If you haven’t had the privilege of trying out matcha tea yet, then you’re in serious deprivation of some pretty amazing health benefits of drinking matcha green tea. I first learned about matcha tea on the blogosphere, where I saw matcha smoothies popping up everywhere. I love green smoothies, but matcha green tea smoothies had this distinctively alluring, almost out of this world green glow, like something magical out of a movie. Immediately, I was intrigued, so I forked up the funds for a two months supply of a tea I had never even tried. Sure, I loved green tea, but had never had matcha green tea. Though I had heard of this ancient Japanese tea’s benefits, I truly wasn’t aware of how much I could benefit from it. I immediately felt a sense of improved mood, lower stress levels, and more energy, all within my first week of using matcha. Matcha is basically a shade-grown green tea and is a staple beverage grown in Japan. It undergoes none of the heat processing, making it rawer and much less processed compared to conventional green tea. Check out these amazing health benefits of drinking matcha green tea. The sweet, yet simultaneously savory taste of matcha will have you hooked, but these health benefits are what make it worth the nice penny you’ll pay for it!
1. It Prevents Cancer
Green tea has been largely said to prevent cancer through its standard form, but the health benefits of drinking matcha green tea have been repetitively proven to be a potent cancer fighter over the regular stuff. The antioxidants in matcha known as catechins scavenge up free radicals that lead to cancer in the body. The popular antioxidant known as EGCG in green tea is also believed to be an anti-carcinogen. In fact, a study conducted in 2003 in Colorado confirmed that drinking one cup of matcha has 137 times the amount of EGCG compared to conventional green tea. Get your green on, girls, and kick cancer risks to the curb!
2. It is anti-aging
Matcha tea is such an incredible anti-ager ladies! Most of us know that Japanese natives look so much younger than Americans do, no matter what their age, and matcha tea is one of the reasons behind this. Matcha is a heavy staple in the Japanese diet and the most popular drink of the land. In fact, it has been proven that a group of people from Okinawa, Japan have the longest life span of any group of people in the world. Matcha green tea is the number one drink this group consumes. The life span of this group serves as major proof that it contributes to anti-aging in the body due to the antioxidant content matcha contains, which lowers oxidative stress to the body. Oxidative stress is what essentially ages us from the inside out.
3. It Prevents Heart Disease
Matcha green tea is a powerful agent to prevent heart disease, just like it does cancer. A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL concentration levels in every participant studied. Imagine that just by drinking a little of this glowing green tea, you can essentially lower your risk of the number one killer of women today. That's pretty powerful stuff if you ask me!
4. It Drops the Weight
We’ve all heard the claims that green tea can decrease your waistline, but to really reap the benefits, get yourself some matcha! Matcha green tea was proven to be more powerful than any other green tea tested to help participants lose weight and keep it off. Not only does matcha speed metabolism, but it also helps to fight toxic fats in the body and it dramatically lowers stress. The stress hormone cortisol is a major cause of weight gain, and matcha green tea immediately lowers stress every time you consume it. It also provides a constant, sustained energy, which enhances calorie burn without causing jitters.
5. It Supports Detox
Because matcha is not heated, it is richer in chlorophyll than all other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving all plants their green color. Chlorophyll is the most potent detoxifer you can consume, which is why greens are so powerful and used in detox plans. To get the same benefits in your detox plan without drowning yourself in kale juice, try making matcha green tea, or matcha green tea smoothies. The trick is not to heat the water for your tea so hot that it is boiling, but keep it room temperature. I love using matcha in my smoothies for a serious Zen- like appeal. Chlorophyll has been scientifically proven to rid the body of toxins, weight gain, heavy metals, poisoning, dioxins and other hormone disrupting agents. It improves heart flow, bowel function and brain function as well. In essence, it's the perfect food!
6. Mood Booster
Oh, how I love my matcha for a good mood! Matcha, like regular green tea, contains the powerful amino acid known as L-theanine. L-theanine has been proven to reduce stress and induces a powerful psychoactive action in the brain, which relieves stress and enhances clarity. It even gives you energy and reduces stress at the same time, unlike coffee, which can leave you jittery later when consumed in high amounts. Unlike regular green tea, matcha’s L-theanine content is extremely high, with five times the amount of regular green tea.
7. Great Source of Fiber
Due to the low amount of processing matcha green tea leaves undergo, they retain more of their fiber, making matcha a whole food in itself. It is an easy to absorb fiber as well, so it won’t disrupt your gastric function. The calming properties combined with the fiber content in matcha can even improve symptoms of IBS, such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea. The fiber content also slows down your blood sugar levels so you don’t get jittery after consuming it.
If you want to buy matcha, there are a few things to remember. You can buy matcha green tea in standard tea bags, but those aren’t as potent as matcha green tea powders you’ll find in stores and online. Only buy organic matcha, and only buy Japanese grade, which is the real deal. Many impostors are on the market that include fillers, sweeteners and the like. Read the ingredient label and it should only contain organic matcha green tea, and nothing else. Buying organic ensures that you’re not getting any artificial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides in your cup of tea. You don’t have to spend a fortune, though it would be easy to with all the brands on the market. Check out my favorite source for matcha tea at iHerb, which gives you a two month supply for under $18 and you get free shipping and a nice little discount. Have you ever tried matcha green tea?