The health benefits of drinking green tea are enough to make it worthwhile. Matcha green tea is great for helping you relax, and for soothing you without making you drowsy. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), an antioxidant offering up to 100 times more antioxidant effort that either Vitamin C or E.
EGCG has been shown in research studies to help fight Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some cancers such as prostate cancer, by killing or suppressing the cancer cells.
Getting the Most Flavonoids From Green Tea
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on their website say brewing your green tea and drinking immediately gets the most flavonoids, hitting 180 mg of EGCG per cup, with decaf having 60 mg and bottled just 10 mg. With a half cup of brewed green tea, you get the equivalent in antioxidants of approximately 2.5 pounds of fresh fruit.
Cancer Fighting Properties
The University of Maryland Medical Center says their studies show that drinking six-plus cups of green tea a day decreases inflammation and DNA damage. Adding, “Green tea can help prevent dental cavities [and] may also be useful in inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, by reducing inflammation and slowing the breakdown of cartilage. Chemicals in green tea may help treat genital warts, treat dermatologic conditions and prevent symptoms of colds and flu … Green tea may play a role in preventing Parkinson disease, cognitive decline, and osteoporosis. Studies also show that drinking green tea is associated with reduced risk of dying from any cause.”
And There’s More …
In Eastern countries such as China and India green tea is used for a variety of reasons including healing of wounds, improving heart health, ridding the body of excess fluid, regulating blood sugar, promoting digestion, improving mental clarity, and control bleeding. Because it helps fight inflammation, it helps many with acne and its effects.
What Makes a Difference When Brewing Tea
Matcha tea is authentically green, the meaning for the word is “powdered tea.” So when you brew other forms of tea, you soak the leaves, loose or bagged. But matcha is the microfine ground leaves.
One study says: “[W]hen you make tea using tea bags you’ll get significantly less EGCG than from loose leaf and powdered teas. The authors speculated that this could be because the tea bag itself prevents some EGCG from being absorbed. Or, more likely, that tea bag contains lower quality leaves.”
Brewing your tea from powder or loose leaves for 3-4 minutes could get you 3-5 times more antioxidants to ingest as opposed to brewing from a teabag for less than one minute. And the hotter the water used to brew the tea also increases your absorption of antioxidants. To maximize the effect, you need to get the water well above 80 degrees C, or 176 degrees F.
When making matcha green tea or loose leaf tea, use 4 teaspoons for 4 cups of water. It should be drunk quickly while it’s still hot and you’ll get more from it if you don’t add milk, but some lemon can enhance the health benefits.
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