What are the Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea?
You’ve no doubt heard the hype surrounding Matcha Green Tea. Incredibly, estimates show that the tea industry has grown to over $10 billion in the United States. It’s in everything from smoothies to donut recipes so it must be good, right? While tea in general certainly has some benefits, it’s always a good idea to learn more about what you’re consuming so you can make the best choices for your health.
So, is Matcha Green Tea healthy? In a word, yes. Matcha Green Tea is the best, having antioxidant values that are up to 137 times higher than some ordinary green teas. When you drink Matcha, you’re drinking the actual tea leaves, rather than an infusion of tea with hot water like you do with traditional green tea. The leaves of Matcha are powdered before you combine them with the water, making the resulting mixture much more potent.
Even so, not all Matcha Green Teas are created equal. Whilst more expensive, the very best Matcha Green Tea comes from Japan, in various different grades. Ceremonial or A grade is the best, with culinary grade being best avoided. Matcha Green Teas from China, whilst still good, varies considerably in quality. As a general rule of thumb, go for Japanese Organic top grade Matcha Green Tea. If you’re taking it for its health benefits, you want to go for the best available.
How to Consume Matcha Green Tea
The most common way to consume Matcha is to combine it with hot water to make tea however, there are many other ways to enjoy the flavor of Matcha, giving you a wide range of options for incorporating it into your diet. Matcha can be blended with yogurt and frozen into ice pops, stirred into a latte, added to baked goods, sprinkled on a bowl of oatmeal, or combined with other spices to make a rub for meat and fish.
To get the best results from your Matcha Green Tea, you can safely enjoy a mug or two every day, though be aware that it does contain caffeine and won’t be a good choice too close to bedtime.
Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
No matter how you enjoy it, there are some compelling health benefits that you can expect.
Like all teas, Matcha is packed with antioxidants, which are nutrients that work to neutralize free radical damage in your body that result from a poor diet and environmental toxins. Free radicals oxidize in the body, which can lead to many health problems, from cancer to heart disease. A diet rich in antioxidants, like those found in Matcha Green Tea, has been proven to prevent such health conditions. Matcha has been linked to a reduction in cell damage and the prevention of chronic diseases.
Assists in Liver Protection
Your liver is responsible for flushing toxins from your body and processing nutrients from your diet. When your liver isn’t working properly, you face certain health consequences like fatty liver disease and general liver damage. According to experts, Matcha Green Tea helps control liver enzymes, which reduces the risk of liver disease, helping prevent liver damage and promoting healthy liver function.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Research has shown that people who regularly drink green tea experience a significant reduction in their blood pressure readings. Because Matcha is such a concentrated form of green tea, these results are boosted when it’s enjoyed on a daily basis. Keeping blood pressure in check is a vital step in preventing heart disease and heart attack.
Boosts Cognitive Function
Research shows that Matcha Green Tea can improve concentration, memory, attention, and reaction time and is highly beneficial for the elderly. This could be due to the antioxidants it contains, but caffeine also plays a role, as it’s been linked to improved brain function in several research studies. Just two grams of Matcha powder per day is all it takes to produce these healthy results. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Matcha so getting two grams per day is not difficult.
Helps with Cancer Prevention
With the growing number of people suffering from cancer, cancer research is among the most heavily funded scientific/medical subject area as people try to understand what causes it and find a cure. Matcha might not cure cancer, but it can certainly help prevent it. That’s because it contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, a catechin that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Research shows that Matcha may be an effective way to prevent several types of cancer, including prostate, liver, lung, and skin cancer.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
In addition to controlling blood pressure, as mentioned above, Matcha Green Tea also helps lower LDL, or bad cholesterol in the body. Too much LDL cholesterol raises the risk of heart disease, which is one of the top causes of death in the United States. In general, a healthy diet can protect against heart disease, but adding Matcha to your diet can enhance these benefits. Enjoying just a cup or two per day is all it takes to protect your heart and keep it ticking for many years to come.
Aids Weight Loss
Matcha isn’t a miracle cure for being overweight or obese, but it may help you drop a few stubborn pounds. Not only has Matcha been shown to increase metabolism, it also has fat burning properties that make it an effective addition to a weight loss regimen. It’s no surprise that, if you look at many weight loss supplements, you’ll likely see that green tea extract is one of the ingredients. Matcha works for weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to burn fat while exercising by as much as 43%, compared to the usual 8% without drinking Matcha Green Tea.
Detoxifies the Body
Your liver and kidneys, when healthy, do an excellent job of removing toxins from your body, but you can boost the process by drinking Matcha Green Tea. Because green tea grows best in the shade, the leaves have a higher concentration of chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives them their color. Chlorophyll is known to aid in the detoxifying process, helping to eliminate poisons, hormone disruptors, heavy metals, and dioxins from the body.
Boosts Fiber Intake
Your body relies on an adequate intake of fiber for regular digestion and bowel movements, but fiber is also responsible for sloughing cholesterol from your arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. It also digests slowly, which can help you control your appetite and prevent overeating, especially between meals. Matcha Green Tea contains enough concentrated dietary fiber to battle constipation and regulate blood sugar levels.
Increases Energy Levels
Matcha is the ideal afternoon beverage choice to give you a pick me up and help you power through your afternoon to do list. This is because it contains caffeine in amounts that are equivalent to a cup of coffee. Swapping out your usual cup of joe with a mug of Matcha Green Tea boosts nutrient intake and offers a quick dose of caffeine to wake you up and help you finish out the day. It’s a much better choice than a soda or energy drink, both of which are very high in sugar and not a healthy choice.
Offers Stress Relief
The ritual of preparing and enjoying a mug of tea is many people’s ideal way to reduce stress and relax after a hard day. Because tea has traditionally been enjoyed in conjunction with meditation, it makes sense to try Matcha if you need some stress relief. The combination of nutrients and antioxidants helps promote feelings of calm, making it an ideal accompaniment to a meditation session. Simply sipping a warm mug of Matcha while becoming centered boosts the ability to be mindful and get the most out of both the tea and the meditation itself.
Matcha Green Tea is easy to prepare and delivers its benefits efficiently, which are key reasons for its popularity. It’s a good idea to prepare your own as many of the mixed Matcha beverages at coffee shops and juice bars contain a lot of added sugar, which poses health risks that can negate all the good work the Matcha does. Look for high quality Matcha powder at health food stores and start incorporating it into your diet right away. The benefits will pay off and you get to enjoy something delicious in the process.