The health benefits of matcha green tea can be profound, not to mention it can help you kick the coffee habit. Sure, coffee might be the go-to for many to get their day going, but it can be quite addictive and, when it is made with dairy and sugar, can be detrimental to your overall health. That’s why I enjoy a matcha green latte in the morning as my get-up-and-go instead of coffee or energy drinks. It provides a profound brain boost that I rely on early in the day, helps curb hunger as I intermittent fast, and it offers so many other wonderful health benefits as well!
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Why Matcha is the Healthiest Green Tea
Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.
~ Chinese Proverb
Matcha is a non-fermented Japanese tea used in various ceremonies. Made from Camellia senensis, the flavor comes from the fact that the leaves are not fermented and that they are grown in the shade during the last stage of the growth process. This helps to increase the chlorophyll content in the leaves and gives it its distinct flavor.
One of the most wonderful things about Ujido Matcha Green Tea is that it comes in powdered form, rather than a steepable bag or crushed leaves. Because matcha is made from whole leaves that have been finely ground, you are actually ingesting the entire leaf. This means you’re getting more nutrients than if you simply steeped the leaves – as you do with regular tea – before discarding the leaves. Therefore matcha may provide even more health benefits than regular tea.
It can be tempting to consume caffeinated beverages to “help” when you haven’t had the sleep you need and you need a little something to get through the day. These drinks are full of sugar, chemicals, artificial dyes and preservatives. The amount of caffeine in energy drinks is dangerously high, as well.
Matcha green tea benefits come from a compound called catechins. Superfoods, such as apple, cocoa and green tea, contain a form of antioxidants known as polyphenol compounds. Of these, catechins are the most common, and the more catechins, the better. Green teas are especially rich in catechins, which provide remarkable healing powers for those who consume it regularly. And while the levels of catechins in matcha are lower than in traditional green tea due to the shading of leaves, they are still there in abundance. Plus, levels of other nutrients are higher, such as l-theanine, which produces a relaxed alertness (unlike the sometimes-jittery buzz of coffee).
However, not all green teas are created equal. In 2003, scientists at the University of Colorado Springs (3) decided to look into the theory that matcha green tea contained more catechins that other green teas. The study used micellar electrokinetic chromatography, a procedure that divides compounds into individual parts using various mediums, to determine the chemical makeup of matcha.
The groundbreaking results, which were published in the Journal of Chromatography, said, “The concentration of EGCG available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.”
Since the results of this study were first published, numerous other studies have confirmed the findings. If you want to maximize the superfoods in your daily diet, matcha green tea benefits make this green tea a no-brainer.
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4 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
Nothing lights up the senses quite like a fragrant cup of hot tea. The slightly toasty scent of tea leaves, the warm steam swirling off the surface of the liquid, the soothing feel of the cup between your palms… these are classic comforts. A far East tradition, people all across the globe have found that they can lose weight with matcha green tea and so much more with just one cup a day!
As you chase after the Abundant Life, remember stimulants and caffeine like coffee can be helpful, but be cautious of overdoing it. Too much of a good thing, is still too much.
In recent years, matcha green tea health benefits have caught on hard in the United States and other Western countries (it was already popular in Eastern parts of the world). And there is a very good reason that matcha is taking the world by storm. A pure, carefully sourced powder made from only the best parts of specially cultivated green tea leaves, Matcha is both a health-boosting superfood and a tasty, energizing alternative to other morning drinks with that same caffeine kick you crave without the nasty side effects.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
One of the first amazing benefits of matcha green tea is its extremely high antioxidant level, for which all health- conscious people seek from foods such as raw fruits, and green veggies – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.
In fact, the ORAC value for Ujido Matcha Green Tea (4) has roughly 31 percent higher antioxidant levels than açai berries. Its levels are also 6 times greater than dark chocolate, 14 times higher than blueberries, 28 times higher than pomegranate, and 40 times higher than goji berries.
