Japanese Culture: What You Need to Know【Matcha】
Enjoying the Tea Life of Matcha and Its Expected Benefits for the Mind
Matcha green tea has been enjoyed by Japanese people since ancient times. Not only does it have a rich flavor, but it is also an effective drink for mental and physical health. In this article, we will take a closer look at the benefits of incorporating the habit of drinking matcha into your lifestyle.
Matcha, the whole healthy component of tea In recent years, Matcha has been attracting attention not only in Japan but also in the West. Many people may have heard that matcha is good for you.
To begin with, matcha refers to tea that is made by grinding the finest tea leaves into powder. Matcha is made from tea leaves that have been cultivated without exposing them to sunlight when they are freshly sprouted, and it is characterized by its high content of amino acids, which are umami ingredients.
Most teas are roasted, but matcha uses the ground leaves as they are, which is a big advantage because you can take in all the ingredients that are not dissolved in hot water. Matcha tea leaves contain a variety of ingredients and are recommended for people who want to take care of their health and beauty.
Healthy ingredients in Matcha
Matcha is full of ingredients that can improve your health. Here is an explanation of the characteristics of each ingredient.
Polyphenols / Catechins
Catechins are a type of polyphenol. Catechins are a type of polyphenol, also known as "tea catechins," and are responsible for the unique astringency of tea.
Catechins also have antioxidant properties and are expected to have a wide range of health benefits, including controlling cholesterol and body fat levels and preventing disease.
When drinking tea leaves as sencha, it is not possible to extract all of the catechins. However, matcha, which is made by dissolving the tea leaves as they are, has the advantage of providing all the catechins contained in abundance.
Amino Acid / Theanine
Many people like the unique umami and sweetness of matcha. It is amino acids that create the umami taste of high quality matcha, and one of the most abundant ingredients is called theanine.
Theanine is effective in relaxing and promoting blood circulation, making it a reassuring ally for modern people who have trouble feeling calm and sleeping.
Like catechins, theanine has a high antioxidant effect and helps regulate metabolism, so it is expected to have a weight loss effect.
One of the characteristics of matcha is that it is rich in vitamins such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E. Beta-carotene and vitamin C are the most important vitamins in matcha.
Beta carotene and vitamin C are essential for women who want to have beautiful skin because they help maintain healthy skin and improve immunity.
In addition, the aforementioned beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as the antioxidant properties of vitamin E, are not to be overlooked by those who want to keep their internal environment youthful. Because of these rich health ingredients, matcha is also attracting attention as a beverage that supports cleanliness.
When it comes to vitamins, you may have a strong impression that you get them from vegetables. However, matcha contains many vitamins that are essential for your skin and physical condition. When you are too busy with work, housework, or childcare to pay attention to your diet, drinking matcha is one way to make up for the lack of vegetables.
Dietary fiber is known to be abundant in potatoes, burdock root, bananas, etc., but it is also abundant in tea, especially in matcha, which is made by drinking the whole tea leaves.
Dietary fiber promotes intestinal activity and is effective in relieving constipation and weight loss. In addition to its bowel-regulating effects, dietary fiber is also an essential component for maintaining good health, helping to prevent cancer, diabetes, and myocardial infarction. Many Japanese people are said to be deficient in dietary fiber, but if you make it a habit to drink matcha, you can more easily consume dietary fiber.
One of the characteristics of matcha is its high caffeine content. Caffeine is famous for its ability to make you feel sleepy, but it also plays a role in promoting metabolism. It supports fat burning, making it effective for weight loss.
If you want to take in caffeine but don't like coffee, why not try matcha?
Benefits of Matcha for the Body
Matcha contains a lot of ingredients, but what are the benefits of matcha? Let's take a look at some of the health and beauty benefits of matcha.
Antioxidants for beauty and anti-aging
Matcha is a treasure trove of antioxidants such as catechins, theanine, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These antioxidants help to reduce the amount of active substances in the body.
Antioxidants have the effect of removing active oxygen from the body. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize cells in the body and accelerate the aging process, making them a major enemy of beauty. In order to slow down the pace of aging, we need to actively consume antioxidants.
Antioxidants are attracting attention as effective anti-aging ingredients because of their ability to slow down the signs of aging such as spots and wrinkles.
Matcha, which contains antioxidants such as catechins and vitamin E, is a great drink for skin care. Try it as a quick and easy way to start anti-aging.
