Matcha or maccha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder. This natural, organic green tea has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. The Buddhist monks honored matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Matcha tea is incredibly popular and is now becoming widely recognized throughout the world for its ability to aid in detox plans and regimes. Matcha Green Tea is the highest quality powdered green tea available. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder.
Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties. This miracle elixir has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today.
- When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf.
- Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea.
- One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content.
Some of the key benefits of Matcha tea include:
Stronger immune system: Researchers found out that drinking matcha everyday greatly enhanced the overall response of the immune system. The exceedingly high levels of antioxidants in matcha mainly take the form of polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids, each of which aids the body’s defense in its daily struggles against free radicals that come from the pollution in your air, water and foods. On a practical level this can mean fewer colds.
Type-2 diabetes: Matcha tea is helpful for maintaining healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals. Antioxidant rich matcha tea helps in reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in the diabetic individuals. An investigative research conducted on diabetic subjects administered with matcha tea has shown that matcha exerts inhibitory action against the renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.
Relieves stress: Matcha has a very high amount of a specific amino acid called L-theanine, which has strong associations with the production of alpha waves in the brain. When L-theanine is absorbed into the bloodstream, dopamine and serotonin levels tend to rise, which often produce alpha waves, which often produce feelings of well-being, general happiness, relaxation, and alertness.
Detoxifies the Body: Matcha Green Tea has higher levels of chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. Chlorophyll is linked to the ability to detoxify the body. It helps to get rid of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disruptors.
Anti-aging: Loaded with catechins, Matcha tea are the most potent and beneficial antioxidants. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. A 2003 study found that matcha tea had an extremely high EGCG content, “at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas”. Matcha powder contains 137 times moreantioxidants than regular green tea.
Gives you pleasant breath: The catechin blast of matcha acts as a kind of sterilizing agent. A cup of matcha after a meal retards the growth of germs, which cause periodontal disease and halitosis (bad breath). It also protects the tooth enamel. Dentists LOVE matcha.
Energy enhancer: Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeineknown as theophylline sustains the energy levels without any adverse effects. The slow release of energy due to theophylline helps in supporting the functionality of adrenal glands and maintains optimum hormonal levels.
Protection from infections: As mentioned earlier, matcha tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is also effective in fighting against various bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Researchers have suggested that EGCG binds to the lipid membrane and exerts inhibitory action against growth of various important human pathogens including influenza A virus, hepatitis B and C virus, herpes virus, adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast.
Fights Cancer: In a 2008 study done by researchers at the University of Mississippi, consuming EGCG (antioxidants found in matcha green tea) significantly inhibits breast tumor growth in female mice.
Healthy Cardiovascular system: Antioxidants in matcha green tea help prevent heart disease by relaxing blood vessels and preventing blood clots.
Increases Energy Levels and Endurance: In those days, Samurai, the noble warriors, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. Ordinary green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.
Culinary usage: Apart from healthy gains, matcha is widely popular as an ingredient in a range of food items. Matcha is used to add flavor to a variety of western-style confectionary items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice-creams. Recently, a number of famous cafes in North America and around have introduced matcha based drinks such as smoothies, milk shakes, lattes and alcoholic beverages.
A word of caution
Matcha is no doubt a healthy green tea with multi-dimensional benefits. However, it contains some amount of caffeine which may trigger allergic reactions like diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia and irritable bowel syndrome. Caffeine can also cause drug interactions basis the amount consumed. If you are new to matcha and are unaware of its sensitivities, then it is always advisable to ensure natural vigilance while trying it for the first time. Prior considering matcha tea for therapeutic purposes, an expert medical opinion would always help to better understand its effects especially during special conditions such as pregnancy and lactation.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
If you suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor. If you have questions as to the application of this information to your own health, you are advised to consult a qualified health professional.