Matcha tea health benefits far outweigh the standard green tea per unit of liquid volume ingested. Unless you have lived under one stone over the past decade, you will have undeniably seen the proliferation of green tea products on food shelves, in health food stores, and in the vast amount of content written on the subject. Increasing awareness about matcha green tea powder benefits has catapulted it to the top of the list of highly beneficial teas.
This article will reveal why a vivid green, polyphenol-laden plant leaf, discovered in China thousands of years ago, has suddenly become the health miracle of the new millennium. It will also reveal why the Japanese matcha green tea version is far more potent and effective at delivering these health benefits.
Green Tea is Special
While tea has long been recognized as a healthier alternative to today’s daily beverage preferences, such as coffee and sugar-laden lemonade, green tea is relatively new to the stage. Published studies on green tea and its remarkable healing properties have given it the status of a miracle, both as a beverage alternative and as a herbal supplement.
At the center of this drink are health and healing properties called polyphenols. Found in green tea, these are potent chemicals that have potent antioxidant properties that, according to studies, far exceed the antioxidant effects of vitamin C. Evidence shows that just a cup of green tea punch more than single servings of antioxidant powerhouses like broccoli and spinach.
Green tea is also known to eliminate bad breath, excess fat, and acne. With so many choices – cold bottles, tea bags or even green tea capsules – why not add it to your diet and be grateful for the polyphenol miracle?
Matcha Green Tea is Even Better
While they feature all kinds of health benefits – better cardiovascular health, weight loss, etc. – these two green teas differ in potency due to their distinct preparation methods, texture, flavor, and color. How these green tea leaves are grown is what changes their quality. In fact, they come from the same plant: the Camellia Sinensi; yet the matcha variety typically packs more than 10 times the quantity of antioxidants from polyphenols.
How is Matcha Tea Grown?
Through the centuries, Japanese masters discovered that to achieve the best-grade matcha, the tea bushes have to be covered for around 20-30 days prior to harvesting. This would prevent exposure of the tea leaves to direct sunlight. The biological process of photosynthesis is thus restricted in the leaves increasing chlorophyll and amino acid levels.
Boosting the level of green chlorophyll pigment will alter the balance of flavanols, sugars, and caffeine in each leaf. More importantly, restricting photosynthesis boosts L-Theanine that adds the unique vegetal flavor. L-Theanine rejuvenates the body while keeping the mind alert.
Why is matcha tea so much better than green tea?
Matcha tea is claimed to be much better than green tea for various reasons. Matcha is extracted from tencha leaves which are grown with more caution as we’ve already seen. Furthermore, unlike other typical green tea leaves, tencha leaves are steamed for a short time to prevent oxidation and conserve both nutrients and flavor. The leaves are then ground using granite stone producing a green powder used to prepare matcha tea. Nothing is added or removed from the Tencha leaves.
Another difference between matcha and green tea is that a whole leaf powder is whisked and ingested when preparing matcha. This explains why matcha has higher concentrations of antioxidants and caffeine than the typical green tea.
Matcha tea is rich in Vitamin C, L-Theanine, soluble and insoluble fibers, antioxidants, theophylline, and caffeine. The antioxidants include polyphenols such as catechins and chlorophyll. Individuals who take several cups of matcha tea daily are more likely to live longer than those who do not. The antioxidants in this drink help fight diseases, promote proper body functioning and moderates the aging process.
Researchers argue that women who drink five 3.4 ounce cups or more of Matcha tea per day reduce their chances of suffering from heart disease by 31%. Matcha has numerous health benefits; it is thus an excellent drink for a healthy living.
Matcha health benefits
So what are matcha tea’s health benefits? Below is a brief list of benefits from adding it to your diet.
Matcha boosts weight loss
Matcha tea contains many catechins that aid in the reduction of body fat as per a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research involved healthy Japanese men placed in two groups; members of each group had similar waist circumference and BMI. The control group with 18 members consumed green tea with 22mg of catechins while the green tea extract group (17 members) consumed green tea with 690mg of catechins over a period of two weeks.
The BMI and waist circumference in the green tea group had reduced significantly as compared to the control group. It was evident that drinking tea packed with 690mg catechins helps reduce body fats and the risk of suffering from lifestyle diseases such as obesity.
Matcha inhibits cancer
Different types of cancer can potentially be prevented through the consumption of matcha tea: bladder cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon and rectal cancer. National Cancer Institute reports that matcha tea contains very strong catechins, and its use may be one of the best natural cancer treatment methods. It contains epigallocatechin gallate that has free radical scavenging abilities.
The constituents of matcha tea have also been proved to secure cells from DNA damage. Tea polyphenols inhibit the growth of tumor cell and boost cancer cell destruction. Detoxification enzymes, responsible for preventing tumor growth, are activated by catechins contained in matcha tea.
Matcha increases energy and keeps you calm
Matcha contains a blend of caffeine and L-theanine that has calming abilities. Patients with anxiety can use it for natural treatments; it increases the levels of GABA and dopamine in the brain.
Regular green tea contains five times less L-theanine as compared to matcha tea. Shading effect during growth increases the percentage of L-theanine in matcha. Consuming a cup of matcha tea keeps you alert, calm and improves alpha waves.
Matcha helps controls type 2 diabetes
Diabetic individuals who take matcha tea are frequently able to maintain a healthy metabolism. The antioxidants in this drink reduce the levels of cholesterol, hepatic glucose, and triglycerides.
A study recorded in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researched ways in which green tea extracts is related to insulin sensitivity and glucose control. The results indicated that consumption of green tea reduced A1c and fasting glucose concentrations. Matcha prevents hepatic and renal damage by restricting glycation end products accumulation in the kidneys.
Matcha prevents hypertension and heart disease
Matcha tea reduces high triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol hence lowers the risk of stroke or heart disease. A study indicated that individuals who take large amounts of green tea every day reduced the chances of suffering from coronary artery disease by 28% as compared to those who drink little or no green tea.
Chinese research indicated a 46% to 65% decrease in hypertension risk among green tea users in comparison to non-users
Matcha can be used in a detox diet
Compared to other green teas, matcha is highly concentrated with chlorophyll. Apart from giving matcha a dark green color, chlorophyll is an effective detoxifier that eliminates chemicals, heavy metals, and toxins from the body. It also boosts the blood’s ability to distribute oxygen to all body cells.
Matcha fights disease
Catechins in matcha are stronger in preventing damage to cells than vitamins C and E. Researchers have discovered that matcha tea is more potent than other green teas since it contains more catechin. According to research published in the Journal of Chromatography, EGCG acquired from drinking matcha is 137 times more than EGCG from Chinese green tea.
Who should take matcha tea?
If you are looking for an antioxidant powerhouse that will detoxify your body while enabling you to stay fit, this green tea may turn out to be your best bet.
Taking a few cups of this fantastic drink on a daily basis will undoubtedly keep you safe from diseases while giving you the ultimate energy to go through your roughest days. High levels of chlorophyll and catechins in matcha make it incomparable to other green teas.
Baba, Ryoko et al. “Characterization of the Potent Odorants Contributing to the Characteristic Aroma of Matcha by Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry Techniques.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 65.14 (2017): 2984-2989.