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 remain calm and alert on long hours 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), a very potent anti-carcinogen, is the most effective catechin contained 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
A study featured on American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that green tea beverages or extracts can dramatically reduce 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 research showed that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can increase the body’s fat-burning abilities by 25%.
As matcha is grows in the shade, it has substantially higher concentrations of chlorophyll compared to all other green teas. 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. L-theanine, an amino acid, has the ability to induce 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.
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 substitute for coffee as it gives an energy boost without the headaches of a coffee crash .
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.