Most tea can be found either in tea bag or loose leaf form. Occasionally, it can also be fermented and sold as a tea brick.
However, many people don’t know that tea can also be sold as a powder, which is traditionally whisked and served with a bit of froth. This is true for Matcha, a Japanese green tea.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is produced using pure Gyokuro leaves, a variety of Camellia Sinensis that is shaded beneath special mats for 3 weeks before plucking.
The shading forces the plants to produce a higher chlorophyll content, thus increasing its nutritional value and giving the leaves a rich green color.
In fact, steeped Matcha contains nearly 10 times the polyphenols and antioxidants of regular teas, 2 times the antioxidants of a glass of red wine, approximately 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach, and 4 times that of carrots.
Matcha Tea Benefits
Here are just a few reasons you should make the switch from tea bags to tea powder.
1. Fights Cancer
Matcha is said to have 100x more epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) than other teas . EGCG Is the most effective cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol in green tea .
Studies show that it’s effective against breast, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer as well as many other varieties of the disease .
2. Boosts Metabolism
Matcha is often used as pre-workout supplement to increase energy and focus in the gym. It works by making the workout less taxing on the mind and body . In fact, it’s often used to flavor pre and post-workout smoothies.
Studies have also shown drinking matcha before a workout increases fat loss . It’s estimated that matcha can help you lose 25% more weight.
3. Supplies Energy
Unlike coffee, matcha slowly releases caffeine over several hours as opposed to all at once, so you feel energized all day . This is because it contains L-theanine, which can also improve focus. Other tea varieties contain this amino acids is significantly lower quantities.
A recent study found that : “. . . taken throughout the day [green tea] significantly benefit speed of perception and more consistent levels of simple task performance. L-theanine appears to antagonize the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing seratonin levels that have been artificially elevated by caffeine.”
4. Supports Skin Health
Matcha polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the development and growth of skin tumors . It’s also said to have a positive effect in protecting the skin against UV damage and premature aging .
5. Fights Stress
L-theanine, mentioned above, is also responsible for increasing alpha brain wave activity, which promotes relaxation.
A study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that :
“increased alpha activity in the brain induced by L-theanine has been associated with increased creativity, increased performance under stress, and improved learning and concentration as well as decreased anxiety.” .