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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 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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