What is Matcha Tea
A green tea is a product that comes from leaves of a short tree that are processed under minimal oxygen. The origin of green tea is China but has since spread to other countries especially of the Asian continent.
There are several varieties of green tea differentiated by the process of growing, the time of harvesting, production, and processing.
Matcha is a type of green tea drink that has been enjoyed in Japan and China for centuries. It is a finely ground powder of which is a green tea product processed from specially grown sources. Matcha is a special type of tea, in that it uses a unique farming method (one that utilizes shade in the month before harvest) and that the powder is directly suspended in water or milk. It is also the subject of a rather elaborate tea ceremony, and many tea ceremony grandmasters have their own matcha tea blends.
The leaves are processed into a fine powder that is much more potent than a regular dose of green tea. Tea leaves, after being harvested, are immediately steamed, dried, and heated in ovens for a precise period of time. The stems and twigs are removed, and the remaining leaves are ground into the bright green powder.
For a long time, the potential of matcha as a health supplement has been touted. Its unique taste has also garnered a following across the globe, as evidenced by the scores of products that now use matcha flavors — from drinks, to snack bars, to many health products. Of course, matcha’s fame has made it an interesting test subject for scientists, who have started uncovering a whole host of powerful health benefits from this tea variety.
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
1. Matcha green tea helps increase fat oxidation
Tea is usually the go-to for people looking to improve their diet, and matcha has a good scientific record when it comes to this. A study in 2018 found that female test subjects exhibited increased fat oxidation when coupled with brisk walking. This is largely due to the catechin and caffeine content of matcha. The only caveat here is that the fat oxidation rates would only be significant in a regular (non-fat loss focused) routine. In a more rigorous diet and exercise routine, matcha’s effects would easily be swallowed by the fat oxidation induced by increased activity.
2. Matcha green tea helps reduce stress
In another study, scientists have found that matcha green tea also helps in the reduction of stress thanks to its theanine and arginine. This stress-reduction effect manifested in the reduction of anxiety levels, which would make matcha a great drink for those who routinely go through high-stress situations. The study found that matcha achieves this by reducing adrenal hypertrophy.
3. Matcha green tea helps increase cognitive performance
A team of scientists measured how matcha, in both drink and snack bar products, affected a person’s mood and cognitive performance. The results showed that matcha in drink form helps improve a person’s spatial working memory and delayed picture recognition. It also showed that “realistic” (i.e. regular) doses of matcha can provide a moderate speed boost to one’s attention span and secondary memory.
4. Matcha green tea helps stop cancer cells from forming
Many have attributed anti-cancer properties to matcha, and a 2018 research has found that these attributions are not unfounded. Cancer cells, like every cell in the body, form from stem cells. Matcha has been shown to change the metabolic programming of these budding cancer cells, preventing them from forming. Particularly, matcha changes the metabolism of mitochondria, the part of the cell that supplies energy.
5. Matcha green tea helps reduce the effects of diabetes
Diabetes can breed many complications, including RNA and hepatic damage. The epigallocatechin content of matcha helps in protecting the body against such damage. It has been shown that the tea reduces the accumulation of “advanced glycation end products”, by decreasing the glucose content in the liver. It also helps reduce total cholesterol levels, which further helps stop the progress of diabetic complications.
6. Matcha green tea helps stop the proliferation of breast cancer cells
Aside from stopping cancer cells before they form, matcha has also been shown to help the body fight off already-developed cancer. This was shown in a 2019 study that described how matcha reduces the proliferation of breast carcinoma. The anticarcinogenic effects were demonstrated on two different kinds of cancer cell lines.
- Lennard Schröder, Philip Marahrens, Julian G Koch, Helene Heidegger, Theresa Vilsmeier, Thuy Phan-Brehm, Simone Hofmann, Sven Mahner, Udo Jeschke, & Dagmar U Richter (2019). Effects of Green Tea, Matcha Tea and Their Components Epigallocatechin Gallate and Quercetin on MCF‑7 and MDA-MB-231 Breast Carcinoma Cells.
7. Matcha green tea helps reduce lipid and glucose levels
This has already been alluded to previously, but only in the context of diabetes. But independent research shows that matcha also helps in lowering the glucose and lipid levels in test subjects, even if the elevated levels are induced by diet. The same study also noted that matcha can reduce the oxidative stress caused by these factors.
