Are you ready to take your caffeine fix to a whole new level? Matcha green tea might be the replacement for your morning cup of coffee or those loose tea leaves. Forget about those overhyped smoothies or those disgusting grass drinks, matcha tea offers far more health benefits and is packed with antioxidants. This concentrated green tea can help you to burn calories, lower your blood sugar and cholesterol as well as helping to increase your metabolic rate and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super-foods on the market today.
What is Matcha?
This antioxidant rich green drink has been brewed in China since around the 10th century. However, the best Matcha green tea comes from Japan. Matcha tea powder has a long standing in traditional Japanese culture and is regarded as the highest quality powdered green tea available. Matcha is produced from the nutrient-rich leaves of the Camellia sinensis plants.
Matcha green tea powder is basically stone-ground green tea leaves, the young tea leaves are steamed, stemmed, and then de-vined before being ground into very fine powder. This process is often laborious so you will typically find that Matcha green tea is more expensive than other teas. Once the preparation has been completed the Matcha powder is then stored away from oxygen and light to help preserve the much needed antioxidant properties and its vibrant green color.
Matcha Tea Benefits
Not sure if all of the Matcha green tea benefits hype is justified or you are still on the fence whether you should add this antioxidant rich drink to your daily routine, here are ten of the best reasons to throw away your coffee and regular tea in favor of a cup of Matcha green tea.
1. Detoxifies the Body
If goes without question that Matcha has some amazing health benefits and has the ability to keep your body functioning in tip-top shape. But you want some proof, right? Well a recent study in rats with type 2 diabetes discovered that Matcha provided effective protection for their kidney and liver when they took a daily dose.
Other similar research in humans found that green tea drinkers had a 33% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It has been found that drinking green tea helps to reduce blood glucose levels. Matcha green tea is also a potent and powerful detoxifier that is capable of naturally removing chemical toxins and heavy metals from the body.
2. Boosts Memory and Concentration
The best Matcha green tea powder contains L-Theanine. A side effect of increased levels of L-Theanine is production of Serotonin and Dopamine. The two natural chemicals help to improve memory, enhance your mood along with giving you better concentration.
3. High in Antioxidants
I’m sure you have all heard of the magic word “antioxidants” and how they are the magical enzymes and nutrients needed for younger-looking skin, fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, as well as other life-threatening ailments. Antioxidants can be found in foods such as green vegetables, raw fruits, and let’s not forget dark chocolate.
However, Matcha green tea an amazing super-food and knocks those other antioxidants rich foods out of the park and is packed with those much needed antioxidants, and more. In fact, just one cup of matcha tea can provide more than 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food.
4. Improves Cholesterol
Matcha Japanese tea has a positive effect on improving cholesterol levels, the funny thing is researchers aren’t entirely sure how this is possible. Studies have shown that various populations who regularly drank Matcha tea had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time having higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
It was also noted that men who regularly drank Matcha green tea were roughly 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who didn’t drink it.
5. Loaded with Catechin, EGCG
There isn’t just one magic antioxidant in fact antioxidants are varied each with their own benefits. Green Matcha tea powder contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins (which are part of the antioxidants family) which are some of the most beneficial and potent. One of these catechins that is found in Matcha is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and it makes up 60% of the catechins found in Matcha green tea.
When it comes to antioxidants that have the power to help fight cancer EGCG is the most widely recognized as one of the most potent. The good news, Matcha tea contains over 100 times more EGCG than any other tea found on the market.
6. Burns Calories
Drinking green tea Matcha rich in EGCG has also shown in some lab studies to boost metabolism and other similar research on Matcha discovered that EGCG may help stop the growth of new fat cells. So if you want to burn those calories drinking green tea instead of sugary drinks will certainly help and with no negative side-effects such as high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
7. Enhances Calm
For well over a millennium powdered green matcha tea has been consumed by Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and by Chinese Daoist’s as a means to meditate and relax while remaining alert. This enhanced calm is due to the amino acid L-Theanine that is found in Matcha. L-Theanine also helps to promote the production of alpha waves in the brain which in-turn induces relaxation and well-being.
8. Fortifies the Immune System
The high concentrated levels of antioxidants found in Matcha tea powder are hard to beat. The catechins found in Matcha green tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which have cancer-preventing as well as immune-boosting effects combined with also helping to promote overall good health.
How does this sound? Just one cup of Matcha green tea provides substantial amounts of much needed vitamins and nutrients that our bodies crave such as Iron, Vitamins A & C, Calcium, Potassium and even Protein. Studies have also suggested that the nutrients and antioxidants found in Japanese green Matcha tea may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.
9. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
Matcha was probably touted as the “Red Bull” energy drink of its time with Japanese Samurai’s drinking Matcha green tea before going into battle due to its energizing properties. Sure Matcha contains caffeine which will perk you up, but the energy boost gained from drinking this rich antioxidant brew is largely due to its unique combination of other much needed nutrients.
Increased energy levels and endurance can last up to 6 hours from the time you consume Matcha and thanks to the effect of L-Theanine found in the green tea you won’t experience any of the unwanted side effects such as nervousness and hypertension found in coffee and regular teas.
10. Great Flavor
We tend to associate healthy food with something unpleasant and let’s be honest it can sometimes feel like we are taking medicine. Healthy food is most often unpleasant and you dread it, but you feel obligated to do it for your health. After all, it’s going to be good for you right?
Matcha green tea is one of those health foods you’ll look forward to having, it’s absolutely wonderful all by itself and can be sweetened up to taste with lemon, sugar, and almond milk.
Matcha Latte Recipe
Swap out your morning coffee or tea with Matcha for a healthy antioxidant boost.
- 3/4 cup of cow’s milk, or unsweetened almond milk, rice milk or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
- Agave syrup
Ingredient info: Matcha (green tea powder) is available at Japanese markets or even here at Amazon.com.
Bring 3/4 cup of your preferred milk to a slight simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon Matcha powder into your drinking cup. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup of regular boiling water then pour in your warmed milk and slowly whisk together. Tipping your drinking cup slightly whilst whisking will help to create more foam. Sweeten with agave syrup. Enjoy!
Where to Buy Matcha Green Tea?
The best Matcha green tea powder is often found in the back alleys of Japanese markets, hidden from the prying eyes of the regular folk like you and me. However, you can get some strong Matcha tea online, two of my personal favorites can be found at Amazon (I have posted the links below).