As a green tea fan and a self confessed health nut, I have recently discovered Matcha Green Tea and it’s amazing health benefits. I am going to tell you everything you want to know about it: Matcha, the real scientific benefits; the best Matcha to buy where you live; the best way to prepare Matcha including delicious recipes, and my own livewell guide to drinking the green magic.
What can Matcha do for you?
1) Boost your energy levels:
Japanese Samurai warriors used to drink Matcha tea before going into battle
because of its energising and revitalising properties.Unlike coffee which gives a buzz for about an hour followed by an energy crash, Matcha, due to its rich mixture of vitamins and nutrients in combination with L-Theanine can naturally boost focused energy levels for up to six hours.
2) Help alleviate Depression and Anxiety:
Matcha Green tea is a rich source of the amino acid L-Theanine which makes you feel energised but calm at the same time. Studies have shown that drinking can also raise levels of Serotonin, Dopamine and Gaba, all associated with the relief of depression and anxiety. One of the more interesting effects is the increase in Alpha brain activity – normally only seen during the more relaxed stages of meditation. All in all Matcha green tea is a powerful nutritional aid for mood stabilisation.
3) Lose Weight:
A regular consumption of Matcha green tea has been shown to increase the metabolic rate leading to 17% faster fat burning. According to one study, exercising after drinking green tea can burn calories up to 25% faster. It is a safe fix in anyone’s weight management program. No wonder many weight loss supplements have included green tea in their product.
4) Improve Memory and Concentration:
The combination of naturally occurring Caffeine alongside L-Theanine leads to faster reaction times, better rapid visual information processing (RVIP), improved mental fatigue ratings, faster numeric memory manipulation and improved sentence verification according to a study by Northumbria university, UK. All of this without the headaches and sudden drop in energy levels, normal with caffeinated drinks alone. So if you need to up your mental performance, it’s time to ditch the coffee for a mid-morning Matcha.
5) Improve digestion & IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease):
Matcha green tea was originally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to improve digestion, increase physical stamina, raise mental clarity and add extra years to an individual’s lifespan. It is a rich source of antioxidants including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a natural anti-inflammatory hugely benefitting the intestinal tract. These antioxidants can also help to remove Mucoid plaques from the gastro-intestinal tract – a natural detox agent.
6) Lower Heart Disease risk:
The green tea catechins seem to lower the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) whilst at the same time promoting good cholesterol amounts (HDL). Research has shown that regular drinkers can enjoy up to a 20% reduction of risk from ischemic heart disease mortality. There is also scientific evidence that the consumption of catechins can lead to a lowered risk of ischemic stroke.
7) Prevent Cancer:
The oxidative effects of food and environment contribute greatly to the development of cancerous cells in the body. The huge amounts of anti-oxidants, particularly the powerful epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), counter the cancer causing free radicals and acts as a chemopreventive. A lot of research has focused on the presence of polyphenols present in Matcha tea, showing that it can prevent the build up of malignant cancerous cells. This is all verified by the low incidence of cancers in regular green tea drinkers.
8) Control Blood Sugar Levels:
Diabetes is a failure of the body to naturally produce Insulin. Consumption of Matcha tea normalises blood sugar levels through reduction of fat and inflammation, especially around the abdominal organs and by improving metabolism. It is also thought that an important component of green tea, EGCG, may mimic insulin helping to regulate high blood sugar. A study from Japan outlined the potential benefits of green tea in decreasing the risk of diabetes. It showed a 33% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in individuals who drank 6 or more cups of green tea per day, comparing to those who drank less than 1 cup per week. As a cup of Matcha tea can be considered the equivalent of 10 cups of normal green tea, it is a great way of treating abnormal blood sugar levels – especially when combined with exercise.
9) Healthy Teeth and Gums:
Recent Egypt-based research tested people prior to and after they rinsed their mouths with green tea for 5 minutes. The test subjects had reduced bacteria and acid in their mouths, as well as decreased gum bleeding. Additionally a Japanese survey of nearly 1,000 men discovered that those who drank green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who didn’t. A cup or two of Matcha a day can help you keep smiling.
10) Improve Eyesight:
One of the chief constituents of green tea, as we now know, is epigallocatechin-gallate abbreviated as EGCG. studies have shown that EGCG protects eyesight in at least 4 ways:
- Protects Retina, Lens and Aqueous Humor
- Protects Retina Against UV Damage
- Prevents Cataract Formation
- Protects Against Age Related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma
The studies have yet to be performed in humans but next time you have that delicious cup of Matcha tea don’t be surprised if your eyes become brighter.
With its long history of health benefits known in ancient China and subsequently discovered and used by the Zen masters and Samurai warriors in Japan, it’s not surprising this ancient tradition of ingesting the whole leaf of green teas is still practised today. I have certainly added it as part of my health regime.
Please join me in commenting on any of my pages. I value your feedback and would love to know of your experiences, recommendations and general comments about any of the material on my site. Mark