Blue matcha is now a thing, but is it as healthy as its green cousin?

11th Jan 18 | Lifestyle

It definitely looks just as pretty.

A glass of hot milk butterfly pea latte art on the wooden table in coffee shop

If Instagram is to be believed, green matcha is so last Thursday. If you really want to keep up with the health-conscious crowd, it’s all about blue matcha right now.

We’re all well aware of how good the green version is for you, but what about the blue alternative?

What is it?

Green matcha is made by finely grinding up green tea leaves. Blue matcha is made the same way, but from a different plant: the vibrantly coloured clitoria principissae (also known as butterfly pea flowers).

Even though they are both called “matcha” the fact they come from different plants means their health benefits are by no means the same.

What are the benefits?

Green matcha does so much more than just make your Instagram feed look good – but does the blue version do quite as much?

The bottom line is no. Unfortunately, blue matcha isn’t packed with quite the same number of antioxidants as its much-loved green cousin, but nor is it choc-full of caffeine. The antioxidants in green matcha are said to help prevent ageing and fight cancer, and those particular ones aren’t found in the blue alternative.

Health Magazine’s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass says: “Animal research shows that [butterfly pea] may help improve memory and reduce stress, but the research is limited, and different parts of the plant—roots, stems, leaves—are used in different ways.”

So, due to a lack of research currently, we can’t be entirely sure of the health benefits of blue matcha. However, Matcha.Blue (a company that sells the product) unsurprisingly sings its praises.

It claims it offers a whole range of benefits, from improving eyesight and reducing wrinkles, to having anti-asthmatic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac for women.

These are all potentially great things, but if you’re all about the hard and fast health benefits, you’d probably be better off opting for the green version.

How can you get more in your diet?

Even though the health benefits might be up for debate, if you really want to be ahead of the curve, you’ll probably still want to pick up some blue matcha.

It’s pretty easy to use. Much like green matcha, you can use the powder to make a tea. If you’re feeling more creative, you can blend it into smoothies or add it into your baking for that vibrant blue tinge.

Just don’t forget to take a picture of whatever you make afterwards – for the ‘gram, of course.

© Press Association 2018

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