Functional, organic, vegan, superfood - these are words that are regularly talked about in society as people search for healthier ways to feed their bodies. The mental and physical edge that proper nutrition can provide is driving many to search for the latest and greatest dietary products to incorporate into their lives.
What exactly is a functional food?
Functional foods are foods and beverages that may offer positive health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value and calories they provide.
The functional food market was valued at over 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, and is projected to reach over 250 billion U.S dollars by 2027. Tea and Coffee are two of the leading components in the functional food market. Outside of water, tea is the most consumed beverage outside of water in Asia and coffee is the most consumed in North America.
Matcha - a trending functional AND super food
In Japan, green tea is the most popular beverage and has been for centuries; it is a cultural icon that represents health and well being and is a nutritional powerhouse. Matcha is an elite form of green tea that is grown with extremely careful planting, cultivating and harvesting phases. The process of growing the leaves is finalized with controlled shading techniques, utilized to maximize the concentration of nutrients 3 to 4 weeks before harvest.
Unlike regular green tea, matcha leaves are stone ground to a fine green powder, removing stems and veins. This means that when you drink matcha, you are consuming the entire leaf and reaping the rewards of an extremely nutrient dense tea leaf. Matcha can have up to 10 times the nutrients of regular steeped green tea!
Here is a look at the main components of Matcha that give it the title of being a functional food:
A very unique and rare amino acid, L-Theanine is responsible for increasing alpha wave activity in the brain. Your brain in a state of alpha results in an increase of overall composure, calmness and alertness. One amazing benefit of L-Theanine comes with its ability to combat the negative stress responses associated with consuming caffeine. Matcha has natural caffeine in it, but thanks to L-Theanine, you can avoid having the jitters and caffeine crashes that come with coffee and energy drinks. This amino acid helps to slow the absorption of caffeine into your bloodstream, meaning you won't have a sudden spike/crash in energy levels and can enjoy the benefits of caffeine for a sustained, long duration. L-Theanine helps negate the negative effects of caffeine while enhancing the positive effects - a truly incredible combination that comes with drinking matcha!
Catechins are a form of antioxidants found in green tea that help fight aging and chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals in our bodies are highly reactive atoms that steal electrons from other atoms - resulting in DNA and cell damage. Thankfully, catechins are like volunteers in our bodies that donate electrons to the damaging free radicals, neutralizing and preventing them from stealing electrons from other healthy cells. Because of shade growing techniques and the fact that the entire leaf is consumed, it is estimated that there is 100 times the catechin concentration in matcha when compared to regular green tea. Rest assured that you are boosting your health with matcha!
Vitamins are essential for the maintenance of your health. Vitamin deficiencies can compound into many problems within the human body. If not addressed, this can lead to: fatigue, muscle weakness, weight loss, weakness of immune system, dizziness and mood changes.
Matcha is high in vitamins A, B, C and E. This group of vitamins helps boost the body's overall immune system, while improving heart, blood, eye, brain, and skin health.
The Plantera mission - deliver this functional superfood in a delicious, convenient fashion
We understand that simple, daily routines add up to long term benefits , especially routines that revolve around the consumption of healthy food and beverages. We also understand that not everyone has the time, or desire to take 10 minutes out of their early mornings to set up a tea ceremony in their kitchen while rushing for work, hence the high demand for drive-through coffees and teas at Starbucks. Our goal at Plantera is to make the implementation of matcha into your daily routine much simpler. Check out our instant matcha latte mixes in our catalogue - you won't be disappointed!