There are as many varieties of green tea as there are reasons to love it! Currently gaining popularity is a variety of green tea made up of leaves that are dried and ground to a fine powder known as matcha. Matcha preparation can be a lovely tea ritual that soothes the day’s anxieties while boosting your health.
Since it is a green tea, you can expect matcha to have the same benefits as any variety, from gunpowder to sencha — and beyond. However, these benefits are significantly magnified in matcha preparations as the tea leaves are consumed entirely, rather than only infused in water.
Green tea is host to catechins, which are a type of antioxidant that attacks free radicals throughout the body. The most potent of these is called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, and it is considered a powerful anti-carcinogen. One cup of matcha green tea contains 137 times more EGCG than conventional green tea. EGCG, along with other antioxidants, is thought to combat signs of aging, such as inflammation and oxidation.
Studies suggest that drinking matcha green tea can raise resting metabolic rates as well as the body’s ability to burn fat. Its ability to burn calories can be increased 35 to 43% over that of normal daily activity. Matcha is rich in chlorophyll, which may help the body expel toxins, heavy metals and hormone disruptors that we pick up from our environment. Ridding ourselves of such poisons can improve the body’s ability to lose weight and build muscle.
Matcha contains five times the quantity of the amino acid L-theanine than conventional green tea. L-theanine causes alpha wave brain activity, which can induce a state of deep relaxation. This quality ameliorates the caffeine level of the tea so that consumption leads to an alertness and clarity without the nervousness typical of caffeinated beverages.
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Harris, Kimi; The health benefits of matcha tea; accessed August 22, 2013
Solomon P. T., DMD; Dr. Sara; The 8 Wonders of Matcha Green Tea; accessed August 22, 2013
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