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. They called the tea 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), a very potent anti-carcinogen, is the most effective catechin contained in green tea.
One of the places in the globe where people have the longest lifespans is Okinawa, Japan. To a certain degree, the longevity of Okinawans has been partially attributed to routine consumption of matcha green tea.
In fact, all over Japan, matcha green tea is the most popular green tea available, but it is also fast gaining more popularity all over the world due to its ability to fight oxidation, inflammation and aging.
LDL “Bad” Cholesterol Control
According to a 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea beverages or extracts substantially decrease overall 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 loss 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.
Compared to conventional green tea, matcha green tea offers 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 known to trigger the brain’s beta wave activity, causing a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity combats that effect. Matcha does have caffeine too, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by L-theanine’s by relaxing properties.
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.
Lastly, matcha green tea is found to be abundant in absorbable dietary fiber. Dietary fiber offers many benefits, but it is mostly known for providing constipation relief and blood sugar management.