Many people have never heard of Matcha green tea. Because of how it is grown, it has much to offer. But what is it and what Matcha green tea benefits could you be enjoying?

Originally used in ancient China, Matcha green tea then spread to Japan. It has been consumed in the Far East for centuries. It is now being enjoyed in the West for its beneficial effects.

 

What is Matcha Green Tea?

  • Matcha is a type of green tea that comes in powdered form.
  • It is made from the young leaves of the Camellia sinensis  This is the same species of plant used to make ordinary green tea and black tea.
  • To cultivate Matcha, the plants are shaded for two weeks before being harvested. This boosts their chlorophyll (the element that gives green tea and other plants their green color) levels.
  • After harvesting, the leaves are steamed, dried, and the stems and veins removed. They are then stone-ground into a fine powder.
  • This process is different to how regular green tea and black tea are produced. The leaves of black tea are allowed to dry completely which turns them from green to black.
  • Matcha tea is made by whisking the powder in a bowl or cup with hot water until it is thoroughly mixed and frothy.
  • As well as drinking it, you can use it by adding the powder to foods, desserts, and other beverages.

 

What are the Health Benefits of Matcha Tea?

  1. One serving of Matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea. It is made from the whole leaf so you get 100% of the nutrients.
  1. It contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help prevent aging and chronic diseases. Research conducted at Tufts University found that Matcha contains twenty times more antioxidants than ‘superfoods’ like pomegranates or blueberries.
  1. It can enhance your mood and aid concentration. Matchacontains the amino acid, L-Theanine which promotes a feeling of well-being. It also helps with mental alertness and memory. Although present in all tea, Matcha contains nearly five times more L-theanine than common black and green teas.
  1. It can help you lose weight in combination with exercise. Research featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009 found that consuming Matcha green tea can increase your body’s metabolic rate, burning calories from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure to between 35% and 43%.
  1. It helps detoxify and cleanse your body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll is a powerful detoxifier. Because Matcha is shade-grown, it is much richer in chlorophyll than other green teas.
  1. It calms the mind and relaxes the body. Since ancient times, IT has been used by Buddhists monks in the East to help them meditate.
  1. It is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium.
  1. It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that rats with type 2 diabetes who were treated with Matcha had reduced levels of cholesterol and blood sugar.
  1. It boosts energy and improves physical endurance.

 

Note: Matcha tea has many benefits but like all types of tea, it is often grown in soil that contains lead. With Matcha tea, you consume the whole leaf. For this reason, it is recommended that you limit your intake to one cup a day. Children, pregnant and breast-feeding mothers should avoid drinking it.

Regular green tea has become popular in the West for its health benefits. Now we are discovering another of the secrets of the East.  Matcha has even more beneficial health properties than regular green tea. Simple to use, why not try it as a drink or added to food? You can then begin to feel Matcha green tea benefits for yourself.