Matcha: a nutrient dense "Superfood"
Matcha tea is one of the latest superfood trends and the green tea powder can either be drunk as tea or used as an ingredient in recipes from smoothies to cheesecakes. The reason for its popularity is because of its chemical contents, which boasts an incredible richness of nutrients.
Although green tea is packed with vitamins and minerals, one cup of matcha tea contains the same nutritional value of ten cups of regularly brewed green tea. The main reason for this is due to the brewing of the green tea leaves. Through brewing only a fraction of the vitamins and nutrients can be extracted from the leaf, meaning that most of the nutritional content is thrown away in the used tea leaves.
How is matcha made?
Matcha powder is produced by stone-grinding the leaves that have been handpicked and laid out flat to dry in the sun. These leaves are known as tencha, which is then de-veined and de-stemmed and ground to create the bright green matcha powder. The process is laborious and it can take up to an hour to ground just 30 grams of matcha powder.
It is only through this process that matcha is able to retain 100% of the nutritional value of the tea leaves. This means that matcha powder is packed full of vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, magnesium and is rich in fibre.
What are the benefits of matcha?
The latest research has shown that, of all of the superfoods, matcha is the best in terms of the amount of antioxidants that it contains. ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) is a method to test the absorbance capacity of a substance. Scientists were able to show that matcha possesses twenty times more absorbency than other well-known superfoods like blueberries and broccoli.
The benefits of matcha have long been revered in Japan, where the superfood originates from. Japanese monks first drank matcha over a thousand years ago. They would drink in during long meditation sessions, as they observed that it helped them to stay alert while also keeping them calm.
This property of matcha has also been confirmed in recent years by scientists, who have discovered that matcha contains a rare amino acid called L-theanine. The chemical construct of this amino acid acts on the brain’s function to induce a relaxed state, thereby helping to reduce stress. Although L-theanine is present in all teas, it is thought that matcha contains up to five more times the amount as in regularly black and green teas because of the way it is produced.
So, if you are looking for a tea that is packed full of vitamins and minerals and will also help you to de-stress and focus, why not try one of our organic matcha powders for an instant pick-me-up?