Matcha or maccha tea is a finely milled green tea powder. Unlike regular teas that steep dried tea leaves, matcha tea is prepared by whipping the steam-processed powdered green tea leaves in hot water together in a bowl. This preparation goes back to the Tang Dynasty in China around the year 618 to 907.
In ancient Japan, matcha is prepared in various tea ceremonies. Only a grand master of a specific tea tradition is allowed to prepare the tea in a ceremony. These ceremonies are practiced even in modern times!
Only the youngest, better-tasting tea leaves are chosen to be processed into matcha. The result is sweeter, deeper flavor and distinct aroma that most teas lack. Because the green tea leaves are processed minimally, they retain their nutritional value, making them even healthier than the regular kind of tea. Below are the many health benefits of matcha tea:
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins. Catechins help destroy free radicals that damage healthy cells and trigger cell mutation that leads to cancer. A compound in catechins called igallocatechin gallate or EGCG is the compound that puts cancer dead on its tracks. Drinking matcha tea gives you 137 times the amount of EGCG than a cup of green tea.
Delays the Signs of Aging
In Japan, most beauty products are enriched with matcha tea because of its ability to soothe inflamed skin, prevent oxidative damage, and reverse the early signs of aging! In Okinawa, locals credit their longevity and youthful skin to drinking matcha green tea.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Matcha green tea is also very heart-friendly by lowering the level of bad cholesterol LDL in the body. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that consuming green tea beverages lowered the serum total of bad cholesterol concentration in the body, minimizing the risk of developing heart diseases.
Aids in Weigh Loss
The catechins in matcha tea have thermogenic properties. These compounds trigger the body to burn calories faster by up to 35 to 43% more than normal. Cathechins also promote fat oxidation thanks to its caffeine content which leads to faster weight loss.
In one study, participants who were given matcha tea increased their fat-burning abilities while exercising by up to 25%, making matcha tea an ideal drink for fitness buffs.
Purifies the System
Unlike roasted tea leaves in average teas, matcha teas are grounded so they contain more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a pigment responsible for making all types plant leaves green. Chlorophyll has compounds that purify the system, helping the body clear out heavy metals, dioxins, toxins, poisons, and other compounds that accumulates in the organs.
Improves Mental Power and Prevents Stress
Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine has psychoactive properties that promote alpha wave activity in the brain, making the mind alert and sharp. Matcha tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than regular green tea. Matcha tea’s active components also help minimizes stress, promote relaxation, and lower blood pressure.
While matcha tea contains caffeine, the high level of L-theanine counters its effects, preventing tremors or nervous energy you get from consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee.