There are some things that Zen monks don’t know about, but one thing they definitely do know is how to live a long and stress-free life. One secret to this is the great drink matcha green tea.
Matcha green tea is definitely the in thing right now. It you’re not drinking it you’re missing out on many health benefits including boosting metabolism, lowering stress and cholesterol levels, boosting the immune system and even fighting cancer.
Even though drinking green tea has been done in China for over 1,000 years, it was Japan where it became an important part of the culture. The tea was called matcha and it was used by Buddhist monks to stay alert yet calm during meditation.
Japanese tea leaves like this are grown in shaded areas to boost the amount of chlorophyll in them. The leaves rich in chlorophyll are then picked, steamed, and then dried down into a fine powder.
While the history and cultivation of the tea is interesting in itself, what will really impress you is how many antioxidants it has. Antioxidants are what give you the health benefits, and matcha green tea has ten times as many antioxidants as a regular cup of tea.
One Great Cup of Tea
This tea is so powerful because instead of using tea bags, you use the tea leaves. So nothing is wasted and you unlock the full potential of the leaves.
Matcha tea has a lot of potential. It has over six times the antioxidant levels of goji berries and seven times the levels of dark chocolate. It also has seventeen times the antioxidant levels of wild blueberries and over sixty times the antioxidant levels of spinach. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more to matcha!
Other Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
- Fights Cancer
Green tea has an abundance of antioxidants, including something called catechin. Catechin hunts down and eliminates free radicals and toxins. The most powerful kind of catechin you can find in green tea is called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which can be a very potent anti-carcinogen.
A study performed in 2003 by the University of Colorado did indeed confirm that matcha green tea had 137 times the amount of EGCG when compared to a regular cup of green tea.
One area with the highest life expectancy is Okinawa in Japan. One of the reasons Okinawans live for so long is because of all the matcha green tea drank there.
Matcha cut its teeth in Japan and remains the most popular there, but is becoming more popular across the entire world thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to fight oxidation and aging.
- Reduces LDL Cholesterol (The Bad Kind)
A study from 2011 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that administering green tea or extracts of it heavily reduced cholesterol levels, especially levels of the particularly nasty LDL Cholesterol.
- Weight Loss Aid
Another study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this one from 1999, showed the catechins in green tea also had thermogenic properties and burns through fat beyond levels of regular tea.
The study showed that drinking green tea increased levels of thermogenesis (the rate the body burns calories) almost four times; from 8-10% to 35-43%.
There was another study that showed drinking matcha green tea just before exercising further boosted the amount of fat burned during exercise. There was an increase of up to 25%.
Both of these studies also suggested that drinking matcha green tea enhances both your resting metabolic rate and fat burning. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Matcha tea leaves are grown in shaded areas, which is why they have so much more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the reason leaves are green, hence good quality matcha is very green.
It’s believed that chlorophyll can also detoxify the body, though this claim has yet to be scientifically proven. However it’s worth mentioning because if true it means matcha green tea can remove toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and also things that disrupt your hormones.
- Focuses the Mind
Matcha has up to five times the amount of L-theanine than regular green teas. L-theanine is a kind of amino acid that has psychoactive properties that can boost alpha wave activity in your brain.
Stress has been shown to induce beta wave activity, which makes you agitated. Alpha waves are the opposite. They get rid of stress, relax you and lower your blood pressure.
Although matcha does have some caffeine in it, it’s countered by the L-theanine and won’t leave you jittery. So matcha green tea gives you the concentration and clear mind that a cup of coffee or tea might, but with none of those jittery nerves you’d get from coffee.
- Filled with Fibre
Matcha green tea leaves are also packed full of dietary fibre. This dietary fibre keeps your digestion system going, gets rid of constipation, and keeps blood sugar even.
- Lots of Energy
Drinking matcha tea can give you a great pick me up in the afternoon when you need it. It is an excellent alternative to coffee because it gives you the boost of caffeine with none of the headaches or crashing.