We’ve all heard the magical term “superfood”. These days, you can’t peruse a health blog, without stumbling upon a list of these antioxidant, vitamin and mineral rich powerhouses that do wonders for your health. If you’re looking to add superfoods in your diet (why on earth wouldn’t you be…), matcha green tea is a heavy hitter at the top of the superfood roster that you’ve got to include on the regular.
A quick Google search of matcha green tea will bring up all sorts of health benefits including but limited to acting as a detoxifying agent, boosting memory and concentration, and spurring on weight loss. Want to prevent diseases? Matcha. Gotta memorize for that big test tomorrow? Matcha. Want to rid of toxins? Matcha. Went on a high carb/grease bender and gotta shed a few pounds? You get the drill.
Ok, so you’re sitting there thinking, this is too good to be true.
Fair enough. I’m not saying it will instantly cure what ails you, turn that flab into fit, and that C- into an A+ overnight. However, there is significant scientific research that postulates that the habitual consumption of matcha will set you on the right track for all of these types of things not to mention arm you with the immune boosting power we all need in these times of scary cancers and diseases.
So let’s get to these science-backed secrets…
Epigallocatechin gallate! To Fight Diseases
Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, is catechin which is potent antioxidant, commonly found in fruit, vegetable, nuts and teas…And, guess what? Matcha green tea is loaded with this stuff.
Why is this relevant?
It is relevant because this type of antioxidant is able to decrease the number of free radicals found in your body.
Great! What’s that?
According to Dr. Ananya Mandal of News Medical, oxygen is great and all, but unfortunately, it is a highly reactive atom that can become a damaging molecule called a free radical. Free radicals can attack healthy cells in the body leading to cancer, heart disease, and an overall deterioration of immune system. A recent study from the Frontiers in Endocrinology found that concentrations of EGCG prevented the free radical attack and could possibly even kill cancer cells!
As stated above, match green tea is loaded with EGCG s because you ingest the entire leaf and reap all of the possible benefits versus the significantly reduced benefits from steeping tea leaves. The study, “Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography” found that their “[…] results indicate[d] that the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.”
L-Theanine to Improve Your Mind
Do you ever wonder why you feel so calm and relaxed after a warm cup of tea? It’s not a placebo effect. There are actually many properties within the tea itself that directly influence your brain and one of these properties is L-Theanine.
Matcha is rich in L-Theanine which is an amnio acid (a protein building block) that actually promotes calmness, relaxation, focus and overall well-being because it impacts your brain waves. When comparing matcha against other teas, matcha can contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas.
Research from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha brain waves which relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.
So, the next time you need to calm down and focus, ditch the coffee and its jittery caffeine-induced side effects, and grab a cup of matcha!
Chlorophyll to Detox
Remember back in elementary school science when you learned all about photosynthesis? Chlorophyll is a molecule which is needed in the photosynthesis process. It enables plants to absorb energy from light and convert it into nutrients (glucose) that fuel organisms.
Ok? Good for plants. So what?
The chlorophyll found in matcha can actually help to detoxify your body by interacting with toxins and those pesky free radicals we talked about earlier and can convert them into neutral, non-harmful properties. We’ve all heard about mercury scares in the fish we eat, well, studies have shown that chlorophyll acts as a Mr. Clean and helps to get that right out. It can also clean out pesticides and other pollutants that build up in our bodies. Just like you habitually clean your house or your car, think of your body the same way! It could use a good cleaning out of the harmful stuff as often as possible.
Thermogenic Properties to Lose Those Few Extra Pounds
Thermogenesis is the production of heat inside your body. As your internal temperature increases, so does your body’s metabolic rate. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to increase your metabolic rate so you can burn off those calories faster.
What can you do to increase your metabolic rate? Change the way you eat to increase the thermogenesis and spur on weight loss. There are many foods that increase the thermogenesis in your body and surprise surprise, matcha is at the top of that list. Not only is matcha almost calorie-free, but, without getting into too many details, matcha helps you increase your metabolism via interaction of the caffeine (a metanolism booster) the high catechin-polyphenol content. A cuppa of matcha a day, trims that waistline away!
Now that you’ve read all this…what are you waiting for? It’s time grab a pot and some matcha and start reaping the benefits today. Don’t know how to get started? Click here for matcha tips, recipes, and cost-saving tricks!