Benefits of Matcha Tea.
For a very long time, green tea has been dubbed as an elixir in the health and fitness sector. Numerous pharmacist and satisfied users have continuously spoken with glowing praise of the ability of green tea to help in weight loss by not only encouraging metabolism but also by burning calories. In the recent past, a new brand of green tea in, Matcha has been emerging rapidly surpassing other brands in popularity. This article seeks to explore the numerous health benefits of matcha tea as well as its effects on weight loss.
What is Matcha tea?
Just Like ordinary green tea, Matcha is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. A long and standing component of Japanese culture, Matcha has been mostly found to contain a high level of catechins compared to the ordinary green tea. Matcha is derived from taking some young tea leaves and grinding them to form a bright green powder.
Matcha tea is usually grown on the shaded tea bushes before harvesting the plants are covered for around 20-30 Days to avoid direct contact with sunlight. This is usually done to boost amino acid contents and increase chlorophyll production. It is this increased chlorophyll that gives the tea its dark green hue. Once harvested (by hand picking) the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves ground using granite stones. Some of the finest Matcha comes from Japan where the plant has been grown for centuries now.
Comparisons between Matcha Green Tea and Ordinary Green Tea. Both matcha and regular green tea contain caffeine. However, matcha contains more caffeine than regular green tea. Matcha is also richer in the catechism EGCG(epigallocatechin gallate) which is believed to fight cancer cells in the body. Scientific tests have shown that matcha contains 17mg to 109 mg of EGCG per serving compared to regular green tea's 25 to 86mgs. Additionally, Matcha powered is usually whisked in hot water, on the other hand, regular green tea is infused in water and removed. Matcha overall helps in injecting more nutrients to the body than regular tea. Courtesy, of its higher nutrient content Matcha, is also quite expensive when compared with regular green tea.
- Weight loss. Matcha which is almost calorie free is a great addition to any other weight loss program. Matcha green tea does not only boosts the body metabolism but also helps in burning excessive fats in one's body. Some research results have suggested that green tea can help burn calories up to four times faster. To cap it all matcha does not exact excessive pressure on the body hence consumers do not have to worry about increased heart rates and blood pressure. Generally, this powerful powder provides one of the safest alternatives to side effect-ridden pharmaceutical and other questionable quick fixes' used in weight loss programs. A study that was done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that consumption of matcha green tea helps to improve thermogenesis from around 8-10% to around 35-43% during moderate and intense exercises. Green tea is also renowned for its ability to enhance weight loss, in fact, a closer look at a majority of weight loss supplements one of the most common ingredients is "green tea extracts."
- Concentration and focus. Since time immemorial matcha tea has been used by Chinese Taoist and Buddhist monks to boost concentration during meditation. Monks and Taoist would drink matcha in order to remain calm, alert, and relaxed for long hours of meditation. Modern research has confirmed that matcha is increasingly rich in a rare amino-acid called L-Theanine. L-Theanine releases alpha waves in the brain that enhance relaxation and promotes the brains functioning. While L-Theanine is found in other types of tea, matcha contains L-Theanine that is five times more than that in regular black and green tea. Besides, boosting concentration and focus L-Theanine also helps in enhancing memory capacity and cognitive ability. Additional, research has further indicated that L-Theanine helps in counteracting side effects of caffeine found in tea. Therefore, glass/bowl of matcha will not only enhance concentration but also eliminate the nervous energy associated with caffeinated drinks.
- Cancer prevention. Numerous studies have been conducted indicating that matcha contains potent antioxidants that have demonstrated cancer-fighting properties. Matcha has been dubbed to be anti-oxidant powerhouse containing over twenty times the amount of antioxidants presents in pomegranate, blueberries, broccoli, and spinach. The antioxidants also are known as catechins EGCG has been widely lauded for its ability to fight UV rays, radiation, and chemicals which are some of the major cancer causes. Over 60% of the catechins in matcha are usually EGCG. In fact, there have been several test- tube studies that have demonstrated that green tea extracts can help in decreasing tumor sizes, slowing breast cancer, killing prostate cancer cells as well as dealing with skin, lung, and liver cancer. While most of this research has not been translated to humans, there should be increased optimism towards the potential of matcha to aid in preventing cancer, although more research ought to be done.
- Detoxification and source of antioxidants. Matcha is laced with a significant portion of chlorophyll that cannot be found in many other foods, courtesy of being deprived of sunlight before harvesting. The resulting chlorophyll is advantageous not only for its vibrant green color but also o as a powerful detoxifier. Chlorophyll helps to eliminate chemical toxins and heavy metals from the body. Generally, antioxidants help in removing potentially harmful oxidizing agents in a living organism. Any health-conscious person is definitely encouraged to consume food rich in antioxidants since they help lower risk of infections. Antioxidants also help in promoting skin wellness by giving one a smooth, younger-looking skin. Some of the foods popular for providing antioxidants include raw fruits and green vegetables. Matcha tea contains antioxidants that are over 5 times what is found in these foods, it is the most highly rated food using the ORAC( oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.
- Energy and Endurance. In the medieval and early-modern Japan, Samurai warriors used to drink a heavy concoction of Matcha tea to help them mostly to energize before going to war. While all tea naturally contains caffeine which is a renown stimulant the energy from matcha is largely derived from a combination of nutrients found within the drink.
Sometimes taking a product only for its health benefits can mostly seem like swallowing medicine. Quality matcha is always bright green and smooth, its taste is also slightly sweet. Unlike other brands of tea which require a sweetener in the form of sugar, honey, lemon or milk matcha can be consumed on its own. It usually has this crisp vegetable notes laced with the savory taste of L-Theanine.
Caffeine in Matcha
Just like with other nutrients matcha offers a stronger jolt of caffeine compared to the regular green tea. This may be a pro or a con depending on one's reaction to caffeine. While one teaspoon of regular green tea offers around 32mg of caffeine, matcha offers of around 68mg. However, matcha contains L-Theanine which promotes calmness and relaxation which consequently protects against symptoms of caffeine crash. In fact, as a reference point, the amount of caffeine found in black tea and coffee is almost double that of matcha. A moderate amount of caffeine can actually enhance body metabolism by up to 40% and help in regulating the body sugars.
Caffeine in matcha is often released gradually for a period of about 6 to 8 hours hence a morning drink can help you have a much energized and concentrated day. However, for people with low tolerance for caffeine, it is advisable to switch to less potent drinks. In some cases, matcha has been showed to cause slight stomach problems for people with ulcers and sensitive reflux. It is therefore advisable that matcha is drunk with a meal and not on an empty stomach.
Preparing matcha is also considerably easy.
All one needs is 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder(2-4grams),
2 ounces (59ml) of hot water, a matcha bowl and a bamboo whisk.
Then follow the steps below.
- Sift two teaspoons of Matcha powder into a bowl using a small sifter.
- Add twenty ounces of hot water (just below boiling point).
- Whisk using mostly a bamboo whisk in a zigzag manner until frothy.
- Drink your tea directly from the bowl.
The ratio of water to matcha powder can be slowly adjusted depending on a person's preferred consistency. Matcha can also be whipped up in matcha lattes, pudding, or protein smoothies to boost the nutrient content.
Over and above, matcha is a product brimming with numerous health benefits. The product has been found to be effective in the weight loss programs as well as other areas such as cancer prevention, detoxification, energizing and promoting concentration. Despite all these benefits, the product should be consumed moderately to avoid some instances of contamination. Above all, it is simple to prepare and can be incorporated into various recipes. It’s about time you woke up and noticed the healthy smell of matcha tea.