Originally published September 26 2015
"Super tea" has 10 times more antioxidants than regular green tea
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Most Natural News readers know and understand the health benefits of green tea, but a new kind of "super tea" has been found to have as much as ten times more antioxidant content than regular green tea.
As reported by Fox News, the antioxidants in green teas have long been known to dramatically improve heart health and brain function, but now researchers have found that matcha, a powder made from young green tea leaves that are placed in shade two to four weeks before harvesting, contain several times more antioxidants.
"When it's shaded for that long, you up the chlorophyll, you up the antioxidant level, and it just completely changes the profile of the plant," Dr. Mariza Snyder, author of The Matcha Miracle, told Fox News. "After they harvest, they steam, dry, then grind it with a stone grinder. You're consuming the entirety of the leaf."
Snyder estimated that the antioxidant content of matcha is several times that of regular green tea. Moreover, chlorophyll, which she described as blood for the plant, is detoxifying. The tea has a taste that is very similar to that of regular green tea.
"It has a really wonderful mouth-feel... a very vegetable type of taste, and it's very savory," Snyder said.
Several health benefitsAs further reported by Fox News:
Matcha originates from Japan, where only royalty, Buddhist monks, and the samurai drank it. Samurai would drink it before battle to get hours of sustained energy— it can give four to six hours without a crash, like coffee can.
The level of antioxidants in matcha are 14 times the level contained in wild blueberries and are especially beneficial due to EGCG, an enzyme that may also boost heart health, decrease bad cholesterol levels, stave off some cancers and type 2 diabetes, and improve concentration. Also, Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that may act to improve mental alertness. And one cup a day is all a person needs, Snyder said.
She said the most traditional way to make matcha is to stir it with hot water, being careful not to boil it, in order to preserve its antioxidant effects.
"You put in three ounces of water... then you just whisk in this 'M' and 'W' motion, like a zig-zag back and forth," Jessica Lloyd, co-founder and COO of Panatea, a matcha company based in the U.S., told Fox News. "It becomes this frothy, almost espresso shot amount of liquid."
Matcha also comes in different grades. The ceremonial grade is delicate and is intended to be whisked and consumed as a shot with milk, either hot or cold. Culinary-grade matcha, however, is bolder and can be mixed in with baked foods and smoothies.
Make it a latte"We try to incorporate matcha into a lot of different food and beverage options here," Michelle Gardner, owner of Chalait cafe in New York City, told the news network. "We want to show off the versatility." Offerings at her cafe include matcha Greek yogurt, matcha-infused salad dressings and a matcha latte.
Cost-wise, matcha is a bit more expensive than regular green tea bags, but that's only because making the powder is more labor intensive; one tin takes about an hour to make.
Matcha experts say you should pick the most vibrantly colored tea, which indicates a higher level of chlorophyll, for a better taste and quality.
Some, like Lloyd, have said drinking matcha has improved their overall health.
"Our skin was better, our focus was more in tuned, our energy levels were higher and more sustained," she said of her experience with co-founder and husband, David Mandelbaum. "We realized that this was a superfood that really made us feel better."
If you want to read more about green tea in general, just "go-for" it using the Good Gopher search engine.
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