Why do people drink green tea? Once you hear about the wonderful health benefits of green tea and matcha green tea, you’ll want to brew yourself a cup right away! Most of us are familiar with green tea as it has grown in popularity (in America) over the last 50 years. Matcha green tea is the NEW tea talked about in recent years. Benefits of consuming both teas are numerous, however does one tea have more benefits? Let’s take a closer look at both teas. Green Tea versus Matcha Green Tea!
Green tea and matcha green tea both contain substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A & C, iron and calcium. They are both known for their anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Green tea leaves are sold as a loose tea or in a tea bag. Matcha green tea is sold as a powder, as the green tea leaves have been ground into a fine powder.
History Behind Green Tea
While green tea has been enjoyed in China for over 2,000 years it has taken a while for the tea to move from Asia to Europe and eventually America. Match green tea originates from China but later was brought to Japan, where it was consumed daily by Buddhist monks. The science behind both green and matcha tea is fascinating.
Grab yourself a cup of tea and join me as we compare these two healthful teas.
Green tea is known for containing powerful antioxidants and nutrients. One cup of green tea a day has many benefits, including improved brain function, increased metabolic rate and lowering your risk of cancer.
Why is Green Tea Beneficial?
- It contains caffeine, approximately 30 mg per cup, which stimulates the firing of neurons in our brain. Increased neuronal activity improves concentration, memory and mood.
- The amino acid L-theanine is found in a cup of green tea. This particular amino acid inhibits a neurotransmitter, resulting in lower feelings of anxiety.
- Fortifies the immune system.
- Green tea kills bacteria and inhibits viruses which leads to fewer cavities.
- Studies show green tea reduces blood sugar levels by improving our bodies sensitivity to insulin.
Green tea is harvested differently than traditional black or oolong tea. It is this harvesting procedure that contributes to making it more beneficial for our bodies. Green tea plants are called camellia sinensis plants. These plants thrive in a hot and humid climates.
The timing of the harvest is crucial to the success of the tea. Once the leaves are harvested, they get steamed, rolled, and dried for twelve hours. Again timing is important here as well for the best tasting and most healthful tea.
Matcha Green Tea
The history of matcha green tea is fascinating, as it was first consumed during China’s Tsang dynasty and was later brought to Japan. In Japan, it was commonly consumed by the priests and monks as a form of worship. Matcha tea is also known for it’s powerful antioxidant properties and essential amino acids.
Why is Matcha Green Tea Beneficial?
- Contains a specific set of organic compounds called catechins, which is a kind of antioxidant. Catechin is specifically called EGCg (epigallocatechine gallate) it makes up for 60% of the antioxidants in this tea. The compound is most widely known for it’s cancer fighting properties.
- Improves memory and promotes better concentration.
- The amino acid L-theanine is found in matcha green tea as well as green tea. This particular amino acid induces relaxation and lowers feelings of anxiety.
- One cup of matcha tea increases your energy level due to it’s unique combination of nutrients.
- Promotes overall health.
What sets this tea apart from the others? Matcha tea contains a tremendous amount of chlorophyll which makes the tea a powerful detoxifier. (During the last 3-4 weeks before the tea bushes are harvested, the leaves are covered to deprive them of sunlight. When the bushes are covered it causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production.)
Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
Green tea and Matcha Green tea are derived from the same plant, Camillia Sinensis, meaning they have similar components. They both induce relaxation and increase metabolism. The similarities also extend to better brain function and memory. Drinking green tea and matcha green tea contributes to a boost in your immune system.
The two biggest differences is how the Camillia Sinensis is harvested and consumed. Due to the harvesting procedure of matcha tea, it becomes a stronger detoxifier and it contains higher levels of amino acids. Green tea leaves are dried and steeped in hot water for consumption. Match tea is dried and ground into a fine powder , so the whole leaf is consumed making it more concentrated than green tea. Matcha tea is known to have 10 times more nutritional value compared to regular green tea. Another factor that sets this tea apart is it has 127 times more antioxidants.
Where can you purchase these teas? http://www.vitacost.com or you can check the bulk section of your local health food co-op.
What is your preferred way to enjoy green tea?