Green tea is known to have many health benefits. The antioxidants in green tea help to fight off cell damage, and given the fact that green tea isn’t highly processed, that makes it even better for you. What if there was a type of green tea that is even better for you? Well, this is what people believe they have found in matcha. Here’s the lowdown on matcha to see if it really lives up to all the health hype.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea, but it is grown and prepared differently than other green teas. When matcha is grown it is covered for 20 to 30 days before it is harvested so that it doesn’t come into contact with direct sunlight. The shade creates a spike in chlorophyll levels in the leaves and that makes the leaf greener and increases the creation of amino acids. When the leaves are plucked the stems and veins are cut away and then the leaf is ground into a fine powder that is called matcha.
It is thought that because the entire leaf is ground into powder and ingested it is higher in antioxidants than regular green tea.
Are there Health Benefits?
Green tea has many health benefits that matcha shares because it is a type of green tea. The real question is if it is better than regular green tea or not? The answer is yes. Matcha is concentrated, so one cup of matcha is equal to 3 cups of regular green tea. In animal studies, according to WebMD, it has been found to reduce the risk of liver and kidney damage as well as lowering blood sugar, cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
The main health benefit of matcha seems to focus on its high level of antioxidants, specifically the antioxidant catechins. Catechins have been studied quite extensively and may help to:
- Fight inflammation in the body
- Encourage cell repair
- Sustain healthy arteries
Matcha may also help to fight heart disease because of its impact on total cholesterol and blood sugar. According to the National Institutes of Health, green tea drinkers have a 31 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who don’t drink green tea.
Matcha also has plenty of caffeine, so if you’re looking for a drink to give you a bit of a pick me up, matcha may just be it!
So, what do you think? Are you going to try to incorporate a cup of matcha into your day?
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