Matcha Green Tea has soared to huge popularity in recent times all across the world. People consume it in many forms from supplements to tea to smoothies. It owes this much popularity not just because of its vibrant color but also because of the plenty of health advantages it carries with it.
What is Matcha and where it comes from?
The word ‘Matcha’ comes from Japanese that is ‘Ma’ means ground or rubbed whereas ‘Cha’ means Tea.
The history of drinking powdered tea dates back to Chinese Zen Buddhist monks, about 900 years ago.
Matcha tea leaves are grown in two Japanese regions that are Uji in Kyoto and Nishio in Aichi. This tea is made from a plant called Camellia Sinensis, the leaves of which are dried first. These dried leaves are ground into a fine powder and used in many different distinctive ways.
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
The great ancestral history could be a reason for adding it to the diet for sure. Here are some of the benefits that might be helpful in convincing many of you to drink it daily.
Matcha tea contains two potent chemical compounds that are catechins and polyphenols. These antioxidants stabilize the oxidation damages in our brains. As we age, there is an increased chance of cell damage in our brains that could cause chronic diseases. When 2gm of Matcha tea is taken daily up to 2 months, it improves brain functions and reverses this chance of cell damages. The number of catechins present in this tea is greater than any other tea and aid in weight loss, better cardiac and mental health. In short, Matcha tea reduces the oxidative stress from our brain.
2. Improvement in Brain Functions
It has been studies that people tend to become more alert if they drink Matcha tea on a daily basis. This tea improves the reaction time of the brain and even memory is also upgraded when it is consumed on daily basis. Matcha tea has more caffeine as compared to any simple tea. Thus, caffeine refines the brain’s attention span and concentration for different things and tasks.
3. More Energy than other Tea
As Matcha has three times more caffeine as compared to a simple cup of tea, it is a clear energy booster. It gives almost the same energy as a cup of coffee. L- Theanine present in Matcha, gives more energy as compared to any other caffeinated beverages. This prevents a sudden crash in energy levels.
4. Weight Loss
The best way to lose weight is to drink more and more green tea. It can be simple green tea or Matcha green tea. Matcha tea speeds up the metabolism of energy expenditure in our body and burns the excessive fats more rapidly. A study showed that Matcha green tea aids in fat burning by 17%. Another small survey indicated that energy expenditure is boosted when Matcha tea is consumed as compared to placebo. This energy expenditure leads to weight loss and keeps one healthy and fit. People suffering from obesity, consume this tea in order to stay smart and fit.
5. Healthy Heart
One-third of the deaths around the world are caused due to heart diseases. Some studies conducted showed that people drinking Matcha Tea is less likely to develop any heart disease. Both the Matcha Tea as well as a simple tea reduce the cholesterol and triglycerides from the bodies which in turn keeps our heart healthy and fine. Not just drinking Matcha green tea prevents heart diseases but one should also have a healthy diet along with this tea.
6. Cancer Preventing Properties
Matcha is jam-packed with several compounds that promote health. A type of Catechin called Epigallocatechin-3- gallate (EGCG) is present in Matcha green tea which has powerful properties against cancer-causing factors. A study has shown that EGCG is very helpful in preventing skin, lung, and liver cancers. It is also helpful in fighting against breast cancer in women as it hinders the growth of cancer cells by inducing Apoptosis which kills malignant cells.
7. Bones Strengthening
As we age, our bones start getting weaker with the passage of time which can lead to Osteoporosis or other bone-related problems. A study showed that by drinking Matcha Green Tea on regular basis, many bone problems can be prevented. Green tea increases the density of minerals in our bones which lowers the risk of osteoporosis. A tea benefitting the bones? Well, that’s a new one.
8. Stress Reliever
Matcha contains a non- protein amino acids ‘L- Theanine’ which is very beneficial in relieving stress. The alpha waves are boosted that eventually decreases any kind of stress. A study conducted in 2016, proved that people drinking green tea in any form is very effective in lowering anxiety. People felt calm and alert that is the effect of the caffeine present in this tea. Hence, Matcha green tea aids in relieving stress from our minds.
9. Natural Food Dye
Matcha powder is a very good natural food dye. Artificial food dyes may have carcinogens that can cause cancer and also hypersensitivity reactions. Matcha powder gets its bright green color due to the presence of OTT chlorophyll and this rich green powder when mixed with anything, gives it a beautiful color to it. In modern times, people are using Matcha powder in baking and even in cocktails. It is in fact a nutritious treat for many.
10. Skin Benefits
Because of its anti-aging properties, Matcha powder is used all over the world as part of a daily skincare routine. This powder is used as facial masks. These masks are promised to impart the following effects on the skin:
It fights acne and reduces redness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Due to the anti-inflammatory quality, dead cells on the skin are removed which drastically improves the complexion of the skin.
Many people have oily skin and they are in a constant fight against it. The compound Tannins present in Matcha powder shrinks the pores on the skin which eventually reduces the excretion of oil from the skin.
Skin is tightened and its elasticity is increased by applying these Matcha masks.
Side effects of matcha green tea
Though these leaves are grown naturally and organically but these leaves contain lead which can be dangerous to health. A study showed that Matcha leaves contain 30 times more lead than any simple green tea. Because of the presence of lead, only 1-2 cups are recommended to be consumed daily. Children should avoid taking this tea as the lead present in it can be harmful to them.
Matcha leaves are small packets of energy and antioxidants which aids in weight loss and cardiac diseases. It can be incorporated into the diet in many forms but moderation should be kept in mind as excessive quantity can lead to many negative effects on our health.