Matcha – The Ultimate Green Tea
Matcha Green Tea for Weight Loss
Many people have heard of green tea, but matcha might be something they aren’t familiar with. Matcha is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves that have been specially grown and processed. This green tea powder is used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, as well as in many food products. The green tea plants that are used to make matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest. During processing, the stems and veins are removed before the leaves are ground with granite stones.
In recent years, green tea has become extremely popular in the U.S. for its many health benefits, as well as its ability to help people lose weight. Many coffee shops now serve beverages that contain green tea or matcha powder. Of course, this rising popularity in the U.S. is not new in Asia; in fact, for many centuries, matcha has been a popular beverage throughout China and Japan.
Matcha Versus Regular Green Tea
Green tea, including the green tea leaves that are used to make matcha come from from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but the two take drastically different paths from there. The key to the wonderful benefits of matcha is in how it is processed. The leaves are carefully chosen, stems removed, then dried before being ground into a very fine powder.
Matcha is also consumed very differently than you would drink regular green tea. Unlike loose tea leaves or tea bags that are steeped in hot water, matcha is the ground leaves of the green tea plant and is stirred into a hot liquid prior to drinking. This means that you’re consuming the entire leaf rather than just the nutrients that can be extracted from the leaves during brewing.
By consuming the entire green tea leaf, you get a much higher concentration of antioxidants and other components that have been shown to promote good health. Additionally, the use of matcha green tea for weight loss is much more effective than simply drinking a brewed green tea.
Weight Loss Benefits of Matcha
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is the antioxidant that is best known for the weight loss and health benefits that has made drinking green tea so popular. In matcha, the beneficial EGCG is extremely concentrated. It contains approximately 3 times the amount of EGCG than is found in regular green tea. This makes matcha much more effective in helping with weight loss. Of course, it also provides a much higher concentration of other health benefits as well.
The EGCG in matcha has been found to help boost metabolism during moderate exercise, enhancing weight loss even further. On average, study participants burned 17% more fat during a 30 minute session of cycling when they included green tea extract in their diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published studies that found that the amount of EGCG needed for this boost in fat burning could be found in drinking just one or two cups of matcha tea.
It is also believed that drinking green tea can help control appetite. The EGCG found in green tea and matcha actually stimulates hormones that help keep you feeling fuller. This can help prevent snacking while reducing the number of calories you consume on a daily basis.
Grades of Matcha
Matcha has three different grades. These include:
- Ceremonial grade: The ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality. It is mainly used in traditional tea ceremonies. It is ground by granite stone mills until it is a fine powder.
- Premium grade: This grade is still very high quality and contains all of the nutritional, weight loss, and health benefits of the ceremonial matcha. Additionally, as in the ceremonial grade tea, premium grade uses only the leaves found at the top of the green tea plant. This grade is also an excellent choice for daily consumption.
- Cooking or culinary grade: This is the cheapest grade of matcha. It is suitable for cooking, but it does not have the full benefits of the higher grades. It can also be slightly bitter because it is made from the green tea leaves that are found lower down on the plant.
To make a cup of matcha, scoop 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a small ceramic tea bowl; traditionally, a small bamboo scoop or spoon is used. Next, add 2 ounces of hot (not boiling) water. Using a small bamboo whisk, the water and matcha are whisked together until frothy. Gently whisk in up to 6 ounces of additional hot water. Enjoy immediately.
When you’re drinking matcha green tea for weight loss, drink 2 to 3 cups of tea throughout the day.
Please follow and like us: