What is Matcha Tea
With the trending tea movement and the increased awareness of Matcha and all is wonders, many people think of Matcha as a newage tea, not realising that Matcha has actually been around for centauries and was used in particular by Zen Buddists in both China and Japan. Matcha and Zen Buddhism flourished together, and the two were often considered inseparable. Zen Buddhist monks have been using it for its many benefits including energy, concentration and wellness, and now the idea that tea can supply such wonderful benefits is finally catching on.
Matcha comes from the same plant that originates all green, white, and black teas: the Camellia Sinensis. Unlike many other green teas, plants used for Matcha are covered and grown in the shade for 20 to 30 days before they are harvested. The shade causes a boost of chlorophyll levels, which is what gives matcha powder its beautiful vibrant green colour. Matcha powder is made using the complete leaf so it contains all the plants health benefits.
The Health Benefits
Energy and Focus - Matcha is full of useful amino acids e.g. L theanine that is unique to tea. This amino acid stimulates alpha wave production in the brain to create a feeling of relaxation and at the same time improve concentration and alertness. It helps to provide a sustainable consistent energy flow over hours hence Matcha’s meditative origins. – so no energy slumps after a Matcha Latte or Matcha tea!
Antioxidants - Foods with high Anti-Oxidant levels help protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are toxic molecules that are produced as by-products by your body while carrying out its daily jobs. They can cause significant damage to your cells and tissue in a process known as oxidative stress. Antioxidants play a crucial role in your health. They not only help fight disease, “but they can help turn back the clock.” Dr. Mehmet Oz The most recent innovation in antioxidant Research has put Matcha in its own league when compared to other foods rich in antioxidant. Using the ORAC (antioxidant test). Matchas has an ORAC rating of 1573 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 93 units.
As Matcha is made from Green Tea leaves is shares all the wonderful benefits associated with Green Tea, such as positive impact on cholesterol. An indepth analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - concluded that consumption of green tea resulted in a significant reduction in LDL Cholestrol (the bad type of cholesterol).
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