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5 February 2015

All You Need to Know About Matcha Green Tea

So what is Matcha Green Tea?
matchaYou might be wondering what it is that makes Matcha so special, isn’t it just another type of green tea? Well it all comes down to how it’s grown and processed and also how you drink it.
Japanese Matcha comes from the same tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) as all teas but about 4 weeks before it is harvested the Matcha tea field is shaded in bamboo (or a man-made bamboo equivalent), this special shading technique results into a 90% reduction of sunlight. The plants, now growing almost in the dark, compensate for the lack of light by an intense production of chlorophyll making the leaves rich in amino acids, the process encourages the chlorophyll to rise to the top and then at the time of the harvest only the youngest most tender, emerald green leaves are picked from the top third of the bush.

After being steamed and then freeze-dried, the highest quality leaves are selected and the stems gently removed. The last step in producing Matcha takes place in the factory where special granite stone mills grind Tencha tea into superfine Matcha powder. The grinding itself is done in a cleanroom in which temperature and humidity are kept constant. Industrial quality filters keep the air clean and eliminate bacteria and germs. One single stone mill grinds only up to 30-40g tea per hour, which is basically the amount of one Matcha tin, more rapid grinding would burn the leaves.

This very fine powder is mixed with water and drunk rather than being brewed and the leaves (or tea bag) discarded. This means that you get all the benefits of the Matcha tea in every cup you drink – nothing is thrown away.

Top Line Benefits:-
• 137 x the antioxidant (EGCg) of regular green tea
• Burns Calories
• Increases energy levels and endurance
• Relaxes your mind whilst improving concentration and memory
• Lowers cholesterol & regulates blood sugar levels
• Anti-ageing & detoxifying

Matcha is Very High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the amazing nutrients and enzymes that are essential for fighting life threatening diseases the negative effects of UV radiation which in turn gives us younger-looking skin and all other age related decline. They are something that the health-conscious seek from foods such as raw fruits, green veggies, not forgetting dark chocolate. ORAC measures the potency of antioxidants found in food and beverages. Matcha offers a stunning high level of ORAC units: With 1573 units it surpasses all natural antioxidant rich food known so far.

matcha green tea

Matcha Burns Calories
Matcha green tea has unique thermogenic properties that promotes increased fat oxidation according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study reported that consuming Matcha green tea increased thermogenesis, the rate at which your body burns calories, from 10% to 40% of daily energy use. Meaning drinking Matcha has the potential to increase your body's ability to burn fat and calories at 4 times its normal rate, a great benefit as you get older and your metabolic rate naturally declines.

Other studies have shown that green teas of all kinds helps to shift stubborn fat around your waistline when nothing else seems to work Matcha is the most powerful green tea you can drink so it figures it would work most effectively in shifting this fat.

Another study found that drinking Matcha before exercise increased the body’s fat burning potential by 25%. Matcha increases your metabolism enabling you to burn more calories without the negative side effects of lots of diet supplements currently on the market. Matcha causes no negative side-effects such as increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

Matcha Boosts Energy Levels and Endurance
Matcha Green Tea contains 30mg - 40mg of caffeine which is much less than in a cup of filter coffee which will contain as much as 200mg, however, when you drink Matcha you will experience a very clean boost of energy that can last 3-6 hours. This clean energy boost means no jitters, no anxiety and no crash. The caffeine when mixed the antioxidants is released slowly and this coupled with the effect of the amino acid L Theanine (which promotes a state of relaxation), results in keeping you calm, focussed, and energized for hours.

Matcha Calms the Mind, Improves Concentration & Memory
For over 800 years Japanese Matcha Green Tea has been used by Zen Buddhist monks to enhance their meditation enabling them to relax their minds but still remain energised. This is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the Macha leaves. L-Theanine boosts alpha waves (the brain waves present in deep relaxation) and promotes alert relaxation. L-Theanine has had significant clinical results for not only naturally calming the brain but focusing it too.

L-Theanine increases the production of the two chemicals dopamine and serotonin which in turn serve to enhance mood, promote better concentration and improve memory.

Matcha Improves Cholesterol & Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that people who drink Match Green Tea on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Also men who drink Matcha Green Tea are about 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.

Matcha helps to improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics, one study found that drinking Matcha every day slashed the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 33%.

Matcha is Anti-Ageing & Detoxifying
Not all antioxidants are the same and green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. These catechins are the most potent and beneficial of all the antioxidants and more specifically one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) which happens to make up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea and is recognised for its anti-ageing and disease fighting properties. These potent catechins exhibit an anti-inflammatory effect which makes Matcha such an incredible food for the skin, protecting it from UV damage and improving elasticity.

Scientists have found that Japanese Matcha Green Tea contains 137 times more of the catechin EGCg than any other green tea. Laboratory studies suggest that EGCg works at the cellular level to fight various cancers, including cancer of the breast (1,2) pancreas (3) mouth (4) colon (5) and prostate (6, 7).

Another great benefit of Matcha is that it helps to detoxify the body. This is due to its chlorophyll content which is what gives Matcha its beautiful emerald green colour. Chlorophyll helps plants turn sunlight into food but it also removes heavy elements and harmful chemicals from our bodies. Matcha is particularly rich with chlorophyll due to being shaded whilst it is growing this causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll and amino acid production making it much more powerful than regular green tea giving the immune system a tremendous boost.

I have been drinking Matcha first thing every morning and after lunch for over three years now and I can’t go a day without it.

Whatever way you find to add Matcha to your diet (and there are lots) I would encourage you to do it. As you will now be beginning to see you won’t find any other single food as effective at boosting your health with the added benefit of helping you look great for your age.

Article kindly contributed to us by Katherine Swift, Founder of OMG Tea and NatuRem Ltd

1. Farabegoli F, Barbi C, Lambertini E, Piva R. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate downregulates estrogen receptor alpha function in MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells. Cancer Detect Prev. 2007 Nov 29.
2. Thangapazham RL, Passi N, Maheshwari RK. Green tea polyphenol and epigallocatechin gallate induce apoptosis and Inhibit Invasion in human breast cancer cells. Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Sep 16(12).
3. Shankar S, Ganapathy S, Hingorani SR, Srivastava RK. EGCG inhibits growth, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Front Biosci. 200813:440-52.
4. Ho YC, Yang SF, Peng CY, Chou MY, Chang YC. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits the invasion of human oral cancer cells and decreases the productions of matrix metalloproteinases and urokinase-plasminogen activator. J Oral Pathol Med. 2007 Nov36(10):588-93.
5. Kim M, Murakami A, Ohigashi H. Modifying effects of dietary factors on (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate-induced pro-matrix metalloproteinase-7 production in HT-29 human colorectal cancer cells. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 Oct71(10):2442-50.
6. Siddiqui IA, Malik A, Adhami VM, et al. Green tea polyphenol EGCG sensitizes human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis and synergistically inhibits biomarkers associated with angiogenesis and metastasis. Oncogene. 2007 Nov 12.
7. Yu HN, Shen SR, Yin JJ. Effects of metal ions, catechins, and their interactions on prostate cancer. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 200747(8):711-9.

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