Diabetes Diet: The Many Benefits of Matcha

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace minerals, vitamins, fiber, and powerful antioxidants in matcha tea stabilize glucose levels, help lower high blood pressure, and protect against cardiovascular disease. Plus, matcha calms the mind and body, and may enhance mood.

Because it has almost no calories and contains fiber, matcha is also good for weight loss, or maintenance. Research suggests it may boost metabolism, and helps burn fat.

Why Matcha’s Different

Matcha tea is actually powdered green tea, and is the only type of tea where the entire leaf is consumed. Preparing matcha is the focus of Japanese tea ceremonies, a meditative ritual of tea preparation and refreshment that provides a deep sense of peace, and well-being.

To grow leaves for matcha tea, farmers cover their plants with a heavy shade cloth for the 21 days preceding each May harvest. This process creates thinner leaves with superior taste and texture. For top quality matcha the youngest and smallest leaves are harvested by hand, and briefly steamed to stop any fermentation. Then, the leaves are dried, baled, and placed in cold storage to age.

Versatile Powder

One cup of matcha tea has the nutrient content of ten regularly brewed cups of green tea, but we don’t have to drink matcha to reap its health benefits. There are many ways to incorporate this powerful jewel-green powder into our diet. For instance:

  • Delightful Dressing. We can whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dashes of salt, and pepper with some matcha powder to make a dressing for green salads, zucchini noodles (zoodles), or shredded Brussels sprouts.
  • Better Butter. Our butter might taste better when blended with matcha: slowly mix a couple teaspoons of matcha powder into a softened butter stick.
  • Fun Frosting. A colorful option is adding a two tablespoons of matcha powder to light buttercream frosting. Not only does the matcha add nutrient value, and a slightly sweet flavor, it gives the frosting a beautiful green tint.

Since matcha powder tends to clump, it’s always best to put it through a small sieve just before use.

Making Matcha Tea

The traditional method of making matcha requires a small bowl, and a bamboo whisk to froth the tea. However, we can prepare matcha using a regular cup or mug, and a teaspoon:

  1. Heat spring, or filtered water.
  2. Add a few drops of heated water to one or two sifted teaspoons of matcha powder; mix with the spoon.
  3. Add six ounces of hot water, and stir.
  4. Sip, and enjoy.

Kept well-sealed in the fridge, matcha will last weeks or months, though for best flavor it should be consumed sooner instead of later. A quality grade of matcha for tea drinking can cost up to $35 for 20 servings; however, lesser grades are suitable for blending matcha into smoothies, lattes, or recipes.

Though drinking matcha will likely not interfere with medications, it never hurts to check with a pharmacist or doctor.

Sources: Dr. Weil, Clean Plates, Matcha Source
Photo: Pixabay

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