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10 Wonderful Benefits Of Matcha Tea

10 Wonderful Benefits Of Matcha Tea

Japanese food culture is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. Matcha green tea comes from the same culture, the culture that gave us sushi. This revered traditional Japanese beverage is reported to have numerous health benefits, which is why the market has seen such a surge of interest in Matcha.

Matcha literally means “powdered tea.” It is a special type of powdered green tea that is produced in Japan. The preparation of Matcha itself is no lesser than a fine craft. First, the leaves are selected from the shaded plant. Then, these leaves are steamed briefly to stop fermentation, dried, and aged in cold storage, all of which attribute to its rich color, flavor, and texture.

Why do you think Zen monks live long, stress-free lives? One of their secrets: they drink Matcha Green Tea. Here are a few of the many wonderful benefits of Matcha which the Zen monks have been enjoying for hundreds of years.

1. Anti-aging

Matcha green tea contains antioxidants, just like any other green tea, which fight against the negative effects of UV radiation to give us younger-looking skin. Incredibly, studies have confirmed that a cup of Matcha green tea has around the same amount of nutrients and antioxidants as 10 cups of conventional green tea.

The chemicals present in Matcha tea have the ability to combat inflammation, oxidation, and aging. People in Okinawa, Japan are known to live the longest in the world and their longevity is partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha tea.

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2. Detoxification

A few weeks before tea leaves are harvested, the tea plants are shaded to deprive them of sunlight, which causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth. This chlorophyll not only gives Matcha tea its vibrant green color, but is also believed to be an excellent detoxifier.

Chlorophyll helps in cleansing the blood and aids in maintaining the alkalinity of the blood and tissues by removing heavy metals, chemical toxins, and hormone disrupters. Chlorophyll also helps in preventing the association of harmful toxins with colon walls and flushes them out of the body.

3. Cancer prevention

Catechins are believed to have chemopreventive properties. Among the catechins present in Matcha green tea, epigallocatechins gallate (EGCG) makes up 60% of them. EGCG scavenges for dangerous free radicals in our body and is a powerful anti-carcinogen.

Several studies have confirmed that polyphenols present in Matcha tea prevent the proliferation of malignant cancerous cells and reduce the risk of developing various cancers, including colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and prostate tumors. So how about giving a few of these Matcha recipes a try?

4. Weight loss

While Matcha green tea is already nearly calorie-free, the catechins present in it are known to have thermogenic properties that promote fat oxidation. Matcha green tea enhances metabolism to burn calories four times faster, along with decreasing the formation of new fat cells.

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A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that consuming Matcha green tea increases the body’s rate of burning calories from 8-10% to 43% of daily energy expenditure. Unlike many other diet aids, Matcha tea aids in weight loss without any harmful side effects.

5. Increased energy and endurance

The samurai warriors used to drink Matcha green tea before going into battle for the tea’s energy-boosting properties. Matcha contains a unique form of caffeine that provides an energy boost without adverse effects.

This unique form of caffeine, known as Theophylline, sustains energy levels, helps in the functionality of the adrenal glands, and maintains optimum hormonal levels. The energy boost from a cup of Matcha is said to last for up to six hours.

6. Mental relaxation

During long hours of meditation, the Zen Buddhist monks drank Matcha tea to remain calm yet alert. Credited to its unique harvesting process, Matcha contains up to five times as much L-theanine as regular green tea, a unique amino acid that has anti-anxiolytic properties and helps to boost alpha waves in the brain.

The alpha waves induce relaxation without drowsiness and put the mind in a state of alertness. Studies have found that L-theanine present in Matcha green tea inhibits the neuron excitation and provides a calming effect to the body. L-theanine also contributes to the production of dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that serve to enhance memory and promote better concentration.

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7. Immunity boost

The various antioxidants, L-theanine, EGCG, and many other healthy substances found in Matcha make it a potent potion that boosts the immune defense system of the body. The catechins in Matcha have antibiotic properties which provide protection against various antigens.

Just one bowl of Match provides a substantial amount of Vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, calcium, and protein to promote overall health. Furthermore, researchers have found that the nutrients in Matcha may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.

8. Gastrointestinal health

Matcha tea is known to help in preventing intestinal infections and in stopping the formation of tumors in the intestines. It contains a high level of dietary fiber that has the ability to ease constipation and stabilize sugar levels in the blood.

Match green tea stimulates bio-activity in the intestines. The catechins present in the tea help in stopping infections inside the intestines. The anti-cancer, antioxidant, and immunity-boosting properties of Matcha contribute to its effectiveness in combatting most intestinal problems.

9. Lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels

Scientists aren’t entirely certain about how Matcha helps improve the levels of cholesterol. However, the regular consumption of Matcha green tea is reported to lower the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, while at the same time increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

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The saponins in Match tea block cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Regularly drinking Matcha for 2-3 weeks reduces the concentration of creatinine in the blood, thus boosting HDL-cholesterol. This also reduces LDL-cholesterol and improves vascular function.

10. Protection from infections

The benefits of EGCG do not end with its chemopreventive properties. It is also effective in fighting against various fungal, bacterial, and viral infections. It has an antibacterial effect on different microbodies that cause sickness, including Candida Albicans.

A study suggests that the contents of Matcha actually help protect against various infections, including influenza A, hepatitis B and C, and herpes. The EGCG in Matcha activates white blood cells, which hugely reduces the infections of liver, joints, gums, lungs, and intestines.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via c1.staticflickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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