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Why You Should Be Drinking More Matcha

Getting bored of your morning cup of tea? Try switching it up by incorporating a cup of matcha!

Not only does matcha taste great, it also has added health benefits and rejuvenating effects! Keep reading to learn more!

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What is Matcha?

Matcha is a special form of green tea. It comes from the same plant that all true teas are harvested from- camellia sinensis. While the tea leaves may be the same, matcha is considerably different from regular green tea in its growth method, harvest, and production style.

The most notable difference between matcha and regular green tea lies in the growing process. 20 days before harvest, matcha bushes are covered up to shield the leaves from the direct sunlight. The leaves are shaded in order to boost the plants’ chlorophyll levels, which darkens the leaves and makes them more vibrant. More chlorophyll also results in an increased production of L-Theanine, an amino acid that occurs naturally in plants used for tea. The effects of L-theanine allows tea to be both calming and stimulating at the same time.

The process of matcha production traces back to 10th century China. The first step in the matcha making process is to harvest the plants and remove the stems and veins from the leaves. The green tea leaves are then stone-ground into a soft powder. The green tea powder is then sifted and whisked with hot water. This laborious process causes matcha to be higher in cost than other kinds of tea. But while matcha may be more expensive, because it contains the entire tea leaf (and its nutrients), matcha has a variety of added benefits.

Health benefits of matcha?

1. High in antioxidants:

Matcha is high in catechin content, a plant compound found in teas that act as a natural antioxidant. But, because matcha includes the entire leaf, it will contain more catechins and nutrients than regular green tea. One study estimated the catechin continent in matcha to be up to 137 times greater than other kinds of green teas.

Antioxidants have numerous benefits, most importantly, stabilizing free radicals. In turn, this helps to prevent cell damage and chronic disease. One study found that mice given matcha supplements experienced enhanced antioxidant activity and reduced damage from free radicals.

2. Boosts brain function:

Some researchers have found that some of the components in matcha can help to boost your brain function. One small study found that consuming matcha caused improvements in reaction time, attention, and memory when compared to those who did not eat matcha. Another study demonstrated that consuming 2 grams of matcha powder daily for 2 months can help improve brain function in older adults.

Some researchers theorize that this brain boost is due to the high concentration of caffeine in matcha. But matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that alters the effects of caffeine. When combined with caffeine, L-theanine promotes alertness while also helping you to avoid the energy crash that can follow the consumption of caffeine. L-theanine has also been found to increase alpha waves in the brain, which will induce relaxation and decrease stress levels.

3. Promotes heart health:

Matcha and other green teas have been demonstrated to reduce levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It can also help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which will also protect against heart disease.

Some observational studies have also demonstrated that drinking matcha and other green teas are associated with an overall reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Combining matcha and your heart-healthy diet will help to keep your heart healthy.

4. Stimulates weight loss:

“Green tea extract” is listed in the ingredients of nearly every weight loss supplement or tea. That is because green tea is well known for its weight-loss-enhancing ability. Further, several studies demonstrate that green tea may help to speed up your metabolism, which will boost fat burning and increase energy expenditure.

One small study demonstrated that practicing moderate exercise after taking green tea extract will increase fat burning by 17%. A similar study found that green tea extract can significantly boost 24-hour energy expenditure. A review of nearly a dozen studies found that consuming green tea reduced overall body weight and helped maintain weight loss.

How to make your own matcha!

Making your own matcha is actually an incredibly easy process! To make matcha at home, just follow these steps:

  1. Sift 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a cup

  2. Add 2 ounces of hot water

  3. Mix together with a whisk

To change the consistency of your tea, more or less water or powder can be used! Moreover, matcha powder can easily be added to protein shakes and your other favorite recipes!

While matcha is delicious and has a number of great health benefits, be sure not to drink too much matcha! Because matcha contains the entire leaf, it also includes more contaminants like chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals (like lead and arsenic) which are present in the soil in which the tea plants are grown. Be sure to buy organic matcha powder and don’t consume more than 1-2 cups per day to decrease toxin exposure.

To learn more about your path to optimal health, click here to contact us or call 276-235-3205 to schedule your complimentary discovery call.

The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!


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