What is Matcha And Where Did This Trend Start?
Over the last three years, we’ve seen an exponential growth in trending searches for Matcha Green Tea, The Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea, & Matcha Green Tea Recipes despite the fact it’s been around for centuries. So what’s the real truth behind this super-food, tea craze that has everyone talking and why are people switching out their morning cup-a-joe for this ancient green tea powder?
What is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha green tea is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder. It is a 100% natural green tea which has been the heart of the popular Japanese tea ceremony for more than 900 years. The Buddhist monks regard Matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten concentration and enhance metabolism.
Matcha originated from China in the 9th century. It was used as a drug for curing various diseases and ailments. However, its word somehow got elapsed in China. At the end of the twelfth century, the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan realized its true potential which strongly promoted its cultivation. However, Matcha is still scarcely grown with only 0.6% of total tea production yield.
Matcha is prepared from the high-quality shade-grown leaves of Tencha. The tea plants are protected with shade to avoid exposure to direct sunlight which slows down the pace of photosynthesis and hinders the growth of the plants. This provides the leaves with a dark green color and enhances the production of chlorophyll and amino acids.
Harvesting of Matcha is done by hand to ensure that only the youngest and smallest leaves are selected for the finest quality Matcha Green Tea. Unlike other green teas, leaves used for Matcha are steamed briefly to prevent oxidation and also to preserve its nutritional content and flavor. This process is followed by ultra-fine milling of the Tencha leaves by using granite stone mills resulting in a finely ground green powder which is the raw material for making Matcha Green Tea.
Quite a bit to take in, but that’s not it. Let’s look at the real reason tea lovers covet this tea and claim its super food status.
What Is The Nutritional Value of Matcha?
Matcha is a source for vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and some trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant properties including polyphenols, catechins, and chlorophyll. Matcha green tea contains amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline which makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
What Are The Health Benefits of Matcha?
Matcha antioxidant power.
Matcha green tea powder is a great source of natural antioxidants and polyphenols. A case study measuring the antioxidant power of matcha tea has revealed that matcha has the highest amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an extremely healthful component with numerous benefits compared to other green teas.
Matcha boosts the immune system.
As stated earlier, Matcha contains various super antioxidants, polyphenols, EGCG, L-theanine which all contribute in boosting the immune system thereby providing protection against various antigens.
Matcha on type-2 diabetes
Another thing to remember. Matcha green tea may help in maintaining a healthy metabolism in individuals with type-2 diabetes. Matcha tea helps in lowering the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in diabetic individuals. A research conducted on diabetic patients administered with Matcha green tea showed that Matcha exerts inhibitory action against renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.
Matcha Improves Cardiovascular Health
Another valuable action exerted by Matcha is the maintenance of cardiovascular health thanks to the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in it. The richness of this component in Matcha green tea makes it a very potent potion in keeping cholesterol at an optimum level. Research study findings suggested that EGCG helps in reducing the accumulation of lipids and enhance autophagy in the vascular endothelial cells.
Matcha Is A Great Energy Enhancer.
This great tea contains the healthy form of caffeine and not the type present in regular coffee. This unique form caffeine is known as theophylline, and it sustains the energy levels with no side effects. Theophylline slowly releases energy which helps in supporting the functionality of adrenal glands and maintains optimum hormonal levels.
Matcha Is A Great Detox.
Chlorophyll present in Matcha Green Tea proves its effectiveness in the cleansing of the body system. Chlorophyll is an excellent detoxifier which helps in cleansing the blood. It also aids in maintaining the alkalinity of the blood and tissues. Due to the cleansing effect of chlorophyll, Matcha green tea helps in preventing the buildup of harmful toxins in the colon and flushes them out of the body.
Matcha enhances mental alertness and calming effect.
Matcha tea is highly effective in providing a calming effect to the body. L-theanine, an amino acid present in Matcha green tea possesses anti-anxiolytic properties which help in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves promote relaxation and induce a profound feeling of mental clarity and more alert state of mind just as is imparted by the yoga techniques. A study conducted on theanine suggests it acts as a neurotransmitter which exerts calming effect on the brain without causing any drowsiness. This soothing effect provided by Matcha due to the presence of theanine helped the Buddhist monks in maintaining deep concentration during their meditation sessions. And it is the main reason behind its popularity.
Protection from infections.
As stated above, Matcha tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is also effective in fighting against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. An investigative research has suggested that EGCG binds to the lipid membrane and exerts inhibitory action against the growth of various human pathogens such as influenza A virus, hepatitis B and C virus, herpes virus, adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida Albicans yeast.
Protection Against HIV.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in Matcha is so effective that is also efficient in the prevention of HIV. Apart from this, Matcha tea may also help in protecting the brain of HIV patients. This defensive act is due to the penetration power of epigallocatechin through the blood brain barriers which may not be feasible for the commercially available anti-retroviral drugs.
Matcha On Gastrointestinal Health.
Matcha green tea is highly useful for treating gastrointestinal disorders. A research study conducted on this has revealed that regular consumption of Matcha stimulates fecal excretion and helps the body get rid of harmful toxins.
Matcha Can Help Prevent Cancer.
Matcha assists in the prevention of cancer due to the presence of the potent epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has chemo-preventive properties. Multiple research studies have shown that polyphenols present in Matcha tea prevent the proliferation of malignant cancerous cells, promotes induction of apoptosis and assists in reducing the risk of developing various type of cancers including bladder cancer and colorectal cancer. EGCG exerts inhibitory action that works against the progression of breast and prostate tumors as well.
I guess with all that being said we can see why, after being prized in Japan for scores of years, Matcha has been gaining recognition in the western world mainly due to its unique flavor and exceptional therapeutic qualities. It is now widely popular as an ingredient in a range of food items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice creams. Grab you Matcha Green Tea right here from Victory Tea Co!