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. Such Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have remarkably high chlorophyll content.
It is interesting to learn about the history and cultivation of the tea, but what consumers really care about are its benefits to health, such as:
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.
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
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 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.
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 fights such effect. Matcha does have some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by relaxing 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 substitute for coffee as it offers an energy boost without those coffee crash-related headaches.
Lastly, matcha green tea leaves have a considerably high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. Dietary fiber offers plenty of benefits, the most popular of which are blood sugar management and constipation relief.
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