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 named the natural beverage matcha. Zen Buddhist monks drank it to stay calm and alert during long periods of meditation. Growing in the shade, these Japanese tea leaves have particularly 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 full of powerful catechins, which are antioxidants that seek out for harmful free radicals in the body. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a very potent anti-carcinogen, is the most effective catechin contained 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, 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
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 study proved that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can lead to 25% more fat loss during exercise.
With matcha growing in the shade, it has considerably more chlorophyll than any other type of green tea available. Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and provides detoxification against all kinds of toxins.
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 a known cause of beta wave activity in the brain, leading to a more distressed state. Alpha wave activity fights such 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.