Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
Though people drank green tea in China over a thousand years ago, it became a significant part of the Japanese culture. And they named the natural beverage matcha. Zen Buddhist monks drank it to stay calm and alert during long periods of meditation. Such Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have remarkably high chlorophyll content.
The history and cultivation of the tea is interesting, but what consumers are more concerned about are its health benefits, the biggest 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 one of those parts of the world where people live the longest. 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
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 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 gives leaves their green color and provides detoxification against all kinds of toxins.
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 fights such effect. Matcha does have some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by relaxing L-theanine.
One cup of matcha green tea can give you that “pick-me-up” on a lazy afternoon or whenever you think you could use extra focus and alertness. 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.
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.