Matcha green tea powder has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. It was originally enjoyed by the elite as part of the Tea Ceremony. Years ago a Japanese exchange student stayed with us and performed that very special ceremony as taught by her grandparents.
Matcha tea benefits have been studied considerably since first used 1000 years ago, and it is now believed that matcha green tea can aid weight loss by boosting metabolism, reduce the signs of ageing, lower cholesterol, and help to relax and focus the mind. In addition, Matcha contains fiber, Vit A, Vit C, and Potasium.
Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more antioxidants than pomegranates or blueberries. Matcha’s ORAC rating is 1573 units per gram.
Why does this matter?
Antioxidants are the body’s defense agents. They are chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Put simply, the more you have, the better equipped your body is in the fight against infections and disease.
What are green tea catechins, and why are they so important in anti-cancer diets?
Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties.
Most importantly, EGCg and other catechins counteract the effects of free radicals from pollution, UV rays, radiation, and chemicals, which can lead to cell and DNA damage. Since over 60% of the catechins in matcha are actually EGCg, a daily matcha regimen can help restore and preserve the body’s integral well-being and balance.
A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.
Over a thousand years ago, matcha came to Japan as an aid to meditation practice. During long hours of sitting, monks would drink matcha to remain alert yet calm. Modern science has recently confirmed the lessons of centuries of tradition. Matcha is rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the brains functioning. While stress can induce beta waves an excited, more agitated state, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness. And while L-Theanine is common in all tea, matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas.
A cup of matcha promotes concentration and clarity of mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee. Try matcha as a pick-me-up for the afternoon or anytime you need extra focus.
****When buying Matcha look for a premium grade that is from Japan. Japan has higher standards for green tea than found in the USA. An Asian market will be more reasonable than a health food store. And Trader Joe's actually has individual packets.