Matcha Tea is a unique tea that has been gaining traction all around the world. The tea has attracted many people because of it’s long list of health benefits.
But, what is Matcha Tea, and what are its health benefits? Well, here is our guide on the health benefits of Matcha tea, and how it can help your body!
China is known to have discovered and cultivated a wide variety of tea plants during 2700 BC. It is also known to be the original source of the now very popular green tea which comes from brewing the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Matcha (meaning ‘powdered tea’), on the other hand, is associated with the Japanese food culture. Japan is recognized for creating matcha as we know it today and for using it in its ceremonial tea practice for many centuries now.
People have been drinking green tea for quite some time as part of a healthy diet. Green tea leaves are steeped in water and removed – and the infused green tea water is then drunk.
Matcha is powdered tea that is, like green tea, made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. As the story goes, Japanese tea farmers long ago accidentally discovered the amazing results of shading tea leaves when they covered the leaves to keep them from freezing.
Today, the shading of tea is an essential component in the process of making Matcha tea. The leaves are kept under shade from between 20 and 30 days before they are harvested. This practice results in increasing the chlorophyll and the amino acid content of the tea leaves. More chlorophyll means more nutrients, a brighter green color, and a unique taste.
Farmers pick the leaves by hand, remove the veins and stems, and steam the leaves briefly to keep them from fermenting. They dry the leaves and put them in cold storage to age properly. They then grind the aged tea leaves into a bright-green super-fine powder using granite stones.
By tradition, the process of tea grinding takes place in the dark so that the nutrients are kept intact. The texture, unique flavor profile, and rich color of the resulting Matcha tea are attributed to this delicate and meticulous process.
To prepare the tea, simply whisk the powder into hot water and enjoy the frothy and nourishing beverage. You can also use Matcha as an ingredient in ice cream, yogurt, smoothies, lattes, cocktails, and even desserts and frostings.
Health Benefits of Matcha
- Provides Concentrated Amounts Of Antioxidants
- Has Anti-Aging Properties
- Prevents Certain Types Of Cancer
- Helps You Lose Weight
- Increases Energy And Stamina
- Has Calming Effects
- Promotes Heart Health
- Boosts Brain Function
- Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
- Strengthens The Immune System
An increasing number of people today have taken to the practice of drinking Matcha tea because of the many health benefits associated with this highly acclaimed traditional Japanese beverage.
The health benefits of Matcha include the following:
1. Provides concentrated amounts of antioxidants
The body produces waste substances or free radicals as it processes food and reacts to its surroundings. When the level of free radicals in the body becomes too high, it can result in illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It also causes the body to age prematurely.
Antioxidants serve to slow down or prevent the damage that free radicals can wreak on the body. They fight the adverse effects of free radicals and enable the body to address life-threatening health issues.
Green vegetables, fresh fruits, and dark chocolate are good sources of natural antioxidants. Matcha is also a great source of antioxidants, particularly catechins, plant compounds found in tea.
Include a few cups of Matcha tea in your diet, and you naturally reduce cell damage and the risk of many chronic illnesses.
2. Has anti-aging properties
Matcha helps the body fight early signs of aging. It protects the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and keeps it supple and younger-looking.
Matcha fights inflammation and oxidation, processes that make you prone to illnesses and premature aging. The residents of Okinawa, Japan, are known for enjoying long and productive lives. Their longevity is credited in part to their regular habit of drinking Matcha tea.
3. Prevents certain types of cancer
Research shows that the catechins in Matcha have anti-cancer properties.
EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, a type of catechin that is found in Matcha, is particularly recognized as a strong anti-carcinogen. It slows down the growth of tumors and stops the production of cancerous cells. It is known for reducing the risk of prostate tumors and cancers of the bladder, breast, liver, skin, and colon.
