The matcha craze has been around for the past few years. Is it because of the fascinating pistachio green color or the various health benefits? Or maybe even both?
Matcha has become so popular that it has developed into a staple ingredient in the ice cream and frozen yogurt industry. It's also been featured in a few desserts like tiramisu, cake, and macarons and even in beverages like milkshakes, lattes, and frappuccinos.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is a type of green tea made from finely ground green tea leaves. Being in powder form, matcha delivers more potent health benefits since you are ingesting the entire leaf as opposed to drinking leaf extracts from a tea bag.
As with most types of tea, matcha is a rich source of antioxidants that fight oxidative stress, skin aging, and other signs of cell damage. One study cited by TIME Magazine even found that people who consumed a healthy amount of matcha had a significant drop in their blood pressure levels.
Calming and Relaxing Effects of Matcha
Another possible reason behind matcha's popularity is due to its relaxing and calming effects, which is the work of an amino acid called L-theanine. Found in black and green tea, L-theanine promotes relaxation while staying focused and alert. The calming and relaxing effects of matcha are some of the reasons that drinking matcha is a traditional and ceremonial experience in Japan. L-theanine also presents other benefits like anxiety and stress relief, better immune system, and improved sleep quality.
Matcha is popularly enjoyed as a staple ingredient to flavorful desserts. But the great thing about it is that it is an excellent source of various nutrients and health benefits. Studies have proven matcha as an effective antioxidant that can repair damaged cells and reduce the effects of oxidative stress.