It's Official....Matcha Green Tea is a Big Deal!
Although, Matcha Green Tea may have been around for over 1,000 years, it's only just recently that its become popular among the herbal and healthy tea drinking folk.
It's gained a lot of attention among "the hip and trendy people" including Hollywood celebrities, who are enjoying the health benefits of Matcha Green Tea in some form or another.
Whether it is being drank the traditional way involving a scoop of Matcha being placed in a special bowl with a little hot water added, then beaten or stirred with a bamboo whisk to create a frothy top, or enjoyed as a latte or a smoothie, or as a flavouring in ice cream; it certainly has become extremely popular.
Traditionally, Matcha has been consumed by the Japanese in tea ceremonies for hundred's of years, however history tells us that Matcha Green Tea originated a long time ago in China during The Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) where the leaves were steamed and made into tea bricks for storage and for trading. It was not until 1191, when the Japanese Buddhist monk Eisai introduced Matcha Green Tea to Japan.
A quick search on Google will bring hundreds of results on the many benefits of Matcha Green Tea, from its concentrated antioxidant effects to cancer fighting abilities.
What makes Matcha so good for you?
As is the case with all green teas, Matcha contains antioxidants called polyphenols; in particular (EGCG), or epigallocatechin gallate. Polyphenols protect the body's cells from damage of free radicals. Free radicals are the little nasties that have the potential to cause cancer in our cells. Both standard green tea and Matcha are reported to help prevent cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and cervical cancer.
Polyphenols are more concentrated in Matcha Green Tea, at least 3 times greater, compared to that of standard green tea. Some websites say the concentration is up to 137 times greater....but this may be an exaggeration. Whatever the concentration of polyphenols, the increase is due to the whole leaf being consumed when drinking Matcha, rather than just steeping the leaves, as is the case with the standard green tea.
Some of the other major health benefits of Matcha are is ability to assist with weight loss, speed up metabolism, reduce blood pressure, improve blood sugars, and protect against heart disease.
What's the evidence on EGCG Polyphenols?
An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study concluded that EGCG assists with reducing Body Mass Index (BMI) and body weight, lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol, and lowers blood glucose levels. Lowering glucose, as recently reported, is good for our bodies as it helps prevent the body from storing fat cells and also helps with the prevention of diseases such as diabetes and other sugar related diseases; refer to "The Sugar Film" if this is of further interest to you.
A study at the University of Michigan has linked EGCG to reducing pain and inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Cancer Council Australia chairman Kathy Chapman says "Matcha is definitely a rich form of polyphenols or antioxidants and when you look at these studies, these antioxidants look as if they can kill cancer cells."
Is it worth trying it?
The overall general consensus is that Matcha certainly has something going for it with its high content of antioxidants, which we all know are good for us. Additionally, it's packed with nutrients such as manganese, chromium, selenium and zinc. It also has L-theanine, which has a calming and relaxing effect on your mood. Although, don't drink it with a meal if you are low in iron, as it inhibits iron absorption.
Matcha is a healthy choice as a drink, however it's also important to look at other areas of your lifestyle too.
Interested in trying it?
You can buy your Matcha Green Tea from The Herb Shed....click this link Matcha Green Tea
Source: Some of the content in this article is from The Sunday Mail, Food & Nutrition section.
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