Is matcha healthy? This is what a nutrition expert says about the trendy drink


Is matcha healthy? This is what a nutrition expert says about the coffee alternative

Contrary to what is often claimed, matcha does not originate from Japan, but from China, more precisely from traditional Chinese medicine. It was developed there thousands of years ago, then fell into oblivion and was used in Japan as part of the traditional tea ceremony. Matcha has been drunk in Japan since the 16th century. The cult drink has been an integral part of our bar menu for some years now. And the hype surrounding the coffee alternative continues unabated. Health-conscious people celebrate it as a true feel-good food that is said to strengthen the immune system and slow the aging process. Rightly so? We have the dermatologist and the nutritionist doctor Dr. Cristiano Merkel from the renowned Skin and Laser Center at the Munich Opera asked. He knows: “Matcha is essentially nothing more than green tea. Unlike conventional green tea, the leaves are not steeped briefly in hot water, but are powdered. The powder is dissolved in hot water, so it stays in the tea.”

Matcha: How healthy is this drink really?

“In big cities, matcha latte is currently replacing cappuccino. And rightly so,” says Dr. Merkel and explains: “In my opinion, matcha is a superfood because the powder made from whole tea leaves contains many vitamins and minerals. coffee can’t compete with this.” According to Dr. Merkel, however, above all vitamins A, B, C and E, which we would still consume in sufficient quantities in our daily diet. This means: You don’t necessarily have to drink matcha tea to satisfy your needs.

Matcha also contains many antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals, caused for example by pollution and stress. The antioxidant catechin, more precisely epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is particularly well represented in matcha tea. Scientists have been working on the positive effects of the plant substance for years. Among other things, cardiovascular diseases, but also skin aging.

Additionally, matcha tea is also said to have antibacterial effects. “In Asia, ground tea leaves have been a natural remedy for thousands of years,” says Dr. Merkel. “You can always read online that matcha is said to be effective against Alzheimer’s and heart disease. However, there is a lack of evidence for this,” says the nutritionist and adds: “Moreover, it has not yet been fully proven scientifically, but it only exists initial hypotheses “That matcha could have an effect against types of cancer. However, so far there have only been observational studies on this. There is no scientifically based evidence. But the observations are promising.” According to Dr. Merkel, “that matcha tea could cause the death of cancer cells due to its stimulating effect on cell renewal.”

Is matcha a better alternative to coffee?

When it comes to energy boost, matcha is like good old coffee, according to Dr. Merkel it is clearly superior. Why: Both drinks contain caffeine. However, caffeine is released more slowly in matcha tea. “If you drink an espresso, the caffeine acts faster, but it also decreases suddenly. And then you have to actually drink the next coffee. With matcha, however, the caffeine is released slowly and broken down again: the caffeine curves. The level of energy remains stable longer.”

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