Matcha Is an Antioxidant Powerhouse (and Other Reasons to Drink Matcha)

matcha latte vegan coconut milk

Matcha is a format of green tea that has Japanese roots dating back to the 12th century. It’s good to know how some things are universal across centuries – like how iced almond milk matcha lattes were beloved even by Zen monks. (Just kidding.)

But here’s what’s true: matcha has been lauded for its myriad of health benefits for ages, well before we were able to analyze its nutritional impact in controlled studies. Matcha is a format of green tea leaves that has been pulverized into a ground powder; the benefits of green tea leaves are concentrated into this fine green powder. Zen monks would actually drink matcha green tea before long hours of intense meditation because it would help them remain alert and focused while still calm and relaxed.

Researchers have confirmed what cultures already knew about matcha. Here are some of those findings and the studies behind them:

Improved Brain Function
Matcha has been found to improve attention, reaction time, and memory among consumers of the tea in one study. Many of us may rely on coffee for our caffeine fix, but for people who experience coffee jitters, matcha may be an appropriate alternative. L-theanine, one of the compounds found in matcha, has been suggested to promote relaxation and decrease stress.

Antioxidants
Okay, we know “antioxidants” is a big buzzword when it comes to nutrition. To put it simply, antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells from damage. And matcha has… a lot of them. See the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) analysis of matcha tea below:

matcha antioxidants
One specific natural antioxidant found in matcha is called catechins, and one study estimates that the number of certain catechins in matcha is up to 137x greater than the number of those same catechins found in other forms of green tea. Drinking matcha in all its antioxidant glory could even lower your risk of specific cancers, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and other ailments.

Promotes Weight Loss
Green tea is well-regarded in popular culture for its weight loss properties, and for good reason. One study showed that green tea extract consumption, combined with moderate exercise, increased fat burning by 17%. An analysis of 11 studies that each explored matcha’s weight loss effectiveness confirmed that green tea reduced body weight and, more importantly, helped maintain weight off over time.

The Taste

Many people describe the taste of matcha as “grassy,” (which I personally like). But in order to cut the earthiness of the finely ground tea leaf, drinkers have begun adding milk to their matcha. Matcha is no longer consumed as just shots; it’s offered in:

  • Lattes
  • Frappes
  • Ice Cream
  • Baked Goods

Drinking Matcha When You’re Vegan

For dairy-free drinkers, a matcha latte won’t be able to offer its myriad of health benefits without delivering the downsides of dairy too. Luckily, many of the cafes and restaurants that offer matcha are also hip enough to offer some vegan milk alternatives, too. You can always supplement your matcha concoction with milks like coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk.

But having to go out to get your hands on a decent cup of dairy-free matcha (let alone matcha) is especially difficult when you don’t live in a major city or want to leave the house. Luckily, there are vegan matcha alternatives for use at home, like Coconut Cloud Vegan Matcha Latte, which comes in a dried format to maximize shelf life. If you need a clean, minimally processed afternoon boost, the vegan matcha latte (which just needs hot water) may be your best bet.

Happy sipping!

P.S.

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