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 remain calm and alert on long hours of meditation. These Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have notably high chlorophyll content.
It is interesting to learn about the history and cultivation of the tea, but what consumers really care about are its benefits to health, such as:
Green tea is full of powerful catechins, which are antioxidants that seek out for harmful free radicals 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.
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.
According to a 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea increases thermogenesis – your body’s day-to-day calorie-burning rate -increases 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.
With matcha growing in the shade, it has considerably more chlorophyll than any other type of green tea available. 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.
Compared to conventional green tea, matcha green tea offers 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 fights such effect. Matcha does have some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by relaxing 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 gives an energy boost without the headaches of a coffee crash .
Finally, matcha green tea leaves are known to have vast amounts 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.