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Matcha Green Tea Benefits

There are many benefits to drinking Matcha tea, some of which are purely for the enjoyment of the consumer and other benefits that involve health. In this article I will cover the health benefits of Matcha Green tea, and touch briefly on the other benefits involved.

Nutritional Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Many people know about the benefits of Green tea, but Matcha Green tea provides even more health benefits. Some of the advantages of Matcha tea over other teas include:

  • rich in nutrients
  • very high in antioxidants (higher than blueberries, gojiberries, pomegranates, orange juice, and spinach)
  • contains fiber
  • High in chlorophyll
  • Sugar-free (great for diabetics or people who enjoy low sugar diets)

Matcha Green Tea Nutritional Profile:

matcha green tea benefits

 

Nutrient Per 1g Matcha
Total Catechins 105mg
EGCg 61 mg
Total Amino Acids 34 mg
L-theanine 14.26 mg
Caffeine 35mg
Fiber 318mg
Carbs 447mg
Vitamin C 1.75mg
Vitamin A 291 units
Potassium 26.6mg
Calories 3

You can see that there are many benefits to drinking the tea that other beverages just don’t have. Matcha green tea contains more nutrients and antioxidants than any other tea or green tea in the world. This is achieved through delicate and precise growing, harvesting and processing.

How Matcha Green Tea achieves it’s high antioxidant and nutrient count

Matcha Green tea, like all other types of traditional tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. In fact all black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea are made from the Camellia sinensis plant however different harvesting and preparation is used to make Matcha tea VERY high in anti oxidants and nutrients

Matcha Green tea is produced only in Japan. The rich green color is achieved by shading the tea bush before harvesting which causes them to turn a rich green color and become filled with chlorophyll. After the leaves are harvested they are steamed and then air dried. Keep in mind that when producing Matcha tea everything is done by hand. After the tea leaves are harvested and dried they are hand sorted depending on the grade. The leaves are then de-stemmed and de-veined.

Once the leaves have reached this stage they are known as tencha, the tencha is then ground by stone into a fine powder which you know as Matcha. There are different grades of Matcha, the tea grade Matcha is ground by stone into a fine powder however the industrial grade tea is ground by machine. The stone grinding will produce a different shaped powder which has an impact on the texture and taste.

Health Benefits of Drinking Matcha Green Tea

Now that you know what is in Matcha tea it will be easier to understand the Matcha green tea health benefits. I will outline some of the most noteable benefits of drinking matcha tea below.

matcha green tea powderHigh antioxidant count – If you watch Oprah or any health show, or read any health magazine you should have heard of the benefits of antioxidants. If not here is a quick summary for you “Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases” you can read more on the National institute of Medicine antioxidant page

Antioxidants are measured with ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The ORAC rating of matcha is 1300 units/g, compared to 105 units/g for pomegranates and 91 units/g for wild blueberries. Matcha green tea has a higher antioxidant count than any other super fruit including goji berries, acai, cranberries, raspberries or blueberries (plus it is a pleasure to drink in the morning)

EGCG – EGCG is the most abundant catechin in most notably tea (highest count in Matcha Green tea), among other plants, and is also a potent antioxidant that may have therapeutic properties for many disorders including cancer. EGCG has been reported to help prevent cancer, HIV, and other disorders, you can read more here

Amino acids – Amino acids are very important for the health and wellness of a person and play many roles in metabolism. One of the most important functions of amino acids is to act as the building block of proteins. Amino acids can link with other amino acids in different sequences to make up a number of different proteins. This helps the body get the proteins it needs and easily take them in and use them.

Other nutrients include fiber, Vitamin A, C and Potassium, you can see that just drinking a little bit of tea each day can help improve your health. Besides the nutrients there are also other health benefits of Matcha green tea.

Matcha Green tea is calming and aids in relaxation

The Japanese have been enjoying Matcha Green tea for many many years, possibly as far back as the year 1191. They drink Matcha tea because it helps them relax, as well as focus and achieve a deeper state of meditation. The Japanese drank it because it worked, but here in North America we need proof so we conducted studies. Studies show that Matcha green tea contains the highest amount of L-Theanine over any other type of green tea, and L-Theanine can be very helpful to aid in relaxation. Consider the results from this research paper

L-Theanine: How a Unique Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer Increases Alpha Waves and Alertness

“The calming effect of green tea may seem contradictory to the stimulatory property of tea’s caffeine content but it can be explained by the action of L-theanine. This amino acid actually acts antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine on the nervous system. (1) Research on human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation in approximately 30-40 minutes after ingestion via at least two different mechanisms. First, this amino acid directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. Second, L-theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect.”

Combine the naturally and physically calming effects of sitting down to enjoy a hot cup of tea with the physiological effects of L-Theanine and you have yourself one powerful relaxation tool!

Matcha Tea is great for cleansing the body

Matcha tea contains Chlorophyll which has been said to aid the body in removing heavy metals and toxins. I have looked for recent studies that support this statement but could only find claims made by companies selling chlorophyll supplements and other claims on natural health websites. I can’t say for sure that Chlorophyll will cleanse your body, but many dietitians will agree that foods rich in color are better for you and the Matcha Green tea leaves are picked when they are a dark green color so they are jam packed with nutrients.

Matcha Tea tastes great and is sugar free

If you are a healthy person you will love the taste of Matcha, it is something you would not want to add any flavours or sugar too, however matcha is great to add to other things like shakes, yogurt, baking or even ice cream. With all the sugar we consume these days it is nice to have a nice tasting tea that tastes great without sugar or cream.

The first time I tried Matcha I enjoyed it, but after a few cups now I crave it. At first sip it had very earthy flavours, it was not bitter and had a very pleasant and smooth taste and texture. Some people describe the flavor as grassy, but there is just something to the flavor that makes you want more.

Where you can buy Matcha Green Tea

matcha tea setIf you want to buy Matcha tea locally you will have to search for a specialty tea store as I find most big box stores do not carry it. Matcha green tea is expensive so I recommend purchasing online as you can find a great selection as well as better prices. This is the page I always buy from I have tried a few of the different products and recommend the DoMatcha product for taste and storage. The DoMatcha comes packed in a nice airtight tin so it stays better for longer. You may also be interested in a Matcha tea set that comes with a bamboo scoop, a bamboo whisk and a nice bowl for whisking. I opted NOT to get this with my first purchase but then thought it would be cool to have one and makes the preparation easier and more traditional so I ended up buying one.

 

 

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