No one can deny that matcha green tea has been the talk of the town for more than a hot minute now. From including the wonder stuff in recipes to simply drinking it, matcha green tea has – from its humble beginnings in China – evolved to be the fashionable elixir it is today.
Here I’ll detail ten of my favourite benefits of matcha green tea, including usages that you may not know of and in doing so, bring you up to speed on why the amazing matcha green tea really is a powerful superfood.
1. An Excellent Anti-Ageing Ingredient
Containing over ten times the amount of antioxidants than regular green tea, when drank regularly matcha green tea is reputed to be excellent at staving off the signs of ageing.
Antioxidants help cell damage caused by free radicals or oxidants (duh!) and thus, it only figures that anything which includes antioxidants is effective in repairing cells.
Antioxidants can even assist in the replacement of new cells, an occurance which slows down as one gets older. Therefore, regular consumption of matcha green tea truly can be the ultimate anti-ageing elixir!
2. Relieves Stress
The L-Theanine found in matcha tea has been found to relieve stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and increase a higher state of consciousness. This would explain why it was (and still is) favoured by Zen monks when meditating!
It is thought that matcha tea is so great at relieving stress due to the L-Theanine’s ability to increase the production of alpha waves to the brain, which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness.
3. Assists in Weight Loss
Matcha tea contains the antioxidant ECGC, which is known to burn fat as well as boost one’s metabolism which in turn can aid in weight loss.
Studies have shown that consuming green tea increases the body’s ability to burn fat almost four times faster than average. It has also been found that drinking matcha tea immediately prior to exercising causes one to burn up to 25% more fat during the actual workout!
4. Gives Energy
Used by Zen buddhist monks to heighten alertness during meditation, matcha tea has since been found to indeed increase energy and awareness.
The amino acid, L-Theanine, which can only be found in green tea, is now known to leave one feeling energized and alert.
Furthermore, as matcha tea contains caffeine, this will also contribute to an increase in energy but, as it contains a lot less caffeine than coffee, you can be rest assured that you won’t be left with the usual jitters associated with drinking coffee.
5. Great for the Heart
The health benefits of matcha green tea to the heart are found in the flavonoid EGCG, a powerful anti-inflammatory that is known to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The EGCG in matcha is also known to suppress the growth of new capillary blood vessels and improve blood pressure.
6. An Excellent Detoxifier
What makes matcha green tea so luminous green is the Chlorophyll, a powerful alkaline with antioxidant and antibacterial properties and known for its detoxifying properties.
With matcha green tea having much higher levels of Chlorophyll than any other tea, it is excellent for eliminating toxins and metals from the body, as well as restore the pH levels in the blood.
7. Improves the Memory
The L-Theanine found in green tea has been found to improve memory due to its ability to stimulate the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin levels, thereby increasing brain activity associated with cognitive functioning.
8. Helps the Immune System
Matcha tea has extremely high levels of polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids and the antioxidants potassium, iron, calcium, protein and vitamins C and A, all of which contribute to assist the body’s defense mechanisms against free radicals. PNAS have concluded that regular consumption of matcha tea enhances one’s immune system.
9. Great for Facials!
Aside from consuming, matcha teas has a wealth of benefits when also applied topically.
It makes common sense that stuff high in antioxidants would be perfect when applied to the skin.
A great way to stave off fine lines and the appearance of ageing is to include matcha tea in your daily/weekly facial regime.
Over the next few weeks, I will give you the BEST matcha green tea skin care recipes I know for moisturizers, facial scrubs and masques that will have you dancing for joy when you see the instant benefits to your skin but for now, a simple face masque you can mix together for clearer, younger, more supple skin is a wonderful matcha tea masque made up of:
- 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea.
- 1 tablespoon organic honey
- 2 tablespoons of organic natural yoghurt
Combine everything together to form a rich, smooth paste. Then slather everything all over your freshly washed and exfoliated face before relaxing for approximately ten minutes and rinsing off with cold water to reveal a fresher, clearer complexion!
You don’t only have to apply matcha tea topically to reap its skin care benefits.
Applying a spoonful of the green goodness to a hot bowl when steaming your face adds another dimension to your weekly facial that will leave you wishing you’d started doing it years ago.
By adding matcha tea to your facial steam, you enable the antioxidants to immediately penetrate straight into the skin, giving your beautiful face an instant (Batman-style ‘POW’) hit of antioxidant goodness…!
10. Wondeful for the hair!
The antioxidants in matcha tea are known to promote hair growth and leave hair with a lustrous glow. Matcha tea also naturally contains panthenol, which strengthens the hair follicles and prevent split ends.
The catechins and polyphenols in matcha tea have been found to contain inhibiting properties that help block hair loss.
After shampooing and conditioning, a final rinse with a large batch of cooled matcha tea will leave your hair extra shiny and silky smooth.
A great matcha hair moisturizer can be made in minutes by combining:
- 1 teaspoon of organic matcha green tea
- Organic, unrefined coconut oil/shea butter
Apply to the scalp, massaging through the hair from the roots to the ends, before combing through. Depending on your hair type, you can leave on for a minimum of thirty minutes before washing out and conditioning, or leave in and re-moisturize whenever your hair requires some of that matcha filled goodness.
So there you have it!
Ten amazing matcha tea benefits that I’m sure you will agree, give matcha green tea the deserving title of being king (or queen!) of the superfoods!