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Matcha is the highest quality green tea you can find and is full of the health benefits your body craves. This pure green tea is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, has been shown to fight cancer, can help you lose weight, and offers a calm focus while keeping you energized. Is it time to add matcha to your daily health regime?
Used for centuries in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha green tea is nothing short of amazing. Matcha is the highest quality green tea you can find and its benefits far surpass those of the traditional green tea you’re accustomed to. It’s got far more antioxidants and could be the most “super” superfood yet.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha tea is 100% green tea in one of its purest forms. It comes as a deep green powder and is made from the entire leaf of young, nutrient-rich green tea leaves. It’s ground into a fine powder and then mixed with water. Whereas with traditional tea leaves where you consume a seeped extraction, with matcha you’re basically drinking the entire tea leaf itself.
The preparation of matcha for commercial purposes is done differently than the green tea you’re used to drinking. Before the tea leaves are harvested, they’re covered with shade cloths. This encourages better flavor before the leaves are hand selected, momentarily steamed (to avoid fermentation), then dried in cold storage. Once dried, the leaves are ground into a fine powder.
It’s traditionally made by mixing 1-2 teaspoons with about ¾ cup hot water. It is then whisked with a bamboo brush until it lightly froths.
Benefits of Matcha Tea
You thought traditional green tea was good for you! It is, and I love green tea don’t get me wrong. But matcha is that much better, and if you’re into loading up on healthy, natural foods you should definitely make room for matcha.
Just one serving of matcha has ten times more nutritional content than that of traditional green tea. This translates into some 137 times more antioxidants and a whole bunch of health benefits.
1. Full of Antioxidants
2. Great for Detoxification
3. Contains vitamin C, Selenium, Chlorophyll, Chromium, Zinc, and Magnesium
4. Speeds Up Metabolism
5. Enhances Mood
6. Calms The Mind
7. Lowers Cholesterol
8. Decreases High Blood Sugar Levels
9. Good Source of Fiber
10. Prevents Disease
If you’re not already drinking matcha, you should be. Need a few more reasons to slip some matcha into your daily routine? Try these.
- Matcha is FULL of Antioxidants
We all know how important it is to give our body plenty of antioxidant-rich foods. One of the best benefits of matcha? It offers more antioxidants than any other food you can find.
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard this before with every other superfood that steps into the spotlight. Matcha however, is something that lives up to its reputation.
There is a testing module known as the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) which is something that tests the levels of antioxidants in various foods. Matcha blows every other food out of the water and contains higher levels of antioxidants per serving than any of the superfoods you’re familiar with.
ORAC Analysis of Different Foods
Goji Berries (253)
Acai Berries (60)
These numbers tell a tale of a food so rich in antioxidants there’s really no reason not to drink it. Just wait, there’s more.
- Matcha May Combat Cancer
Just as some foods contain more antioxidants than others, there are some antioxidants that are more powerful than others. That’s right, and the most powerful one of all just happens to be found in abundance in matcha tea.
When it comes to antioxidants, catechins are the strongest and most beneficial to one’s health. EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) is one catechin that has been widely acknowledged for its cancer-fighting properties. It also makes up 60% of the catechins found in matcha green tea.
While the cancer-fighting benefits of matcha have not been widely studied, EGCg has. These powerful catechins have been shown to both inhibit new cancer cell growth and kill existing cancer cells. It seems that EGCg has something going for it to fight this deadly disease, and it can be found in high doses in a delicious cup of matcha green tea.
- Matcha for Meditation
Matcha has been used for thousands of years by Zen monks who have found it brings a sense of calm while allowing them to remain alert during long periods of meditation. Yep, it’s true. Matcha helps with monkey-mind and may be just the thing to combat those incessant thoughts that run rampant through our minds.
How exactly does matcha work for meditation? It is the amino acid L-theanine present in the leaves of matcha that allow for the production of alpha-waves in the brain. These brain waves help to induce relaxation and a more mindful state of being, while the caffeine content in matcha helps one to stay alert but without the jitters that caffeine often induces.
L-theanine also aids in the production of dopamine and serotonin, two of the most powerful “feel good” chemicals in the brain. Not just responsible for improving mood, these chemicals also aid in concentration, which we all know is needed when focusing during any period of meditation!
- Matcha Increases Endurance and Energy
Matcha tea does contain caffeine as all green teas do. The energy you’ll find in matcha however is much different than you’ll find in a cup of coffee. The caffeine content of matcha tea is alkalizing to the body rather than acidic like you find in coffee. The L-theanine harmonizes with the caffeine found in matcha and offers a gradual and consistent release of pure, natural energy that won’t make you crash.
In ancient Japan, samurai warriors drank matcha tea prior to going into battle. This is because of the outstanding energy matcha offers, an energy that lasts for up to six hours and doesn’t make you crash. Matcha was used to help keep up their endurance for long periods of time, something that many of us modern-day warriors could definitely use.
- Matcha Helps Fight Fat
If you’re looking to burn fat and lose those excess pounds, matcha might just be the new “diet” drink for you. It works as a fat blocker by binding with fat cells and blocks them from entering your body. Instead of getting stuck and accumulating as extra weight, the fat instead simply runs through your intestinal tract and right out of you.
It all comes down to the high levels of EGCg that is found in this dark green powdered tea. Not only is this particular antioxidant good for blocking cancer cells, but also happens to be great for boosting metabolism and keeping weight off. A cup of matcha a day combined with good exercise and a healthy diet could just be your ticket to weight loss that works.
Matcha has been popping up lately as a great alternative to coffee and has reached the point that it’s trendy enough to stick around. Starbucks has offered a matcha green tea latte for a while now and many coffees shops are catching on.
Not only popular as an alternative to coffee, you can now find everything from matcha cupcakes to matcha power smoothies. Matcha has made its mark and has the health benefits to stick around.
The Bottom Line
The best way to enjoy all the benefits matcha tea brings to the table? Straight up in its purest form. Trader Joe’s matcha latte mix tastes incredible, but has added sugar and other ingredients that take away from its pure goodness. Sweeten it with a little honey or agave nectar if the taste is too bitter for you and begin to drink it daily. You’ll find increased energy, better health, and a calm, focused mind.
It’s no wonder matcha has been consumed for thousands of years. The incredible range of benefits it provides to both mind and body are mind-blowing and it is one of the most remarkable teas leading to such sound health yet to be seen.