Detoxifying power for weight loss
Matcha can also be used to lose weight. The catechins contained in matcha inhibit the absorption of sugar and fat. In addition, the caffeine in matcha promotes the burning of fat, making matcha essential for preventing the accumulation of fat in the body.
In addition, Matcha also has a beneficial effect on bowel movement due to its rich dietary fiber. These synergistic effects are thought to make dieting easier.
In addition, it has been reported to improve the intestinal environment by suppressing inflammation, but the detailed mechanism is still unknown.
Prevention of cancer and lifestyle-related diseases
Matcha's ingredients are also useful in the prevention of diseases such as cancer and lifestyle-related diseases. For example, it is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which are effective in preventing cancer. In addition, catechins, caffeine, and dietary fiber help control body weight, which is also effective in preventing lifestyle-related diseases.
Catechins are also effective in controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat, and are believed to reduce the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
In addition, caffeine helps to maintain healthy blood vessels and stimulate basic metabolism, which may also contribute to disease prevention.
Protects the body from viruses
Catechins, which are abundant in matcha, have an antiviral effect and can be expected to prevent viral diseases such as colds. In addition, beta-carotene and vitamin C help improve the immune system, so in addition to preventing colds, drinking matcha may be a good idea as part of your daily health care routine.
Recently, the results of a study by Nara Prefectural University of Medicine that tea is effective in detoxifying the new coronavirus have attracted much attention.(See: https://www.naramed-u.ac.jp/university/kenkyu-sangakukan/oshirase/r2nendo/documents/ochahp.pdf)
Benefits of Matcha for the Mind
Matcha has a positive effect not only on the body but also on the mind. Let's take a look at some of the benefits.
Relaxing effects of the ingredients
Theanine, a type of amino acid found in Matcha, activates the parasympathetic nervous system. There is an experimental result that brain waves called alpha waves increase after consuming theanine, and alpha waves are brain waves that are produced when you are relaxed. This experiment confirms that matcha has the ability to relieve tension and excitement.
The fresh aroma of matcha also has a calming effect on the mind. However, the fragrant components of tea are difficult to extract, so there are no essential oils available. The quickest way to enjoy the aroma is to brew and drink tea.
The Mindfulness of Tea Time
Have you ever heard of the term "mindfulness"? Mindfulness refers to the process of focusing on the present moment and clearing your mind. Relaxing with a cup of matcha tea can help to eliminate anxiety caused by overthinking, and can also be expected to have mindfulness effects such as an increase in happiness and motivation.
While meditation is the most commonly known practice, enjoying matcha is also very effective for mindfulness. In addition to drinking matcha, the process of making matcha is also a form of mindfulness. The tea ceremony, where each step is carefully done and the taste of the tea is savored, is packed with the elements of mindfulness.
In addition to having time to drink matcha or make tea as a daily habit, it is also recommended to empty your mind in the extraordinary space of a tearoom once in a while.
Points to keep in mind when enjoying Matcha
Matcha brings many benefits to both the body and the mind, but there are a few things to keep in mind when incorporating it into your life. Keep these in mind and enjoy a fulfilling tea life.
Too much of this powerful tea can have disadvantages.
Even though it is good for your health, it is dangerous to consume too much matcha. When taken in excess, ingredients such as caffeine and catechins can have a negative impact on your health.
Caffeine is a stimulant, so drinking too much of it can reduce the quality of your sleep. Theanine, which has a relaxing effect, can reduce the negative effects to some extent, but it should be limited to about 4-5 cups of light tea with 60ml of hot water per day.
Matcha is highly effective in improving the intestinal environment if taken in proper amounts. However, too much of the catechins, which have the effect of constricting the intestines, and the dietary fiber, which regulates bowel movements, can cause constipation.
Enjoy Matcha in moderation and have a rich tea life!
Matcha, when consumed in moderation, has a positive effect on the body and mind. In the first place, it should not be gulped down like water, and should be savored slowly.
If you are actively drinking Matcha, it is recommended to reduce the amount of other caffeine such as coffee and tea. Avoid drinking it before bedtime, and use it to refresh yourself in the morning, between tasks, or after meals. With the benefits and precautions of Matcha, you can enjoy a fulfilling tea life.
Matcha is a drink that can be expected to have a variety of positive health and beauty effects if taken in proper amounts. In addition, taking time out of your busy life to savor matcha can help you feel more mentally stable. Even if you have never had the habit of drinking matcha before, I encourage you to give it a try. You will be drawn in by its profound appeal. If enjoying matcha at home is not enough for you, I recommend that you try the tea ceremony.