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 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 has potent antioxidants known as catechins, which hunt for dangerous free radicals existing in the body. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), considered as a poteont anti-carcinogen, is the most powerful catechin found in green tea.
Okinawa, Japan is one of those parts of the world where people live the longest. To a certain degree, the longevity of Okinawans has been partially attributed to routine consumption of matcha green tea.
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 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.
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 produces the exact opposite 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 substitute for coffee as it offers an energy boost without those coffee crash-related headaches.
Lastly, matcha green tea is found to be abundant in absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber are many, but they are most importantly known for relieving constipation and stabilizing blood sugar levels.