to powder form, producing the recognizable bright-green form you know as matcha.

Does Matcha Have the Same Health Benefits as Those of Green Tea?

Because matcha and green tea come from the same type of plant, they harbor the same advantages:

● They contain polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and help prevent the risk of cancer.
● Compounds like caffeine improve brain function.
● They help promote fat loss.
 They lower the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases.
 They improve dental health and lower risk of infection.
 They reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
 They avert the risk for heart disease.
 They help you live longer.

The only difference that needs to be noted is the difference in concentration. Because matcha tea is more concentrated in natural green tea substances, a single cup of standard matcha tea is equivalent to three cups of traditional infused green tea.

There have been limited studies on matcha benefits, but so far, matcha has shown to reduce the risk of kidney and liver damage, as well as lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Compared to other green tea varieties, matcha boasts the following benefits:

● Contains 137 times more antioxidants than lower-grade green tea and three times more than high-quality tea varieties
  Provides a milder but longer buzz than coffee

A Caveat

Like all good things, matcha consumption should be done in moderation.

Due to the rich presence of antioxidants in matcha powder, you can get an equivalent amount of plant compounds in six cups of high-quality green tea as you would in only two cups of matcha tea.

Tolerance levels may vary per individual, but overconsumption can lead to nausea and even kidney or liver toxicity.

The Takeaway

Matcha is indeed a healthier form of green tea, owing to its stronger concentration and difference in preparation. Instead of simply soaking up the leaves, matcha powder lets you consume the whole leaf.

If you want to get the most benefit out of green tea, its matcha form is clearly the best choice—all but in moderation. Consume more than two cups a day, and the healthy habit turns counterproductive.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing article! Matcha green tea is the new source in the market for a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for showing us the information regarding matcha.


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