Matcha literally means "powdered tea", and unlike other green tea's with Matcha you are actually drinking the green tea leaves. While Matcha does contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals, this powdered tea is mostly beneficial for its high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols have been linked to preventing heart disease, and cancer, as well as boosting metabolism and regulating blood sugar. However, it is important to note that Matcha contains roughly three times the level of caffeine as one cup of green tea, so if you are sensitive to caffeine you may want to keep your intake of Matcha to one-two teaspoons or so per day.
It is also important to remember that like anything Matcha can come in high-quality forms, and pretty not so great forms. Since Matcha is one of those foods right now that has started to really blow up in the "healthy living" world, there are many brands that are selling a Matcha product with the first ingredient listed being "sugar". My advice is to always read nutrition labels, and avoid Matcha powders that contain any added ingredients. Instead it would be better to purchase a high-quality Matcha powder (I get mine from either whole foods or DavidsTea) and then sweeten it slightly with some flavored almond milk, or honey.
My personal favorite way to add Matcha into my diet lately has been in the form of a Matcha Coconut Milk Smoothie. This smoothie is rich, smooth, and loaded with great sources of protein, and antioxidants that make it a perfect light breakfast, or post-workout drink.
Matcha Coconut Milk Smoothie
- 2 teaspoons Matcha Powder
- 2 cups Coconut Milk (not from the can)
- 1/2 Frozen Banana
- 1 tablespoon Hemp Hearts
- 1 cup Spinach
- 1 tsp of honey (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Source: Gorman, Jessica. "Matcha green tea packs the antioxidants." Science News 163 (2003): 238.