7 benefits of matcha green tea
Have you ever resisted a fashion for a long time because you did not like it or it seemed frivolous to try it later and discover you had missed all the time?
I have a list of things I resisted to my own detriment (yoga pants and sushi at the top of the list) but the one I’ve known and loved for years is matcha. I had a friend in high school who was from Japan and she introduced me to this amazing green tea powder known as Matcha.
It has gained popularity lately, although many modern mentions of Matcha ignore the rich culture and traditional preparation that typically accompanies matcha tea brewing.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a special type of green tea powder that is grown and produced in Japan (in most cases). The green tea leaves are in the shade of the sun for the last weeks of their growth, increasing the chlorophyll content and creating a beautiful green color. Then, the leaves are carefully crushed with stone grinders to produce a fine powder.
The powder can then be used to prepare a sparkling green tea rich in antioxidants or in recipes such as smoothies or pastries. Unlike other types of teas, green tea powder is not tense before eating, so you consume the whole leaf, making Matcha more potent than other tea varieties. In fact, only 1/2 teaspoon is needed to prepare a traditional cup of Matcha.
History of Matcha
During the Tang Dynasty in China, green tea was powdered and dried into bricks for easy use. People could then break a small piece of dried tea brick and stir in hot water. This provided a stable green tea shelf that was easy to travel with.
In the 1100s, a Japanese monk brought the idea of powdered tea to Japan, and this eventually evolved into the traditional chanoyu ceremony. Although the tradition of consuming green tea powder has lost its popularity in China until recent years, the tradition has persisted in Japan. Although originally only Samurai kingdoms and warriors received Matcha because it was so long and expensive to produce, it is now a popular drink throughout Japan.
Energy + Calm
Matcha tea is unique because the shading and harvesting process increases the content of L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps balance caffeine. While matcha may contain the same caffeine as other types of tea, L-Theanine is known to create calm without drowsiness.
Another benefit for Matcha is the high concentration of antioxidants. One study found that Matcha has 137 times polyphenols (including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)) as ordinary green tea. Indeed, this type of green tea contains more than 60 times the antioxidants of spinach and 7 times the antioxidants of dark chocolate of high quality.
There is evidence that these polyphenols can have a protective effect against certain types of cancer.
EGCG, found in high concentrations in Matcha, has been shown to increase the burn rate of stored fat as energy, as well as to decrease the formation of new fat cells. Other studies have shown that catechins in Matcha increase the calorie burn rate of the body each day and offer additional benefits of burning fat during exercise.
A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that catechins in green tea had a significant effect on the lowering of LDL cholesterol. A 2013 Cochrane review also found that regular consumption of green tea was associated with lower blood pressure and decreased risk of stroke.
L-Theanine in green tea is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves. These waves are known for their ability to help increase concentration and concentration.
Source of chlorophyll
The process of shading Matcha leaves creates an increased amount of chlorophyll, which, according to some preliminary research, can help the body eliminate heavy metals and other harmful accumulations. Research is still lacking in this area, but many alternative physicians recommend chlorophyll for this purpose.
The same antioxidants that protect green tea, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), can also contribute to skin health by reducing inflammation and free radicals that accelerate skin aging.
Everything that shines …
Not gold, or green, as the case may be. Matcha has incredible benefits, but an important precaution and a potential drawback: lead.
All green teas, even organic, contain traces of lead and fluoride. When brewed as traditional green tea, the leaves are removed and most of the lead (and some of the fluorine) is removed with the leaves.
With Matcha, since the whole leaf is consumed, there is a greater concentration of lead. Of all that I have read, this is not a reason to avoid this type of tea, since the levels are still low, but I would exercise more caution in pregnancy for this reason.
Matcha green tea
Antioxidant rich green tea is made from powdered leaves at the plant and is a source of polyphenols that is very beneficial and fills with nutrients.