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 drank it to stay calm and alert during long periods of meditation. These Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have notably 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), considered as a poteont anti-carcinogen, is the most powerful catechin 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
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.
According to a 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea increases thermogenesis – your body’s day-to-day calorie-burning rate -increases by 8 to 35%. Yet another study proved that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can lead to 25% more fat loss during exercise.
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.
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 the brain’s beta wave activity, causing a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity produces the exact opposite effect. Matcha does have caffeine too, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by L-theanine’s by relaxing properties.
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 many benefits, but it is mostly known for providing constipation relief and blood sugar management.
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