Matcha Health Benefits
Are there health benefits of fresh matcha?
Matcha is loaded with catechins, a class of plant compounds found in tea that act as natural antioxidants. One of those is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). These antioxidants help stabilize harmful free radicals in the body, and can neutralize those compounds that cause cell damage, inflammation and chronic disease. These catechins have been the primary focus of study regarding green tea, and there's a probably a study for just about any health condition that demonstrates EGCG is beneficial in some way. Some particularly fascinating (and preliminary!) ones show that these compounds help maintain neuronal health, sensitize the endocannabinoid system, and has antidepressant properties by tamping down on brain inflammation!
Does matcha contain caffeine?
Yes it does! A bowl of Matcha has about the same amount of caffeine as a single shot of espresso. But! It hits very differently. This is because matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which helps lend matcha its deep umami flavor, but also changes the effects of the caffeine in matcha, providing a sustained energy without the jitters and crash in energy level that may accompany other caffeinated products. L-Theanine may also help induce relaxation and reduce stress - in fact, we sometimes drink matcha and feel calmer than before. It's also worth noting that coffee contains some endorphin antagonists (molecules that block the action of feel-good endorphins in the brain). Tea in general lacks these, helping you wake up without potentially making you feel worse.
Whether freshly milled matcha has more of these compounds has not been studied extensively, as few people even have access to fresh matcha. That said, antioxidants, like flavor molecules, can degrade over time, and so they will be at their peak concentrations in fresh matcha. In any case, the better something tastes, the more likely you are to drink a lot of it, and therefore benefit from it!
Interested in trying freshly-milled matcha for yourself? Check out our selection of milled-to-order matcha here!
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