Matcha is a green tea which derives from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The 'ma' means powder in Japanese and the 'cha' means tea, meaning quite literally powdered tea. It has been used for centuries in the zen temples of Kyoto, Japan. Many people ask if matcha actually has health benefits and if so what are they? In this blog post I will be going through the 5 top health benefits of matcha.
1. Focus and Concentration
One of the reasons matcha tea was popular among the zen temples of Japan was due to its ability to enhance focus and concentration. The amino acid called L-Theanine found in matcha is responsible for this effect. L-Theanine actually increases the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. These chemicals are responsible for improving ones mood, behaviour, concentration, appetite and memory as well as many other things. L-Theanine also has been found to increase the production of alpha waves in the brain which is linked to relaxation, wakefulness and clarity. This is mainly why zen masters would drink matcha tea when meditating.
2. Abundance of Antioxidants
Anyone who loves their health and well-being will know about antioxidants, and matcha is full of them. When we go about our lives we can absorb a lot of UV radiation and oxidising agents into our bodies, in turn a chemical process called oxidation can occur which can cause damage to cells and even result in some diseases. Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes which help us by inhibiting oxidisation and therefore 'detox' us, ridding us of all these free-radicals. Matcha is loaded with catechin which is a powerful antioxidant and the most prominent catechin being EGCg which is a very powerful antioxidant which has been identified for its anti-cancerous properties. Matcha even has more antioxidants than fruits such as blueberries and also has anti-ageing effects on skin!
3. Weight Loss
Green teas are known for their abilities in weight loss, which is why many weight loss foods and supplements contain green tea extracts. But how does matcha do this you ask. Well matcha actually boosts the rate of your metabolism which results in in you burning fat and calories. The catechins found in matcha are responsible for the boost in the metabolism rate and helps you keep control of your weight. If you want to see the benefits its best to drink matcha green tea regularly.
4. Healthy Teeth
The health of your teeth is sometimes something which is overlooked. You have to look after your teeth through a combination of brushing, eating correctly and brushing after eating certain foods. If you're not careful then you could end up with tooth decay which isn't pleasant. When you drink matcha it actually increases the alkalinity of your saliva and prevents you from getting cavities. The anti-inflammatory effects of matcha also help improve the health of your gums. As I mentioned earlier matcha is full of antioxidants which can decrease the chances of you getting mouth cancers due to their anti-cancerous properties.
5. Enhances Immune System
The immune system is a very important system in our body, and without it we wouldn't be able to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi. By including matcha in your diet regularly, you can enhance your immune system. This is achievable as the catechins found in matcha are very powerful antioxidants as we mentioned before and can reduce the damage to cells in a case of infection. It has also been found that catechins have antibacterial properties meaning that it can help fight off bacteria. To get the full benefits of matcha you should be having high quality ceremonial grade organic matcha to ensure it has the most nutritional content.
To conclude, matcha has been used for centuries for its benefits to ones health. The Zen masters were very found of matcha green tea as it would help them maintain a relaxed and focused mind when meditating and going about their day. Not only does matcha help with your mental state but it can have huge benefits to your body's overall health as well. Remember to get high quality organic ceremonial grade matcha to ensure that you are getting the most beneficial nutritional content for the health benefits.