Matcha Tea and Its Health Benefits
While people drank green tea in China more more than one thousand years ago, it became an essential 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), considered as a poteont anti-carcinogen, is the most powerful catechin found in green tea.
One of the places in the globe where people have the longest lifespans is Okinawa, Japan. 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
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.
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 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 gives leaves their green color and provides detoxification against all kinds of toxins.
There is five times more L-theanine in matcha green tea than in conventional green tea. L-theanine is an amino acid that can 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 combats that 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 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.
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