Matcha Tea and Its Health Benefits
Even as people drank green tea in China more than a millennium ago, it became an integral part of the Japanese culture. And they called the drink matcha. Zen Buddhist monks took it to maintain calm and alertness during extended hours of meditation. Growing in the shade, these Japanese tea leaves have particularly 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.
One of the places in the globe where people have the longest lifespans is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawans’ longevity has been somewhat attributed to habitual matcha green tea consumption.
In fact, matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in all of Japan, although it is rapidly becoming more popular across the world due to its anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidizing and anti-aging properties.
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 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 highlights green tea’s ability to a increase thermogenesis – your body’s daily calorie-burning rate -by 8% to 35%. Yet another study proved that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can lead to 25% more fat burned during exercise.
Since matcha is grown in the shade, it has significantly higher amounts of chlorophyll than any other green tea. Leaves’ green color is provided by chlorophyll, which is also known to cleanse the body of toxins, including heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.
In comparison to conventional green tea, matcha green tea has up to 5 times more L-theanine. An amino acid, L-theanine has the ability to start alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is known to trigger beta wave activity in the brain, causing more agitation. Alpha wave activity produces the exact opposite effect. Matcha does have caffeine too, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by L-theanine’s by relaxing properties.
Have a cup of matcha green tea to get that afternoon lift or each time you need a bit more alertness and concentration. Matcha green tea is the best alternative to coffee because it gives your energy a boost without the headaches that a coffee crash can bring.
Lastly, matcha green tea leaves have a considerably high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber are many, but they are most importantly known for relieving constipation and stabilizing blood sugar levels.