Most tea can be found in loose leaf or bag form. Sometimes, it can be fermented and sold as a tea brick. Most people are not familiar with the fact that tea can be sold as powder, which is whisked and served with a bit of froth. Matcha is a premium green tea powder from Japan which is abundant in health benefits.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is obtained from pure Gyokuro leaves which are shaded below special mats for three weeks before being picked off. This process causes the plants to produce more chlorophyll, which in turn boosts its nutritional profile.
Steeped Matcha contains 10 times the antioxidants and polyphenols of regular teas, 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach, 4 times the beta-carotene of carrots, and 2 times the antioxidants of glass of red wine.
Matcha Tea Benefits
1. Fights Cancer
Matcha contains 100 times more epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) than other teas. EGCG is an effective cancer chemopreventive polyphenol which has been found to work against ovarian, lung, prostate, and breast cancer.
2. Boosts Metabolism
Matcha is widely used as pre-workout supplement due to its ability to boost energy and focus in the gym. It has been scientifically shown that drinking matcha tea prior workout increases fat loss and helps lose 25 percent more weight.
3. Supplies Energy
Matcha releases caffeine slowly, over the course of several hours. This means that it ensures feeling energized all day, unlike coffee which releases all at once. It also contains L-theanine, a compound which improves focus.
According to a recent study, “. . . taken throughout the day [green tea] significantly benefit speed of perception and more consistent levels of simple task performance. L-theanine appears to antagonize the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing seratonin levels that have been artificially elevated by caffeine.”
4. Supports Skin Health
The polyphenols found in matcha contain anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties which help prevent development and growth of skin tumors. What`s more, it has been found to positively affect the skin while preventing premature aging and UV damage.
5. Fights Stress
L-theanine found in matcha increases alpha brain wave activity, thus promoting relaxation. According to a study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, “increased alpha activity in the brain induced by L-theanine has been associated with increased creativity, increased performance under stress, and improved learning and concentration as well as decreased anxiety.”
6. Improves Memory Function
As reported in a study provided by the Nation Institute of Health, “Our findings provide first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning, in particular, on working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.”
7. Boosts Immunity
The EGCG mentioned above cause higher production of the immune system`s first line of defense, called regulatory T cells. As reported by Science Daily, “Epigenetic regulation can be potentially exploited in generating suppressive regulatory T cells for therapeutic purposes, and is of significant clinical importance for the suppression of autoimmune diseases.”
8. Lowers Cholesterol
It has been scientifically shown that matcha tea lowers total cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, which in turn helps prevent coronary heart disease.
Many studies confirm that drinking green tea positively affects endothelial function, which promotes proper blood flow.
9. Controls Diabetes
Matcha tea has been used to control blood sugar levels and animal studies have found that drinking green tea on a regular basis helps prevent development of type 1 diabetes and slow down its progression, if it has already developed.
How to Prepare Matcha Tea?
Here`s what you will need:
- Medium-sized bowl
- Measuring spoon
- Matcha whisk
- Matcha powder
Boil a cup of water to 180 °F. Fill the bowl with water and leave it for a couple of minutes before emptying it. Spoon the matcha into the strainer, add ¼ to ½ tbsp of hot water, and whisk well. Add 2-3 oz of hot water to the bowl and whish fast, making sure you don’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Once the tea is covered in bubbles, move around to break the big ones.