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. 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.
One of the places in the globe where people have the longest lifespans is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been attributed in part to consistent matcha green tea consumption.
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 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.
In comparison to conventional green tea, matcha green tea has up to 5 times more L-theanine. An amino acid, L-theanine has the ability to start 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 have some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily neutralized by relaxing 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 .
Lastly, matcha green tea is found to be abundant in 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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