4. Helps you lose weight
A regular 12-ounce glass of plain Matcha green tea contains a meager 4 to 6 calories only. This makes it a far superior alternative to high-calorie fruit juices and soda. It fills you up and makes you eat less. It also keeps you hydrated. You can enjoy 2 to 3 glasses of this tea every day without having to worry about the calories.
When you drink Matcha green tea, you get more than just a nearly calorie-free beverage. The catechins found in the tea powder have thermogenic properties. They increase body heat, boost metabolism so that you are able to burn calories faster, and oxidize or burn fat – all leading to weight loss and fat control.
And as if these benefits were not enough, drinking Matcha tea helps you lose weight faster without the adverse side effects that are usually associated with a lot of diet aids.
5. Increases energy and stamina
Matcha contains theophylline, a naturally occurring compound that gives a sustainable boost of energy that can last for 4 to 6 hours.
Samurai warriors are said to take Matcha green tea to give them the energy and endurance for long battles. Buddhist monks are reported to use the tea to give them the energy and focus that long periods of prayer and meditation require.
Include a glass or two of Matcha green tea in your daily diet, so you are able to face your day with vigor, stamina, and enthusiasm.
6. Has calming effects
Buddhist monks have to remain serene yet alert when they meditate for long hours. They are said to drink Matcha green tea to help them stay calm and awake.
Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps ease tension, relieve anxiety and stress, and relax the body. The amino acid also helps to boost the alpha brain waves that increase alertness while maintaining a relaxed and calm demeanor. It strengthens memory, focus, and concentration.
Drink Matcha green tea if you want to unwind, relax, and keep your mind from going on overdrive.
7. Promotes heart health
Heart disease ranks first among the leading causes of death worldwide. It accounts for about 1/3 of the deaths of people 35 years old and older.
Research shows that drinking Matcha tea provides protection from heart disease.
Triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (or the ‘bad’ cholesterol), and total cholesterol are blood lipids that block the arteries, leading to strokes and heart attacks. Drinking Matcha tea brings down levels of these fatty deposits.
Combine the regular intake of Matcha green tea with regular exercise, a well-rounded diet, and a healthy lifestyle, and you have a good chance of keeping your heart healthy.
8. Boosts brain function
Matcha contains L-theanine and caffeine; compounds demonstrated to improve brain function. Caffeine keeps you alert and awake. It also helps you maintain focus. L-theanine, an amino acid, helps to increase activity in alpha brain waves. The increased activity helps calm the mind, increase mental alertness, and strengthen attention.
The combined properties of L-theanine and caffeine in Matcha serve to improve brain function. Drinking a cup or two of Matcha green tea daily helps strengthen your memory and focus. It improves your attention span. It also results in faster reaction times.
9. Promotes gastrointestinal health
The dietary fiber found in Matcha green tea helps stabilize blood sugar levels and ease constipation. The catechins in the tea promote intestinal health. They prevent infections and the growth of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract.
10. Strengthens the immune system
The regular intake of Matcha tea adds a strong boost of immunity.
Matcha contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It has Vitamins A, C, K, E, and B vitamins B1, B2, and B6. It has proteins, amino acids, and other nutrients. It has antioxidants, L-theanine, epigallocatechins gallate, and other catechins.
All these nutrients and naturally occurring compounds found in Matcha green tea protect you from a variety of fungal, viral, and bacterial infections and diseases. They make Matcha green tea a potent drink for strengthening the body’s immune system.
Drinking a cup of tea is often associated with the sense of serenity and calmness that comes with the experience. It is a soothing, relaxing, and comforting practice.
Nowadays, we see a strong surge of renewed interest in Matcha green tea. People realize that the benefits that come from drinking this tea are not limited to the soothing and uplifting experience. As you can see from the health benefits outlined above, Matcha green tea is PACKED with health and nutritional goodness. It is good for the body.
If you haven’t joined the bandwagon yet, it is probably high time that you did. Go and prepare a soothing and healthful cup of Matcha tea for yourself.