Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
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. Such Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have remarkably 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.
Okinawa, Japan is one of those parts of the world where people live the longest. The Okinawans’ longevity has been somewhat attributed to habitual matcha green tea consumption.
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
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 research showed that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can increase the body’s fat-burning abilities by 25%.
Since matcha is grown in the shade, it has significantly higher amounts of chlorophyll than any other green tea. Chlorophyll, responsible for the green color in leaves, has detoxifying properties.
There is five times more L-theanine in matcha green tea than in conventional green tea. 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 combats that 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 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. Dietary fiber offers plenty of benefits, the most popular of which are blood sugar management and constipation relief.