The Battle of Super Powders: Moringa Vs. Matcha
When it comes to trending superfoods, moringa and matcha are two sensational players in the superfood market, and popular amongst health conscious consumers. This is because both plants are nutrient dense and versatile superfood with great health benefits.
Both plants have long and interesting histories as nutritional super heroes. They boost energy, immunity, and brain function, slow aging and protect the cardiovascular system. But the question is, which one is better? We take a look at their flavours, nutritional profiles and usefulness. Moringa powder and matcha are both made up of powdered leaves, typically used to make tea.
Widely considered to be superfoods, both offer significant nutritional value, but they are not the same. Below is a look at the qualities that set them apart.
Moringa Powder: The Miracle Tree
Moringa Oleifera has been fortifying diets for thousands of years. It is fast growing drought resistant tree, which is native to Africa and Asia. Every part of the tree from leaves to seedpods, flowers, roots and bark can be consumed, and have been used for various purposes, including medicinal treatments in Ayurvedic Medicine. In Africa, Moringa has been used as remedy for rheumatism and pneumonia. Though, every part of the plant is consumable, the most notorious part of Moringa tree are its leaves.
In India's Ayurvedic Medicine practice, moringa is said to assist in treating over 300 ailments. Modern studies have also shown promising results around moringa's potential in supporting healthy lung function, balanced blood sugar and proper digestive function. In addition, leaves have shown promise in suppressing certain types of cancer and as an antibacterial. In the Phillipines moringa is used to increase breast milk production in new mothers with very positive results. The seeds also contain a protein, which can naturally purify water.
Matcha: Super Green Tea
Over the last years, Matcha has become a global phenomenon. Its high antioxidant levels have received lots of attention among health conscious consumers. While widely known as a Japanese product, matcha was originally created hundreds of years ago in China.
What sets matcha apart from other green teas is how it's grown and prepared: Tea bushes are covered for up to 3 weeks which increases chlorophyll as the plants adjust to lower levels of light. This technique stimulates theanine production. While most teas are oxidized to create certain flavours, matcha tea goes through a steaming process to actually prevent oxidation.
Flavour: What Do They Taste Like?
One of the main things that set them apart is their flavour profile. Made by taking the entire leaf of premium green tea and grinding it into a fine powder, matcha has an earthy, slightly grassy taste and a slightly sweet aftertaste. When used as an ingredient in foods rather than as a base for a drink, the taste of matcha becomes much subtler.
Moringa powder’s flavour is often described as being green with a subtle bitterness of spinach. Its natural subtle vegetable taste makes it a versatile ingredient that you can add to fruit smoothies, blend into soup, sprinkle it into salads or steamed vegetables or add it to breakfast and even cook with it. Matcha’s taste can vary depending on the grade that you use, but the highest-grade matcha tastes like strong green tea minus the astringency.
How Does Moringa Powder differ from Matcha?
Moringa powder and matcha come from different plants. Moringa powder consists of dried, ground moringa leaves; which come from the Moringa oleifera tree. The leaves used to make matcha powder come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant that provides Chinese tea. You get white tea, oolong and black tea from the same plant. Matcha powder consists of powdered green tea leaves.
Though both plants are highly nutritional, the nutritional profiles of moringa powder and matcha are possibly their most important difference. Both plants are rich in antioxidants and are low in calories, but moringa powder offers higher levels of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C. It also has considerably more calcium and iron than matcha.
Matcha does contain theanine, an amino acid believed to enhance cognitive function and provide relief from stress. Matcha contains caffeine and a lot of it. A cup of matcha tea can provide you with about four times as much caffeine as a regular cup of green tea. Unlike matcha, moringa does not contain caffeine, but provide an energy boost without caffeine. How is this possible? Since moringa is completely caffeine free, the energy boost is therefore different than after a cup of Matcha latte or coffee. Caffeine will stimulate your brain and actually restrict blood flow to the brain. Moringa on the other hand will increase your focus and concentration levels due to all the nutrients found in the leafs.
Both of these superfoods have several things in common. They provide antioxidants, protect brain and heart health, fight inflammation, slow down aging and increase immune function. When it comes to their nutrient profile they differ.
When should you use moringa powder and when should you use matcha?
In many part of Africa, moringa leaves are used to make spinach stew, they are added to soup and used to make tea. Using Moringa could not be any easier. You can sprinkle it onto eggs, salads, pasta and roasted vegetables as you would with salt and pepper. You can bake it into bread, cookies, muffins, cakes and brownies. You can stir it stews, soups dips and sauces. You can even shake it into juices, water or smoothies, or blend into breakfast, yoghurt, omelettes, pancakes, waffles or ice cream.
Matcha is an excellent option for tea, and this is the best way to use high-quality matcha powder. You can make matcha tea with no other ingredients, or you can add milk and sugar to make a matcha latte. Matcha powder also works as an addition to pastries and other sweet preparations where it provides a pleasant flavour.
Can you use moringa powder in place of matcha and vice versa?
You can use moringa powder to make a moringa latte, which is similar to matcha tea. You may even be able to use it in sweets and pastries that require matcha powder. It certainly makes a superior option to matcha as far as nutrition is concerned. In addition, moringa has more versatile use than matcha.
Matcha will not be a great moringa substitute from a nutritional standpoint, but it does contain a wealth of nutrients and numerous health benefits as a result of its vitamins and catechins. Also, it will provide you with an intense green tea flavour.
And the Winner Is?
Both of these green superfoods are ridiculously healthy. And perhaps both deserve their spot in your kitchen. However, in terms of nutritional density, cost to produce and overall usefulness and their versatility, moringa definitely wins this super green battle. Here's why:
Moringa Powder is one of the most nutrient dense super powders in our planet. The powder, made from its leaves are rich in protein; including the 9 essential amino acids, vitamins A, B, C and E, iron, calcium, potassium, polyphenols and flavonoids.
Moringa also contains zeatin, a powerful plant hormone that hinders the aging process.Moringa provides more fiber, vitamins A & C, and protein than Matcha. Matcha has low protein, whereas Moringa provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, the only the plant with this kind of benefit. This also makes it a great superfood for people on plant diet, as it gives you the protein of meat without consuming meat.
In addition, Matcha contains caffeine, but Moringa does not. Moringa is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of botanicals that increase endurance, energy and concentration, aid the stress response, and regulate other systems and functions without caffeine.
Most importantly, moringa is seen as a promising solution to world hunger. Being drought resistant, fast growing and nutritionally dense makes moringa a powerful tool in fighting many global issues.
Further Reading on Moringa and References: