We’ve all heard of superfoods with benefits that might seem too good to be true. If you’re looking for a surge of health benefits, why not try a super tea with over six times as many antioxidants as a serving of Goji berries? And don’t worry, it’s not too good to be true. Everything good about Matcha tea is backed by science.
If you love tea, you know it can help you feel your best whether you’re going to work, getting things done around town, or simply trying to get through a rainy morning. You probably already have a favorite tea variety, but after you read about the health benefits of matcha tea, you just might have a new favorite.
What is this Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is technically another form of green tea, but it’s also quite different from your average cup. In Japanese, “ma” means powder and “cha” means tea. You guessed it, matcha tea is a powder made from green tea leaves that can be added to water like any other cup of tea. However, since you are directly ingesting the powdered leaves instead of just an infusion (which boils away some of the nutrients), you’ll experience more of the positive health benefits matcha tea has to offer. Here are just a few reasons why drinking this super tea as a part of your daily routine will help you to be your healthiest!
1. Matcha tea contains more nutrients than other types of tea.
Since matcha tea is not heated in boiling water like other teas, it retains many of the nutrients that naturally occur in tea leaves. Just a few of the important vitamins and other nutrients it contains are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, which is the key to many of this tea’s benefits as we’ll find out), vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium.
It’s not just full of nutrients, contains more of them than any other tea. Compared to regular green tea, powdered green tea contains 32 times as much vitamin C, twice as much caffeine, and 4 times as much of the stress-reducing amino acid L-theanine.
2. Matcha tea helps you maintain healthy skin.
You already know that when your skin looks great, you feel great. You can find endless lists of foods NOT to eat in order to have healthy skin, but matcha is on the list of the best foods for better skin. In a study published by the Medical College of Georgia, the EGCG found in green tea rejuvenated surface skin cells that would otherwise die. This is why some people use it directly on their faces! This rejuvenating power could keep your skin looking fresh–and possibly younger!
Some researchers believe that it can even fight off skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that the antioxidant powers found in tea are part of the reason this may be true. Catechins such as EGCG are a type of polyphenol, which may help protect your skin from potentially cancer-causing UVB radiation.
3. Matcha tea is full of antioxidants.
Free radicals are created when your body burns energy, and they have the potential to damage your body’s cells or DNA. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and the trace element selenium neutralize these free radicals and stop cell damage. Your body doesn’t make these antioxidants on its own, so it’s important to get them from your diet. This overachieving tea contains as many antioxidants as ten cups of regular green tea, so drink up!
When illnesses like the common cold or the flu start getting you down, antioxidants boost your immune system and help your body fight back. With a super tea to help you fight off sickness, you’ll take less time off and won’t need as long to get back to doing the things you love.
4. Matcha tea helps you keep a healthy weight.
We all need a little extra encouragement when it comes to dieting! If you’re trying to lose weight, this tea may be able to help you by increasing your metabolism. The amino acid EGCG is the main metabolism booster in matcha, and it increases the production of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. Experts suggest drinking one to three cups a day along with a healthy diet to maximize your weight loss.
It also helps you to burn fat. If you exercise right after your cup of tea, you could burn up to 25% more fat than you would have burned otherwise!
5. Matcha tea helps with mental alertness.
You probably already reach for a cup of coffee or tea when you’re in a slump (I sure do!). But when you reach for matcha tea the next time you’re struggling to stay awake at work, you’ll be surprised what it can do for your alertness! It contains an amino acid called L-theanine in much higher concentrations than other teas. L-theanine helps your brain to focus and be alert without causing the stress or elevated heart rate a more caffeine-heavy beverage would cause.
It does this by producing alpha waves in your brain. These occur when you are relaxed, focused, or feeling creative. In other words, a meditative state. No wonder the Zen Buddhist monks of Japan considered it to be such a valuable beverage!
Don’t let all those calming effects fool you, though. It also contains caffeine, but it is released over a longer period of time than with coffee. It also works with another stimulant called theophylline which increases blood flow to the brain. This helps you stay alert longer without the crash. Paired with matcha’s mood-boosting effects, a quick cup will help you stay focused and positive at any time of the day!
There are so many reasons to “go green” and drink matcha every day! Not only does this tea help your body work at its best, you’ll also see a difference in your mental focus. So don’t be afraid to try that green powder. Your body and your brain will thank you, and you just might feel like a whole new person!