Matcha Tea and Its Health Benefits
Though people drank green tea in China over a thousand years ago, it became a significant 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 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 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.
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
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%.
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. 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 combats that effect. Matcha does contain some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily counterbalanced by the relaxing properties of 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 gives an energy boost without the headaches of a coffee crash .
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.