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.
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.
One of the places in the globe where people have the longest lifespans is Okinawa, Japan. To a certain degree, the longevity of Okinawans has been partially attributed to routine consumption of matcha green tea.
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.
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%.
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.
Compared to conventional green tea, matcha green tea offers up to 5 times more L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that can 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.
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. Dietary fiber offers many benefits, but it is mostly known for providing constipation relief and blood sugar management.