Matcha, along with being a tasty treat, can provide you with many health benefits. Learn about what Matcha is and how it can be beneficial for you!
Matcha has become extremely popular. Matcha shots, teas, desserts, and lattes can be found just about everywhere. Matcha just like green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
But, it is grown differently and offers various unique nutrients. Matcha is grown by farmers by having the tea plants covered 20 to 30 days before the harvest to protect them from direct sunlight.
This boosts the amino acid content as chlorophyll production is increased and provides the plant with its darker green hue.
When the tea leaves get harvested, the veins and stems are removed. The leaves are grounded into a fine powder that is called matcha.
It contains all the nutrients of the entire tea leaf. Thus, it contains more antioxidants and caffeine as compared to what is normally found in green tea. This post looks at the various benefits of matcha.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Matcha is high in catechins which is a class of plant compounds which act as natural antioxidants. The antioxidants stabilize harmful free radicals.
They are the compounds responsible for cell damage and chronic disease. A study shows that match supplements reduce the damage done by free radicals and it enhances the antioxidant activity. Thus, matcha helps lower the risk of various chronic diseases.
2. Protects the Liver
The liver is essential to health. It plays a vital role in flushing out toxins, processing nutrients and metabolizing drugs. There are some studies which suggest that matcha protects the health of the liver.
Liver enzyme levels are reduced upon consumption of matcha. Elevated levels of enzymes lead to liver damage if not controlled.
3. Improves Brain Function
Studies show that several of the components found in matcha may help improve brain function.
Researchers have found that matcha consumption enhances attention, memory and reaction time. Moreover, brain functioning among the elderly also improves due to matcha.
Matcha contains more caffeine as compared to green tea. A compound known as L-theanine is also found in matcha which alters the effects of caffeine.
It promotes alertness and avoids a crash in energy levels. The compound also increases alpha wave activity in your brain which leads to a decrease in stress levels and an increase in relaxation.
4. Prevents Cancer
Matcha is a powerhouse when it comes to offering health-promoting compounds. Some of the compounds are linked to cancer prevention in animal studies and test-tube.
A study showed that green tea extract slows the growth of breast cancer cells and decreases tumor size in rats. Moreover, matcha is high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate which is a type of catechin which has powerful anti-cancer properties.
A test-tube study found that the EGCG found in matcha killed off prostate cancer cells. Thus, it is effective against liver, lung and skin cancer.
5. Protects the Heart
Heart disease is the main cause of death around the world. Drinking green tea or matcha might help protect against heart disease.
It also lowers the level of bad LDL cholesterol. Matcha prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol which causes stroke and heart disease.