These antioxidants have a number of wonderful health benefits including:
- Regulation of the blood flow throughout the brain and body
- Preventing damage to cells and deterioration of DNA
- Lower risk of a wide range of health problems
- Supports immune function
Because they help you stay young, fighting free radicals in the body and preventing the unravelling of your DNA that many scientists believe is responsible for old age. They also keep you healthy, fit, and alert, so it’s a good idea to pack as many antioxidant-containing foods and drinks into your diet as you can.
2. Aids in Weight Loss
One of matcha green tea’s best-known purposes is that it can help with weight loss. This is thanks to the fact the matcha green tea is loaded with beneficial catechins. They also are known to regulate blood sugar and reduce cravings. Additionally, antioxidant properties in the tea can help boost metabolism and increase the amount of fat which is burned.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2) compared the effects of consuming one bottle of oolong tea with 690 mg of catechins with another bottle containing 22 mg catechins.The 12-week study, which examined Japanese men divided into two groups by BMI and waist size, saw significant results. The body mass (BMI), body fat, waist circumference and subcutaneous fat areas were all reduced significantly in the group consuming 690 mg of catechins. And even more surprising is the fact that LDL chlorestrol levels also decreased significantly for this group.
“Daily consumption of tea containing 690 mg catechins for 12 weeks reduced body fat, which suggests that the ingestion of catechins might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity,” the researchers concluded.
Also, drinking matcha can help you regulate your appetite and reduce mindless snacking, explains Shape. The catechins may “help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells, which slows the rise of blood sugar and prevents high insulin and subsequent fat storage.” When your blood sugar remains stable, you’re less likely to give in to cravings.
Moreover, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, more commonly known as ECGC, can help boost metabolism, making it more likely that you’ll tone up and slim down, especially if you are also exercising and eating a healthy diet at the same time. Note these benefits accrue to the green tea itself, not the green tea flavor … avoid sugary green tea snacks and anything made with extract or fake flavoring.
People have found that they can lose weight with Matcha green tea with just one cup a day!
3. Cancer Fighting Properties
Yes, drinking something as common as green tea can lower your risk of cancer.
Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Here’s what the NCI has to say:
- For starters, the catechins in green tea can protect against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation as well as help improve the entire immune system.
- Catechins in green tea specifically push detoxification enzymes into action. These enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase, are known for their ability to prevent tumor growth.
- Laboratory animal studies have found that the polyphenols in tea slow cancer cell growth and actually create apoptosis (killing of cancer cells).
- Finally, the compounds, notably EGCG and ECG, are adept at scavenging for free radicals and are known to help cells avoid DNA damage induced by reactive oxygen species.
Also, the chlorophyll found in Matcha Green Tea have been shown to have amazing cancer-fighting properties. Chlorophyll is known to bind with certain molecules that cause cancer. Catechins and polyphenols have been shown to slow the growth of tumors and cancer cells. They also can help protect against damage from UVB radition.
David Servan-Schriber, who famously lived for 17 years with a brain tumor and wrote the book Anticancer: A New Way of Life, explains that consuming green tea can both prevent relapses and reduce risk of cancer:
“Concerning green tea, we can for example look at two studies. In one, Japanese women already diagnosed with breast cancer, whose disease was still at an early stage (non-metastasized) and who consumed at least three cups of green tea a day, had 57% fewer relapses than women who drank one cup or less per day (Inoue et al., 2001). Another Japanese study, Japan being the country where studying consumption of green tea is easiest, showed that men with prostate cancer notably benefited from the consumption of FIVE or more cups of tea a day. This reduced by 50% the risk that their prostate cancer would progress to an advanced stage. (Kurahashi et al., 2007)”
Green tea is so effective, in fact, that it has been said to replace pharmaceutical cancer treatments designed to block the receptor that allows cancer cells to invade nearby healthy cells.
