The Benefits of Matcha Tea
To understand the world of teas and how they can be beneficial to us, we must first understand the history of the precious leaves they come from. Matcha is a finely ground powder made from specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It dates back to the 11th century in China where it was a popular drink, which was then shared with Japan, where it has maintained its prominence ever since.
The word Matcha comes from the Japanese word ma, which translates to “rubbed” or “ground,” while cha means “tea.” The Japanese have spent over a thousand years refining the process of growing green tea and have mastered the art of creating Matcha. Preparation is ritualistic and meditative by nature, and includes a traditional Japanese tea ceremony from which the mindfulness of Matcha has its roots. The idea is that every encounter is unique and can never be reproduced, which is represented by the Japanese saying ichi-go-ichi-e (meaning “for this time only” and “once in a lifetime”). It means that because each occasion and experience can never be replicated, it should therefore be treasured.
The production of Matcha requires customary tools and follows a careful preparation method. It begins several weeks before harvest and may last up to 20 days. The tea bushes are then covered to prevent direct sunlight. Doing this slows down growth and stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, which turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes amino acids (theanine, in particular) to form.
The powdered form of matcha is consumed in various ways, including tea bags that are suspended in a liquid like water or milk. In today’s modern culture, Matcha has become so widely used that you can find it in lattes, smoothies, ice cream, baked goods—even in skin care!
Drinking Matcha allows you to consume the entire leaf and unlock the full nutrient potential it contains. It has been found to have one of the highest antioxidant ratings of all major superfoods and naturally includes a perfect dose of caffeine for a clean and focused energy boost. It’s loaded with a rare and powerful group of natural polyphenol antioxidants called catechins that work to prevent oxidative damage to cells and reduce your risk of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The catechins in Matcha green tea are so powerful that they may help reduce the risk of cancer, making it a popular natural treatment option for cancer.
According to Tenzo Tea, Matcha also burns calories, which is why they suggest adding matcha to your weight loss program. When partnered with caffeine, EGC (gepigallocatechin gallate)—which increases cholecystokinin (the hormone responsible for making you feel full)—works to naturally boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. Matcha green tea utilizes fat as an energy source, with its catechins activating the body’s thermogenic fat-burning activity. In a 12-week study, it was found that ingesting green tea led to a significant reduction in BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat area of healthy Japanese men and women.
Some people consume Matcha to help with anxiety and stress, depression, schizophrenia, prevention of Alzheimer's disease, treatment of ADHD, and improving mental performance and attention. Green tea has also been found to have many benefits for the skin’s complexion. Because of its antioxidant properties, it can assist in aging concerns such as fine lines, sagging, sun damage, and deep wrinkles, while reducing swelling and puffiness.
There are many uses and benefits of Matcha green tea, and drinking it regularly can have a positive impact on overall health and wellbeing. It also makes a great substitute for sugary coffee drinks and sodas, and is the perfect way to improve your tea game without compromising quality or enjoyment.
Daniela Rivera has been in the skin care industry for over a decade, is a licensed professional skin therapist and is currently an advanced instructor at the International Dermal Institute. She enjoys keeping up with the latest technology, wellness, and skin care industry as well as blogging and sharing her knowledge with other. She lives in sunny Playa Vista, California with her husband, two children and her dog Lucy. Follow her on Instagram at @the_beauty_chronicles