Are you torn between matcha and moringa tea? Find out which fits your tea time by comparing these two superfoods.
Matcha vs. Moringa Tea | Which Brew Is Better?
Matcha Green Tea: What Makes It Special?
Why is there so much buzz between matcha and moringa tea? It’s not surprising at all.
Moringa and matcha are two sensational players placed front and center on today’s superfood stage. They may even come packaged with fantastic health claims and proud history lessons.
The discerning among us aren’t so easily convinced, however.
What exactly are these two “healthy” foods? Why are they decidedly so good for us?
To know the answer, let’s take a look at what makes each of them so special. Learn which, if either, is better.
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Let’s begin the discussion with matcha. What is matcha?
Matcha is a powdered form of green tea. It is widely recognized as a Japanese export. The practice of producing matcha originated centuries before in China, though.
Like all teas, strictly speaking, it’s made from the leaves of the tea plant called Camellia sinensis. The difference lies in the special way it is grown and prepared.
How to Make Matcha Tea Leaves
While growing, tea bushes designated for matcha production are completely covered for up to three weeks. It stimulates the production of chlorophyll as the leaves adapt to lower levels of sunlight.
This, in turn, results in increased production of theanine. One of the amino acids, it gives matcha its characteristic earthy flavor.
Where many teas are put through an oxidation process to develop particular flavors, matcha is steamed soon after harvest to prevent oxidation.
This helps preserve the natural colors, fragrances, and nutritional compounds. The leaves are then laid out to dry, de-veined, de-stemmed, and milled into the fine powder we find in stores.
Matcha Tea Benefits
The benefits of consuming green tea are widely touted, citing studies that reveal boosts to the following:
1. Brain Cell Production
Brain cells do die, and the effects can be significant. These include limitations in spatial learning, memory loss, and cognitive impairment.
A 2012 Wiley study, though, showed green tea might help maintain or boost the production of brain cells. One reason is epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), which has antioxidant properties.
Consumption of matcha tea, for example, may be a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
2. Immune Function
One of the potential matcha benefits is the regulation of immune function. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive, attacking the healthy organs.
To maintain balance or homeostasis, the body produces regulatory T cells. The Oregon State University research suggested the polyphenol EGCG can increase the T-cell creation.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
Controlling blood sugar levels or glucose is another of the many benefits of matcha tea. In this research, mice that took a combination of green tea and corn starch experienced a 50% reduction of glucose spikes than those that didn’t.
In human consumption, it translated to 1.5 cups of green tea. It is best consumed with starchy food or carbohydrate.
4. Cancer Cell Disruption
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types. It has a five-year survival rate is less than 10%, according to Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
One of the reasons is the late diagnosis and appearance of symptoms. New research, however, suggests green tea may help reduce the risk.
The 2014 study published in Metabolomics revealed EGCG in green tea might disrupt the activity of LDHA. It is an enzyme associated with this type of cancer.
Unlike with normal green tea, where we only consume a diluted infusion, matcha is ingested whole. It’s whether in the form of tea, food, matcha powder, or dietary supplement capsules.
This makes matcha green tea powder a far richer bomb of nutrients. It contains chlorophyll, theanine, antioxidants, and vitamins (A, C, E and B complex). It also has minerals such as beta carotene and other micronutrients.
Moringa Tree: An Ancient Miracle
What is moringa? Moringa, specifically Moringa oleifera, is a type of tree native to the sub-Himalayan regions of East Asia. Its use dates back thousands of years in nutrition, traditional medicine, and cosmetic production.
It is fast growing and drought resistant. It can also thrive in a variety of climate conditions.
The moringa leaves have been referenced as a candidate for food security. Since 2013, the moringa plant has been grown in Zambia.
It provides underdeveloped communities with a stable source of food and nutrition.
Moringa Health Benefits
There are many reasons to drink moringa tea:
1. Extensive Nutritional Content
Drinking moringa oleifera tea is a toast to one’s health. Overall, moringa tea offers an impressive nutritional profile high in protein, fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
It also contains potassium, calcium, and iron. You can also find beta carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
The nutrients are present in varying amounts. They are between the leaves, flowers, fruits, moringa seeds, and roots.
All parts of this plant can be harnessed for human purposes. The roots have long been featured in Ayurvedic medicine.
What Is Ayurvedic? It is an ancient medical system that started in India that focused on holistic healing. One of its philosophies is to treat the body, mind, and spirit as one.
The seed pods and flowers are consumed as vegetables. The seed moringa oil is used as far back as ancient Greece and Rome in the production of perfumes and ointments.
2. Improvement of Well-Being
Studies have identified moringa’s therapeutic potential across a range of ailments. It shows positive effects in the areas of lung function, digestive function, and immunology.
One of the health benefits of moringa tea is controlling blood glucose. It’s, therefore, good for those with diabetes.
It is helpful in increasing lactation (milk production after pregnancy), as well as in demonstrating a suppressive effect on certain cancers.
3. Fight against Oxidative Stress
Many chronic diseases develop due to high levels of oxidative stress. It leads to the formation of free radicals in the body.
It can increase the chances of high blood pressure or hypertension, for example. While this is a medical condition, it is also a risk factor for heart disease.
A 2017 study, meanwhile, revealed one of the moringa tea benefits is fighting or decreasing oxidative stress. It contains bioactive compounds such as quercetin, which have a potent antioxidant activity.
4. Potential Water Purifier
Beyond food and health, the moringa seed has also been found to contain protein capable of water purification and material separation.
5. Weight Loss
Some people claim one of the effects of moringa tea is weight loss. There’s not enough evidence to back this.
In one small study, however, it may help decrease the weight alongside curry and turmeric. During the course of eight weeks, those who took a 900 mg supplement with these components lost an average of 10.6 pounds.
6. Reduction or Prevention of Chronic Inflammation
The best analogy for chronic inflammation is a house on fire. It needs help, or else, it can lead to metabolic problems and development of diseases.
One of the moringa tea benefits is it can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, especially against a condition called colitis. It refers to the inflammation of the colon’s lining.
Today, moringa leaf teas and moringa leaf powder are growing in popularity as a dietary addition in Western health food stores.
Is Moringa Better Than Matcha?
According to moringa advocate and supplier Kuli Kuli, moringa beats matcha in the nutritional stakes with a far bigger nutrient output of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
In terms of efficiency, moringa tea also appears to triumph. It requires less investment to cultivate and prepare. It lends itself to a far wider range of uses than the prestigious powdered green tea.
Taste may be one arena where matcha holds the advantage. It has a refreshing umami bitterness that can be enjoyed by itself.
What Is Umami? It refers to the savory taste of certain types of food mainly due to an amino acid called glutamate.
It can also add full-bodied flavor to a world of sweets and snacks. Next to the spinach-like qualities of moringa tea, it’s not hard to guess what your taste buds may prefer.
Science is still out on the therapeutic effectiveness of either plant. Results of clinical trials do hint at interesting possibilities, but both superfoods still require further study before any health claims can be truly substantiated.
With the growing availability of both foods in the health food market, there’s little need to pick one green sensation over the other. Both matcha and moringa can be enjoyed, separately or together, in a range of beverages, desserts, and meals.
As with anything, consume in moderation. Consult a qualified health professional before making drastic changes to your diet.
Note, though, when you need some push to motivate you to get your nutrition right, there are programs that can help.
Between matcha and moringa tea, which one do you prefer? Share your choices in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 26, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.