Ceremonial vs Culinary Grade Matcha Health Benefits

Culinary Grade Matcha

Making an appearance in things like desserts, lattes, and health-boosting shots, matcha has taken the world by storm. The dark green plant is finding use beyond healthy cups of tea—but what type is best? Let’s take a look at culinary and ceremonial grade matcha health benefits. 

Benefits of Matcha Tea

Before we explore ceremonial vs culinary grade matcha health benefits, it’s important to understand why matcha tea is such a valuable health food in the first place. 

Derived from the same plant as green tea, Camellia sinensis, matcha tea is grown in a way that harnesses more nutrients. At around 20-30 days before harvest, the plants are covered to minimize direct sunlight. Doing so increases chlorophyll production, which in turn enhances the amino acid content and gives matcha a dark green appearance.

After harvesting, the tea leaves are separated from their stems and veins, steamed, and ground into a fine powder—and this is the matcha we know and love. The end result is a type of tea that’s equipped with higher levels of antioxidants, chlorophyll, and caffeine than green tea. 

How much chlorophyll is in matcha? According to recent studies, it’s been found that matcha powder contains roughly 10 mg of chlorophyll per 1 gram serving. To put this in comparison, this is about 5.8 times more than regular green tea! This, along with matcha’s other properties, contributes to health benefits that include:

  • An antioxidant profile that helps to stabilize harmful free radicals. Rich in a class of antioxidants called catechins, matcha helps to prevent the impact of free radicals, protecting against cell damage and several chronic diseases. 

  • Components that enhance brain function. Matcha is packed with components that have been found to boost memory, reaction time, and focus. Does matcha give energy? You betcha. Caffeine is one of these components, and matcha contains about 35 mg per half teaspoon (far more than green tea). Even better, matcha also contains L-theanine, a compound known to alter the effects of caffeine, meaning more alertness and less of a crash after the effects have worn off. 

  • Weight loss benefits. Green tea extract is often used in weight loss supplements. The tea on its own can help to speed up metabolism, increase fat burning (especially during exercise), and maintain weight loss. 

  • Health-promoting compounds that may help to prevent cancer. Studies have linked nutrient-packed green and matcha teas with reduced tumor size, slower spread of cancer cells, and other cancer prevention benefits. Particularly high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), matcha especially is known for having powerful anti-cancer properties. 

  • A great immune system booster. When it comes to matcha green tea’s immune system benefits, they’re all thanks to the powder’s high antioxidant content, particularly EGCG. They help to fight pathogens, reduce inflammation, and detoxify the body of harmful chemicals. 
  • Support for a healthy heart. Green teas like matcha have been shown to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides—all things linked to elevated risk for heart disease and strokes. 

  • Protection for the liver and kidneys. Drinking green tea like matcha has been associated with prevention of damage to the liver and kidneys and reduced liver enzyme levels, which is a marker of liver damage. 

  • With all these benefits, you might be wondering, is matcha good for oral health? It is! For many of the same reasons matcha is good for whole-body health, it also supports our mouths. The high antioxidant content can reduce the bacteria associated with gingivitis, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Not just that, but it’s also been linked to a lower risk of oral cancer. 

    Ceremonial vs Culinary Grade Matcha—Which is Better?

    So, what's the best way to access these health benefits? Are the health benefits of ceremonial grade matcha greater than those of culinary grade matcha?

    While the two types of matcha are generally considered pretty similar, there are some differences to consider. Most notably, ceremonial grade matcha is intended for—you guessed it—ceremonial use. Unlike culinary grade matcha, it’s often not found in lattes, smoothies, or baked goods.

    As such, ceremonial grade matcha can be considered the highest grade of matcha available. It’s more expensive, has a slightly more subtle flavor, and is designed to be consumed on its own or in a product that doesn’t manipulate it through baking. 

    Ceremonial grade matcha is also known to be a more vibrant green color, boast a slightly sweeter flavor, and have a finer texture than its culinary counterpart. The ceremonial version also tends to have more health benefits due to higher amounts of chlorophyll and L-Theanine. This is due to the fact that tea leaves for ceremonial grade matcha are harvested in the early spring, when they’re at the highest quality. 

    It’s no wonder more and more people are beginning to incorporate this amazing plant into their daily routines! 

    Gentle Green Oil Pulling with Matcha

    Matcha for a Healthy Oral Microbiome

    If you’re wondering how to protect your oral microbiome, ingredients like matcha can help. Foods rich in antioxidants are one of the best ways to promote a perfect balance of bacteria, as are products free from harmful ingredients like SLS, sodium fluoride, and DEA. This makes ceremonial grade matcha and the other natural ingredients in our Gentle Green Oil Pulling some of the best there are for supporting a clean, healthy, balanced mouth. Treat your mouth to some Ayurvedic-inspired swishing today. 

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