Matcha green tea is a powdered version of green tea, where you actually drink the leaves. It’s becoming more and more popular and is a great alternative to regular green tea, where you use the whole leaves.
In this article we’ll look into the major health benefits of matcha green tea, looking at exactly what it is that makes matcha so healthy.
Some of the benefits of matcha green tea
It helps prevent cancer – As mentioned, green tea is packed full of nutrients, which we’ll look at in more detail shortly. Of the nutrients it naturally contains, it boasts an especially impressive antioxidant profile, which basically means it’s crammed full of antioxidants. Why are antioxidants so good for us? Well, because they promote cellular health and function, and they have been proven to help prevent numerous forms of cancer by ridding the body of free-radicals, or at least attacking these free-radicals, changing their molecular structure, and neutralising them so they aren’t as harmful to our health. Free radicals are compounds such as toxins which attack our cells, cause them to oxidize, which then causes them to mutate and change shape and structure, possibly eventually into cancerous cells that can then in some cases unfortunately spread. When you store meat in an air tight container in the fridge, it stays a deep red colour and it stays fresh for a long time. As soon as you open the seal and allow oxygen to come into contact with the meat, it begins to turn a grey colour and quickly turns rancid, which is down to oxidisation. If you imagine the same thing happening to your cells when they oxidize, you get a rough idea of how the process works. Antioxidants prevent oxidization by destroying free radicals in our bodies before they have chance to attack our cells. As green tea is packed full of them, you get an idea of just how beneficial it really is. One of the main antioxidants found in green tea is one known as Epigallocatechin galate, or EGCG for short, which we’ll look at in more detail up next.
It’s packed full of EGCG – Using the term “antioxidants” is quite vague and general, because there are many different forms of antioxidant currently out there. Not all of them are created equal either so obviously some are more beneficial than others. As far as beneficial antioxidants go, EGCG is arguably the healthiest and most beneficial antioxidant currently available. Green tea is jammed full of compounds known as catechins, which are forms of antioxidant, in fact they’re the most powerful ones and EGCG is considered king, or queen, of the catechin world. It is these antioxidants, especially EGCG, which prove so effective at preventing cancer.
It boosts immunity – Another of the great benefits of matcha green tea is the fact that it also boosts immunity, helping to keep us as healthy and fit as possible. Our immune systems act as a natural defence for our bodies against illness and disease, so obviously the more efficient your immune system is, the healthier you will be and the less likely you will be to suffer from various diseases and health conditions ranging from the common cold, all the way through to cancer, and everything in between. The immune system thrives upon vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and green tea is packed full of all of the above. It is especially rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, as well as minerals such as Phosphorus, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
It enhances mental focus and brain function – Matcha green tea is also rich in amino acids, especially one known as L-theanine. L-theanine is considered especially beneficial for the brain because it has been proven to promote calmness, rest, and relaxation, helping to fight stress and depression and contributing towards a good night’s sleep. This is because it boosts the natural production of hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which promote feelings of calmness, clarity, and relaxation, and also help to improve concentration and mental focus.