KNOW THIS: Matcha tea can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
WHY? It’s high in a class of antioxidants, which are believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body.
I know, I know, I’m late to the party with this one, but I’ve only just got around to trying matcha tea. Matcha has been the superfood of the moment for quite a while now, and with good reason. It’s health benefits are impressive – from cancer fighting antioxidants, to preventing heart disease.
Personally, I’ve never really been a fan of green tea, however I find matcha more pleasant as it has a less bitter and purer taste – mainly because of the way it’s made. It’s the highest quality powdered green tea available, made by taking young tea leaves and grinding them into a bright green powder, which is then whisked with hot water ready to drink. So when comparing to green tea, it’s superior because you’re not throwing away the best bit. Matcha tea is also grown in the shade, which increases the amount of chlorophyll content in the leaves, giving them that bright green colour and making them full of nutrients.
So what are the health benefits of this glorious green tea? Well the main reason to drink matcha tea, is because, like other green teas, it contains a class of antioxidants called catechins. Matcha is high in a catechin called EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body – and has been found to be over 100 times more effective in neutralising free radicals than vitamin C and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. In multiple lab studies, matcha has been shown to shrink existing tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and so many experts suggest green tea daily as a natural cancer preventative. I’m sold! And because matcha contains 4-7 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market, this should be your tea of choice.
Studies have also linked green tea to a variety of other health benefits, such as helping to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and even encouraging weight loss.
For over a millennium, matcha has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. How? Well the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain, which induces relaxation without drowsiness, while also promoting the production of dopamine and serotonin (which enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration). So forget your beloved coffee – THIS is the drink you should be drinking.
The final benefit is that matcha is a powerful detoxifier, capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body. Now some say, because matcha can hold the toxins it withdraws, that the tea is a risk from being contaminated with lead when it’s grown and then it could contaminate you when you drink it. This is a possibility, but it can simply be avoided. China is one of the world’s top producers of green tea (including matcha) as well as herbal, oolong and black teas, all of which are prone to higher than average levels of lead contamination, mainly because China is so polluted. So avoid matcha made in China, and instead choose high-grade Japanese matcha tea, which is typically grown on well-tended low mountain plateaus that are some of the most carefully managed agricultural environments in the world.
ConsumerLab.com, an independent testing group, tested matcha products for lead and among the six premium, popular matcha brands they tested, the powders were not contaminated by lead or other metals, and did not contain pesticides. Obviously this is a small testing sample, however, it makes sense to spend more on the premium brands if you’re worried about the purity of your matcha.
I’m a big fan of Terrific Tea’s matcha, which is a high quality ceremonial grade Japanese matcha and is 100% organic, as certified by the Soil Association. It has a slight sweet taste and a bright green colour – a sign that it’s high-grade. For me, matcha is much more palatable than green tea, and with the health benefits being superior, it’s a win win.