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October 18, 2013

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Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

In ancient Japan, green tea was considered a medicine due to its known health benefits at the time. It was also something Buddhism monks used during their meditation for its calming effects. Modern science has confirmed these Japanese beliefs in green tea. Many scholars around the world have studied the health benefits of green tea and found the following:

Health Substance Inside of Green Tea

Green tea has many amazing nutrients and substances and the following will be some of the major substances/compounds:

1. Catechin. This substance is type of polyphenol that is said to have powerful antioxidant effect. It has four type of Catechin: EC, EGC, ECG, and EGCG. The EGCGs are considered the most powerful antioxidant within the four types.

2. Vitamins. Green tea is especially abundant in Vitamin C. If you take the green tea in powder type, three servings will be equivalent to one apple. Also the organic compound beta-carotene (vitamin A precursor) is also abundant close to one serving of orange juice.

3. Theanine. It is an unique amino acid that is said to have potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress and provides a calm alertness.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

There are many scholars around the world who are experimenting the health benefits of green tea. Some of these benefits are still being debated, so if you plan to use for medical purpose please consult your physician.

1. Prevents Cancer. The powerful antioxidant substance, the EGCGs, are said to prevent the development of cancer cells. There are many experiment that shows that the people who takes green tea has a low possibility of getting cancer.

2. Lowers Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. There is an enzyme that triggers the high blood pressure called the enzyme renin. Catechin has the effect to prevent this enzyme renin to raise the blood pressure. It will also lower bad cholesterol, which makes the ratio of good and bad cholesterol more favorable for the health.

3. Boosts Metabolism. Catechin also is said to have the effect to boost metabolism and reduce the absorption of fat.

4. Relaxation. The combination of theanine and caffeine has the effect to give alert calmness.

5. Natural Deodorizer. The Catechin is said to provide antibacterial effect and eliminates odor. In Japan, used tea leaves are recommended to use as a natural air refresher. 

6. Aids Fight for Dementia. Catechin protects from nerves system which leads to aids for dementia.

7. Tooth Decay. The antibacterial effect will protects from cavities and other dental issues.

8. Skin Care. The antioxidant effect from Catechin and vitamin C will protect you from aging skin. In Japan, some beauty magazines recommend to drink green tea for its skin care benefits and health benefits.

 

Health Experiment Done with Green Tea

We put together a chart that sums up the major experiment that was done.

Green Tea Health Benefits

>>See Green Tea Powder Products 

>>See Green Tea Loose Leaf Products

>>See Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

 

 *DISCLAIMER. We are not recommending green tea as a cure or remedy for any health ailments. Please consult your physician for any medical problems you may be experiencing. We seek to source current and accurate information for your general knowledge. If you know of any additional informative resources, please contact us.


Difference between Matcha and Green Tea (Sencha) Part 2

Sometimes I see some phrases that “Matcha is 10 times better than green tea”. I am not sure in what perspective this is mentioned but in times I believe this phrase may lead to some misunderstandings. Actually the benefits of teas may vary depending on the tea form(powder or loose leaf) and how its infused. For example, although its the same tea leaf the health benefits will differ if you consume it in powder form or loose leaf form. Also as for loose leaf, depending on the water temperature and infusion time the health benefits will again vary. 

 

What is “Green Tea”?

To get the terminology right, ordinary green tea that is sold out in the market named as “Green Tea” is mainly “Sencha”. Sencha is the most popular tea drank in Japan and most green tea shipped out from Japan is Sencha. Please understand that both Matcha and Sencha are categorized as green tea but they are completely different teas. The biggest difference is the tea leaf itself is completely different: cultivation, nutrients, processing, taste, etc.

So after understanding that green tea’s another term is Sencha…is Matcha 10 times better than green tea (Sencha)? Let’s take a look in several perspectives.

 

1 - Matcha vs Green Tea Brewed (Sencha Brewed)

Yes, Matcha will definitely have more health benefits than brewed green tea. As for brewed tea, nutrients are left behind in tea leaf and are usually thrown away. Of course, not all nutrients are left behind but mostly the water non-solvent vitamins such as vitamins C gets left behind in the tea leaf. On the other hand, Matcha is simply ground tea leaf so you can take advantage of the whole tea leaf’s nutrients and vitamins. So I am not sure its right to say 10 times but it is definitely better than brewed green tea in health wise.

 

2 - Matcha vs Green Tea Powder (Sencha Powder)

Let’s break this down into two metrics, “nutrients” and “Catechin (antioxidant substance)”.

 

Nutrients

As for the comparison of nutrients are in the following chart. Many of the nutrients are contained more in the Green Tea Powder (Sencha Powder). The biggest difference will be the Vitamin C.

 

Catechins

Catechins are a type of polyphonel that contains many of the positive effects: antioxidant effect, boost metabolism, etc. The popular term in the states the “EGCg” is one of the types of this Catechin.
For the Catechins, I have not seen yet a precise data for Matcha. However, there is a data comparison of Gyokuro (a loose leaf that is cultivated the similar way as Matcha) and Sencha. Of course Gyokuro will not be a complete substitution for Matcha, but would be the closest thing at the moment. The percentage of Catechin is as follows and you can see that Sencha contains more Catechins. In other words, Sencha may be more powderful in antioxidant effect.

  • Sencha : 13.56~14.14%
  • Gyokuro: 10.04~10.79%
    *Source: Chamber of Tea Association of Shizuoka Pref.

 

So you can see that in most case Matcha are healthier than brewed green tea (Sencha), not sure if “10 times” will be the precise word to express it. On the other hand, if you compare it with Green Tea Powder (Sencha powder), it will be more beneficial than Matcha as for health wise. Since we have only focused on the health benefits, next time we will focus on different perspectives such as taste and other effects for Matcha. Then you will see why Matcha has been this popular in Japan for many hundreds of years.Hope it clarified some points and learned something new :)
Thank you for reading.


    Yosuke Aso
    Yosuke Aso

    Author



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