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Matcha Tea and Its Health Benefits
Though people drank green tea in China over a thousand years ago, it became a significant part of the Japanese culture. And they named the natural beverage matcha. Zen Buddhist monks took it to remain calm and alert on long hours of meditation. Such Japanese tea leaves grow in the shade and have remarkably high chlorophyll content.
It is interesting to learn about the history and cultivation of the tea, but what consumers really care about are its benefits to health, such as:
Green tea is abundant in antioxidants named catechins, which scavenge for harmful free radicals that may exist in the body. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a very potent anti-carcinogen, is the most effective catechin contained in green tea.
Okinawa, Japan is one of those parts of the world where people live the longest. To a certain degree, the longevity of Okinawans has been partially attributed to routine consumption of matcha green tea.
In fact, matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in all of Japan, although it is rapidly becoming more popular across the world due to its anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidizing and anti-aging properties.
LDL “Bad” Cholesterol Control
A study featured on American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that green tea beverages or extracts can dramatically reduce total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.
According to a 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea increases thermogenesis – your body’s day-to-day calorie-burning rate -increases by 8 to 35%. Yet another study proved that exercising right after drinking matcha green tea can lead to 25% more fat burned during exercise.
Since matcha is grown in the shade, it has significantly higher amounts of chlorophyll than any other green tea. Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and provides detoxification against all kinds of toxins.
There is five times more L-theanine in matcha green tea than in conventional green tea. L-theanine is an amino acid that can induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is known to trigger beta wave activity in the brain, causing more agitation. Alpha wave activity combats that effect. Matcha does contain some caffeine, but its “jittery” effects are easily counterbalanced by the relaxing properties of L-theanine.
One cup of matcha green tea can give you that “pick-me-up” on a lazy afternoon or whenever you think you could use extra focus and alertness. Matcha green tea is the best substitute for coffee as it gives an energy boost without the headaches of a coffee crash .
Lastly, matcha green tea leaves have a considerably high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. Dietary fiber offers plenty of benefits, the most popular of which are blood sugar management and constipation relief.
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