“As Dr. Béliveau has written in the Lancet (2004),” Dr. Servan-Schrieber says, “the quantity of green tea polyphenols obtained by a daily consumption of just three cups (size 4 oz or 120 ml – the standard European cup size) is sufficient to block most activity by the VEGF receptor. This receptor allows cancer cells to invade neighboring tissue, and also stimulates the manufacture of new blood vessels which they need in order to develop as dangerous tumors. Many of the famous ‘targeted cancer treatments’ developed by the pharmaceutical industry also concentrate on blocking this receptor by other biochemical processes.”
While the studies he used to create these statistics did use green tea as their subject (rather than matcha, the powdered form), matcha still has very high levels of polyphenols, which are instrumental in blocking cancer growth. So it is safe to assume that a daily routine of matcha consumption would be protective – and the more matcha you drank, the more cancer protection you would receive.
4. Improve Athlete Recovery Time
Drinking matcha green tea is highly effective at helping prevent serious diseases, such as cancer, helping athletes recover after intense workouts and building cellular strength. This is because matcha contains some of the greatest amounts of catechins of any antioxidant-rich foods or beverages.
Another important aspect of catechins is their ability to help athletes recover quicker. Clinical trials have suggested that catechins speed up the recovery time after high-intensity workouts, such as burst training, and can actually reverse any cellular damage resulting from oxidative-nitrosative stress.
Oxidative-nitrosative stress is just a fancy way of saying that you’re experiencing an imbalance in antioxidants and free radicals. This is bad because it can destroy cells and cause disease.
For example, research published in the journal Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology looked at lab mice suffering from chronic fatigue that were forced to swim six minutes a day for 15 consecutive days. This level of activity caused these animals to experience dramatic increases in oxidative-nitrosative stress as well as elevated tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, both of which are biochemical markers for cell death.
Shockingly, by giving the rats regular doses of EGCG, scientists discovered that both alterations were returned to normal.
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[Demo Video] Making Our Favorite Matcha Latte
How to Use Ujido Matcha Green Tea
There are any number of ways that Ujido Matcha Green Tea can be prepared. Of course, it naturally makes a wonderful hot or cold beverage on its own! You can add it to your favorite smoothie recipe for a boost of antioxidants. You can add it to many recipes to increase their nutrients and health benefits like deserts. You’ll find matcha works well with many deserts (yogurts, ice cream, cookies, cakes) and drinks.
Unlike some other supposed health foods, matcha and green tea are safe for practically everyone. Note that this is not the same as green tea supplements, which contain higher doses of all the substances in green tea, and may not be safe for “pregnant or breastfeeding women, those with heart problems or high blood pressure, kidney or liver problems, stomach ulcers, or anxiety disorders,” explains Medical News Today.
Avoid Supplements … Go Old-School
The article adds that supplements “contain high levels of active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. Green tea supplements are unregulated by the FDA and may also contain other substances unsafe for health or with unproven health benefits.”
Given this, it’s always important to ingest such foods in their proven form, i.e. the method by which tea has been prepared for almost a thousand years in the case of matcha (and 5,000 in the case of tea in general). Of course, that doesn’t mean that all matcha green tea health benefits are the same; how it’s prepared and where you buy it from still matters quite a bit.
If you’re ready to see all the amazing benefits of Matcha Green Tea, you can head over to Ujido’s website to order.
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- National Cancer Institute. “Tea And Cancer Prevention: Strengths And Limits Of The Evidence.” National Institute of Health. 2010 (Internet). Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea.
- Nagago, T. “Ingestion Of A Tea Rich In Catechins Leads To A Reduction In Body Fat And Malondialdehyde-Modified LDL In Men.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 81(1): 122-129.
- Weiss, D.J. et al. “Determination Of Catechins In Matcha Green Tea By Micellar Electrokinetic Chromatography.” Journal of Chromatography. 2003; 1011(1-2): 173-180.
- Ichinose, T. et al. “The Effect of Endurance Training Supplemented with Green Tea Extract on Substrate Metabolism during Exercise in Humans. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.” 2011; 21(4): 598-605.
- Sachdeva, A. et al. “Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate in Murine Water-Immersion Stress Model of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2010; 106: 490-496.”