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Is Matcha Good for You?

If drinking tea is good for you, what about eating it?

November 1, 2010 |
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Who cares how much nutrition is extracted from tea leaves, though, if you eat the leaves? We know that drinking tea is good for you, what about eating it? Matcha, powdered green tea—invented in China about a thousand years ago, transplanted to Japan. Whole leaves of tea milled into a fine powder, you dump a spoonful in water, and then drink the whole thing down.
Now it sounds like a good idea. Why waste nutrition throwing away tea leaves when you’re done, when you can drink them whole? Or were tea leaves just not meant to be eaten. Powdered green tea leaves: Harmful, harmless, or helpful?
Super helpful! And how easy. You can carry around little packets of matcha with you wherever you go and just dump them in your water bottle. You add zero calories at the same time you’re adding whopping loads of nutrition. I carry them around whenever I travel. Why leave home without it?

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on tea. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For more context, check out my related blog posts: Hibiscus tea: flower powerIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Soymilk: shake it up!

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on tea. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    For an update, check out my blog post Hibiscus tea: flower power.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/paul3917/ paul3917

    Is there any significant danger from the pesticides that the Chinese seem to lavish on their agricultural products in such great quantity when we eat green tea leaves?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/tokyovegan/ tokyovegan

    Dear Dr. Greger
    I would also be interested in knowing whether non-organic matcha (from Japan, or anywhere else) has dangerous herbicides that would outweigh the beneficial effects.
    Thank you,
    WIlliam

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/toxins/ Toxins

      Hello Paul and tokyovegan!
      To answer your questions, typically, phytochemical dense foods outweigh the pesticides they are sprayed with. For example, would you rather choose non organic kale over white pasta? Hope you chose the kale! If you consume matcha every day or so, the safest choice would be to get organic. Otherwise, once in a while of conventional matcha will not detriment your health. Hope this answers you questions!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/lukehealth/ LUKEHEALTH

    Hello,
    Dr. Michael Greger its an honor and privilege to be a serious student of your 2009 and 2010 “Latest In Clinical Nutrition”… I’m serious about my health. You had mentioned in one of your dvds that Matcha Green Tea is a highly recommend tea. What location, website etc., may I purchase Matcha Green Tea?? I could not
    find any store that carries the matcha green tea in packets that I can mix in a 16-20oz bottle of water. Especially at an affordable price. What do you suggest/recommend I do now? I need your help. Thank you for time and make it a grrreat 2012! I look forward to getting your response.

    regards,

    Luke Webb

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/matchamagical/ matchamagical

      Hi, I am an independent distributor for a German company that can provide Matcha in various forms by mail to many European countries and is just getting started in the USA.
      You can purchase on-line at http://www.matchamagical.com

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/nosrednamikgmail-com/ nosrednamik@gmail.com

    If matcha tea is that good, would it make any sense to ground your own green tea? Or blend it? I often let my tea brew in cold water, and throw away the green leaves, would it be preferable to just put everything in the blender instead, leaves and all?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/toxins/ Toxins

      The reason matcha tea is so good is that you are eating the tea leaves! The tea leaves are your green leefies so it would be best to keep them.

      • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/nosrednamikgmail-com/ nosrednamik@gmail.com

        Thank you for your reply, but I don’t see how my question was addressed by your post. I might just be tired.

        So, basically matcha tea is grinded green tea. Would it then be (to use the words of Doc himself) helpful, harmless or harmful to just put some green leaves in my blender together with water instead of just letting it soak in the water? I drink it cold, by the way.

        Sorry for my

        • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/toxins/ Toxins

          Im sorry, I misunderstood your original question!

          Well sure, grinding up your own tea leaves is what matcha is! It would be better then soaking it and throwing away the leaves.

          • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/nosrednamikgmail-com/ nosrednamik@gmail.com

            That’s what I’ll be doing every morning from now on then! Thanks!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      You’ll note that’s what I do in my smoothie recipe–I just blend them in: A Better Breakfast

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/matchalover/ matchalover

    Dear Dr. Greger,
    Thank you for your dedication to spreading such valuable news about nutrition and health! I’ve always loved matcha tea. Since the Tohoko tragedy in Japan, do you know if Japanese matcha is still safe to consume due to radiation?

  • radioactivity

    What about radioactivity in matcha tea from Japan?

  • afraidofradioactivity

    Dr. Greger,

    I would also like to know about the radioactivity? I have been hesitant to buy matcha green tea from Japan because of this. Surely it cannot be good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520460930 Adrienne S. Lidická

    Is this good for anemia?

  • Mark Hazell

    Michael, do you drink plain water by itself anymore? Or do you just make cold matcha tea or the hibiscus tea as your regular beverages? Is there any benefit to drinking plain water? Or should you always mix it with either green tea or the hibiscus tea? Or perhaps cucumber water? I would appreciate a response.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    What about the caffeine in Matcha? And what about Sencha? I’ve read some web sites stating that Sencha has less caffeine. I would love to see a comparison among different types of teas, Sencha, Matcha, etc. in terms of caffeine and phytonutrients.

  • barbarabrussels

    I have to get a bigger handbag, carrying around cacao, macha, amla…

  • bruxe

    Does the drink have to be matcha, or “green” tea?

    Why couldn’t one do this with any tea leaves? Is it just green tea, or matcha, or whatever. Assuming it is really tea, why not just break open the tea bag and let the tea mix with the water and eat it/drink it? I’m assuming tea the planet, not tea the generic idea of infusing plant extracts into water?

  • Sebastian Tristan

    We know 10 cups a day is the limit for brewed tea. But, how much matcha is too much?

  • Lucille

    Any thoughts on using matcha for an enema colon cleanse? Any reason why this would NOT be recommended? thank you!!!!

  • Tricia

    There are great little packets of organic matcha and sencha (cheaper and not as brilliant in color, but still tastes great to me) made by Rishi. I carry them in my purse or backpack and add one to a bottle of cold water any time I need a healthy, thirst-quenching, and refreshing drink. Best price I have found is at iherb.com, and new customers can get $10 off a $40 order + free shipping with code POD782