Health Perks Offered by Matcha Tea
Even as people drank green tea in China more than a millennium ago, it became an integral part of the Japanese culture. They called the tea matcha. Zen Buddhist monks took it to maintain calm and alertness during extended hours of meditation. Growing in the shade, these Japanese tea leaves have particularly 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.
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
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 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 highlights green tea’s ability to a increase thermogenesis – your body’s daily calorie-burning rate -by 8% 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, an amino acid, has the ability to 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.
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 plenty of benefits, the most popular of which are blood sugar management and constipation relief.