While many people are familiar with the potential health benefits associated with green tea, not everyone is familiar with the added benefits of choosing matcha green tea. This type of tea is specially processed to increase its nutritional content and is made by mixing powdered matcha leaves with water instead of just brewing the tea and removing the leaves.
Increased Nutritional Value
Matcha green tea provides more nutrients than regular green tea because you consume the whole leaf. Overall, it increases nutrition by about 10 times, and each cup of matcha provides 137 times more antioxidants than a cup of green tea. Nutrients provided include vitamins A, C and E; potassium; calcium; iron; fiber; magnesium; zinc; chromium and selenium. Make your drink a matcha latte and you’ll be adding phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamins B-12 and D as well.
Decreased Risk of Disease
Drinking matcha may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer and provide a calming effect. The high antioxidant content helps prevent cell damage, which is part of the reason for the decrease in disease risk included in the tea matcha benefits. These antioxidants may also have an anti-aging effect. A substance called ECGC found in matcha and other types of green tea may limit the growth of cancer cells.
Increased Metabolism and Weight Loss
The combination of caffeine, ECGC and L-theanine found in matcha may help increase your metabolism, making it possible to lose weight more quickly and limiting the risk of obesity. For the most weight-loss benefits, increase exercise and cut back on calories as well as drinking matcha. Adding lots of cream and sugar to matcha will eliminate any potential weight-loss benefits due to the calories they add to your matcha. Likewise, sweets containing added matcha powder may increase nutrient intake, but aren’t considered healthy choices or beneficial for weight loss.
Matcha can help improve alertness without causing jitters. The L-theanine in this beverage has a calming effect, while the caffeine increases alertness and energy and improves concentration. The combination of these two substances produces an alert calm feeling. This is why matcha is traditionally used in conjunction with meditation in Japan.