Matcha green tea (Camellia sinensis) is a form of green tea produced by plants that have been shaded by bamboo mats during much of their growth period. Because they are exposed to less direct sunlight, the plants produce higher concentrations of chlorophyll, quercetin, rutin, caffeine, catechins (including epigallocatechin-3-gallate) theanine, and other amino acids that give the tea a non-bitter taste and an intensive nutrient profile.
This review found that matcha green tea may deliver even more benefits than standard green tea, which has an already impressive reputation. The components in matcha green tea shows strong anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity. This means it could potentially stop tumors, preserve cognitive clarity, and inhibit the spread of viruses, including Covid-19.
The researchers conclude that there is still more clinical work that needs to be done to better quantify the specific amounts of matcha green tea required for therapeutic benefits. But one thing is certain: adding this form of one of the world’s most popular beverages could be an easy way to preserve good health in many ways.
Kochman J, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Mruk H, Janda K. Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules. 2020 Dec 27;26(1):85. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010085. PMID: 33375458; PMCID: PMC7796401.
Japanese matcha is a type of powdered green tea, grown in a traditional way. Shading of the plants during the growth period enhances the processes of synthesis and accumulation of biologically active compounds, including theanine, caffeine, chlorophyll and various types of catechins. Green tea contains four main catechins, i.e., (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), of which the latter is the most active and abundant and matcha is their best condensed source. Due to its unique chemical composition and prized flavour, which sets it apart from other tea beverages, it is considered the highest quality tea. Its health-promoting properties are attributed to the high content of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances. Studies confirming the high antioxidant potential of tea beverages claim that it originates from the considerable content of catechins, a type of phenolic compound with beneficial effects on human health. Due to its potential for preventing many diseases and supporting cognitive function, regular consumption of matcha may have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. The aim of this review was to compile the health benefits of matcha tea. It is the first such review to be undertaken, and presents its main bioactive compounds in a systematic manner.
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