Matcha Tea and Its Health Benefits
Though people drank green tea in China over a thousand years ago, it became a significant part of the Japanese culture. And they called the drink matcha. Zen Buddhist monks took it to remain calm and alert on long hours of meditation. These Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have notably high chlorophyll content.
The tea’s background and cultivation is interesting, but what counts the most to consumers is its health benefits, the most important of which include:
Green tea is abundant in antioxidants named catechins, which scavenge for harmful free radicals that may exist in the body. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known as a powerful anti-carcinogen, is the most potent catechin that can be found in green tea.
Okinawa, Japan is among the places around the world where people boast the longest lifespans. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been attributed in part to consistent matcha green tea consumption.
Matcha green tea is actually Japan’s most popular green tea, but it is becoming more popular than ever throughout the globe, thanks to its ability to neutralize oxidation and inflammation, and even aging.
LDL “Bad” Cholesterol Control
Based on a study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011, green tea beverages or extracts dramatically lessen total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.
A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that green tea can increase the daily calorie-burning rate of the body by up to 35%. Yet another study proved that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can lead to 25% more fat burned during exercise.
As matcha is grows in the shade, it has substantially higher concentrations of chlorophyll compared to all other green teas. Chlorophyll, responsible for the green color in leaves, has detoxifying properties.
In comparison to conventional green tea, matcha green tea has up to 5 times more L-theanine. L-theanine, an amino acid, has the ability to induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is a known cause of beta wave activity in the brain, leading to a more distressed state. Alpha wave activity combats that effect. Matcha does contain some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily counterbalanced by the relaxing properties of L-theanine.
Drink a cup of matcha green tea to get that an afternoon “pick-me-up” or whenever you need a little more focus and alertness. Matcha green tea is the best substitute for coffee as it offers an energy boost without those coffee crash-related headaches.
Finally, matcha green tea leaves are known to have vast amounts of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. Dietary fiber offers plenty of benefits, the most popular of which are blood sugar management and constipation relief.