What Is Matcha Tea And What Are Its Benefits?

Matcha tea is in demand lately and its growing popularity has led to matcha shots, lattes, teas and even desserts appearing everywhere from health stores to coffee shops.

What Is Matcha Tea?

Matcha tea comes from the plant, Camellia sinensis. It is a form of green tea that has been enjoyed in Japan and China for hundreds of years. The leaves are made into a powdery form that's much more stronger than the regular tea.

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

How Is Matcha Tea Grown?

Farmers grow them by covering the tea plants for 20 to 30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight. This increases the amino acid content and chlorophyll production which give the plant a darker green hue. This also makes the leaves softer, sweeter and brighter. After harvesting, the tea leaves are quickly steamed, dried and heated in the oven for 20 minutes. Then the farmers remove the stems, twigs and grind the leaves into powder.

Health Benefits Of Matcha Tea

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1. Stabilizes free radical damage

Matcha tea is high in natural antioxidants, mainly catechins, a class of plant compounds in tea. This natural compound helps in stabilizing harmful free radicals that damage the cells. When the matcha powder is added to hot water, the tea releases all the nutrients including the antioxidants into it. The number of catechins in matcha is 137 times more than the other types of green tea.

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2. Protects the heart

Drinking matcha tea can help protect against heart disease which is the leading cause of death in the world. It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides and also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Drinking matcha tea along with a healthy diet will keep your heart healthy and protect against disease.

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3. Protects the liver

The liver plays a key role in flushing out toxins and processing nutrients. Drinking matcha tea can help protect the liver from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and it significantly reduces the liver enzymes as higher levels of these enzymes causes liver damage. So, protect your liver as well as kidneys by drinking matcha tea.

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4. Prevents cancer

Matcha tea is loaded with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin and polyphenol, another antioxidant that has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties. These are known for inhibiting the growth of prostate, skin, lung and liver cancer cells.

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5. Boosts brain function

Matcha tea enhances the brain function by improving attention, memory, and faster reaction time, according to the study "Acute effects of caffeine on attention: a comparison of non-consumers and withdrawn consumers". Another study "Green tea consumption affects cognitive dysfunction in the elderly: a pilot study" showed that consumption of 2 g of matcha tea powder for 2 months daily improved the brain function in the elderly.

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6. Helps in weight loss

Matcha green tea speeds up the weight loss process by revving up your metabolism to increase the energy expenditure and boost fat burning. Drinking matcha tea during moderate exercise increased the burning of fat by 17 per cent.

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7. Good for dental health

Is matcha good for your teeth? Yes, a cup of matcha tea will keep your teeth healthy. It is due to its antibacterial properties that suppress the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth. So, drink your tea to keep your teeth and gums clean and fresh.

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How To Prepare Matcha Tea?

1. Sift 1-2 teaspoon of matcha powderinto a cup using a small sifter.
2. Add 2 cups hot water and whisk vigorously in a zig-zag motion until the tea is frothy.
3. Enjoy your matcha tea.

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    Read more about: tea green
    Story first published: Friday, October 12, 2018, 17:10 [IST]
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