Green tea is widely praised for its ability to halt the effects of aging, prevent dementia, fight cancer and much more thanks to the power of its high antioxidant content, but one similar, albeit lesser known, drink has it beat according to research from an important university study — Matcha.
The carefully prepared, powdered cousin to regular green tea has been prized for its off-the-charts antioxidant content — as much as 137 times higher than regular green teas on the market — as well as for its unique “full-bodied” taste that ends with a lingering, sweet kick.
Matcha can be found in powder form and usually only takes about a tablespoon to make a full cup since it’s so rich. Drinking Matcha is an excellent way to relax and “center yourself” after a long day, which is what makes it so beloved in its native Japan for both unwinding alone and entertaining guests.
How Does Matcha Become So Potent?
The process of growing and harvesting Matcha is different from regular green teas, and part of what holds the secrets to its incredible health benefits and antioxidant power.
Preparation starts before harvest for as many as 20 days, when the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight. According to the website TeaPedia.org, this slows down the growth of the plants and turns them a darker shade of green, allowing more and more amino acids to be produced inside the plant. Only the finest buds are then picked, and they are then left out flat to dry before being stone-ground into a beautifully rich green Matcha powder for tea.
University Study Confirms Antioxidant Power of Matcha
It goes without saying that our bodies are under a ton of stress these days, which is what makes antioxidants so important for overall health.
These are the compounds that protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals produced by stress, dietary mistakes, and even exercise that are common in everyday life.
According to a 2003 study from the University of Colorado (in Boulder, CO), the powerful antioxidant EGCG, which is also found in green tea, is present at levels up to 137 times greater than that of commercially available green teas, as we mentioned earlier.
The same study also found that Matcha’s antioxidant content is at least three times higher than even the most potent varieties of green tea you can find.
Other health benefits of Matcha include:
-Rich in Fiber and Chlorophyll
-Leads to an Increased yet Calmer Alertness
-May help prevent Alzheimer’s, Liver Damage, Diabetes and Cancer
Speeds up your Metabolism
-Contains L-theanine, an Amino Acid that relaxes the mind (Buddhist monks enjoy this drink)
While all green tea can be extremely beneficial (if it’s organic especially since many mainstream teas are heavily processed and may contain high levels of fluoride), matcha tea is hands down the better choice if you’re looking for antioxidant power and anti-aging effects.
As for the taste, let’s just say that if you like green tea, you should have no problems liking matcha (feel free to add a little organic stevia to make it sweeter to your liking).