8. Matcha green tea helps improve the intestinal flora
Another study done in the context of diabetic subjects found that matcha supplementation can improve the gut microbiota. This is important because the microbiome in the intestinal tract plays a great role in both the digestion and absorption of nutrients. A good gut flora ensures the optimum absorption of nutrients, which can further help in the management of diabetes and other conditions.
9. Matcha green tea helps optimize the digestion of starch
Again for the diabetics out there, matcha has been shown to help slow down the digestion of starch, leading to a better-regulated release of glucose from this carbohydrate-laden component. Matcha’s tea polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate content makes it an ideal supplement for those who are suffering from hyperglycemia, or the presence of too much glucose in the blood due to starchy and sugary foods.
10. Matcha green tea has antiviral properties
Matcha was among the different food substances studied in a 2011 research, which showed that this green tea product has enough phytochemicals to act as an anti-retroviral agent. The various food substances were tested against HIV, and matcha was found to be among those that interfered with the ability of the virus to replicate.
Matcha Green Tea Powder Facts
Below are matcha tea essentials you can expect with the product.
The production of the Matcha is sourced from tea leaves that have been grown under a shade.
Its preparation starts earlier before the leaves are harvested. It might take up to 20 days to have the leaves protected from direct sunlight. This helps to produce amino acids having the leaves turn its color into dark green.
Therefore, its flavor is dominated by the amino acids.
After 20 days, the leaves are harvested and laid out to dry. Eventually, they will be stone-grounded to produce Matcha.
The highest grade of the powder will have a deeper flavor with a more intense sweetness.
2. Common in Japan
The Matcha is common in Japan and some other Asian countries, where it is consumed as tea or sometimes used as an ingredient in foods.
The Matcha is different from other green teas whereas in Japan, it is an essential product during celebrations of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
Today, tasty preparations like the matcha latte has increasingly become popular.
3. Finely powdered leaves
Matcha is actually a special kind of tea.
In comparison to other green teas whose components get infused into hot water where the leaves are discarded during processing, the green tea Matcha is different because you will actually be drinking the actual leaves that are finely powdered and prepared with added water, to make the tea.
The product has been famous for having numerous nutritious and health benefits.
Compared to other green teas, the health benefits in Matcha is a far match above in the provision of nutrients such as fiber, chlorophyll, and antioxidants among other benefits.
5. support of meditation
The Matcha green tea is also a significant product to naturally enhance moods – one of the commonly sought for benefits of matcha green tea.
Therefore, Matcha benefits people who are under stress. As mentioned previously, the tea contains amino acid which is also responsible for relaxing the mind thereby enhancing the mood.
In the past, the elderly used to drink Matcha to assist them with meditation. When amino acids are combined with caffeine, it offers natural calmness and alertness.
6. boosting of energy
Some of the interesting benefits of drinking Matcha green tea includes the provision of energy and focus all day. This happens because organic Matcha green tea powder can actually help improve concentration.
Furthermore, the intake of Matcha also boasts benefits of losing weight naturally by increasing the person’s metabolism.
7. Intense taste
The unique and intense taste of Matcha tea powder comprises a vegetal and astringent taste as a result of the chlorophyll and amino acids.
When the Matcha is prepared traditionally using Japanese style by whisking with water, it forms a full-blonde green tea, with an intense and taste similar to first tastes of dark chocolate or red wine.
The Matcha is sufficient in adding taste to foods when used as an ingredient to enhance flavor and color.
8. Caffeine content
The special green tea matcha powder contains caffeine, and since it is made from whole leaves, the amount of caffeine is three times more than the normal green tea.
Also, compared to caffeine in other stimulants such as coffee, Matcha is better because of the special amino acid contents that help balance and promote a sense of calmness and alertness.
9. Great quality
Matcha green tea benefits may be really interesting but note that the quality of the Matcha may vary from product to product.
The best quality Matcha tea are more expensive. A high quality Matcha tea is usually fresh and pure which is more effective in its results upon use.
10. Commonly sweetened with sugar
Another unique thing about Matcha is the fact that the powders can be sweetened to make it more palatable.
The taste is actually described as spinach-like and very strong. The Matcha can be sweetened by adding sugar or milk and it can be consumed with cocoa.
Where To Buy Matcha Green Tea Powder
Now that we’ve learned interestingly good Matcha health benefits, it can be exciting to prepare a tea for yourself (or a matcha green tea latte probably?) but surely you would be thinking ‘where can I buy matcha green tea powder?’, then you’ll love this.
How To Make Matcha Tea
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