Matcha, the green tea that is a little bit special in its form, is different from traditional green tea and is packed with additional benefits. Unlike traditional green tea in which the leaves are steeped in water and then consumed (like most leaf-based teas), Matcha tea is made up of the stone ground green tea leaves and the entire leaf is dissolved and consumed.
Here are five things you should know about Matcha and its benefits.
- Matcha Tea benefits your brain function
For centuries, the health properties of matcha tea have been studied which is actually how it rose to prominence and became so well regarded. Thanks to Zen Buddhist monks studying Matcha tea and writing about its health properties, matcha has become a household name. Matcha green tea leaves are actually grown under special shade covers, and this process does a couple of things to the tea leaves. First, it slows the rate of photosynthesis in the leaves. This slowing results in a higher amount of an amino acid called L-theanine, which increases alpha-brain waves creating a more alert, yet calm state of mind. Matcha feelings of zen, and matcha feelings of intelligence! Second, it increases the level of chlorophyll giving the leaves a deeper, richer green colour which is in itself a potent antioxidant and can help with detoxifying the blood, gut function and inflammation. What’s not to love?
- Matcha Tea has these health benefits
Studies of green tea (and thereby matcha comprising simply green tea leaves in a powdered form) have found that its properties benefit both liver function and heart health.
Where the liver is concerned, a study was performed where 80 people were given a placebo and a green tea compound. Over 12 weeks, the group given green were shown to have reduced liver enzyme levels. It is these enzyme levels that when heightened can contribute to fatty liver disease.
- Matcha Tea contains beneficial levels of Antioxidants
Matcha tea is high in antioxidants which benefit our health and wellbeing. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause damage to our healthy cells, known as oxidative stress. When our cells are damaged, our bodies go through the aging process, and free radicals may also be associated with cancer.
The plant from which matcha tea is derived contains high levels of catechins, a natural antioxidant. Matcha tea has seven times the level of antioxidants compared to dark chocolate, and 17 times the level of antioxidants compared to blueberries.
A diet higher in superfoods rich in antioxidants (of which matcha is one) may benefit your cells in combating free radicals and experiencing a healthier lifestyle.
- Matcha Tea may benefit you in losing weight
Some studies of green tea extract (derived from the same plant as matcha tea) show that your metabolism can benefit by functioning at a higher level and matcha can help enhance that metabolic function. Great for improving things in the weight loss area!
- Matcha Tea is easy to prepare
Aside from the benefits listed above, matcha tea is easy to prepare To make traditional matcha tea, the following is ideal:
- Use half to one teaspoon of matcha powder
- Sift the matcha tea powder into either a traditional teacup or your favourite mug
- Add a dash of warm water. Boiling hot water burns the tea, so you want to ensure that you get the right taste and experience. Dissolve completely into a thick paste.
- Add the remaining warm water (or your choice of warm milk for a latte!)
- Sip, and enjoy the benefits of matcha!
To read more about the amazing benefits of matcha, be sure to check out this post