Health fads come and go, but with the number of brand new start-ups exclusively dedicating themselves to the aromatic green power, it seems highly likely that matcha is here to stay. Making its way in the mainstream from Japan, matcha proclaims a host of health claims to support its place in the health-crazed market. The Blend has collected the good, the bad and the ugly facts about matcha to find out if it really lives up to the hype.
- Antioxidants. Unlike standard green tea which merely steeps in water, matcha allows drinkers to take the ground tea directly into their system, thereby offering 10 to 15 times the antioxidant levels. What this actually provides in terms of health benefit is protection from negative UV rays and a number of life-threatening maladies.
- Inducing calm. Used for years now by Japanese Buddhist monks, the leaves used to create matcha contain L-Theanine amino acids, which cause the production of alpha waves that relax the brain.
- Fat burner. Matcha directly boosts the drinker’s metabolism by up to four times, helping the body burn fat without raising the heart rate or blood pressure.
- Boosts the immune system. The catechins found in this ground green tea, paired with its high level of vitamins A and C, aids the immune system with its antibiotic properties.
- Since the green tea leaves are covered to block out sunlight a week prior to being ground into powder, a tremendous amount of chlorophyll is produced in the leaves. This acts as a powerful detoxifier, removing unwanted heavy metals an chemical toxins from the body.
- The regular intake of matcha can lead to an irregular heartbeat and increased anxiety once the effects of the tea wear off. This in certain cases can lead to a dependence on the substance.
- The high catechin levels in matcha do have a positive effect on the body in moderation, however, excessive consumption can lead to liver damage.
- The way in which the caffeine is ingested through matcha can have a number of negative effects such as nausea, insomnia and dizziness.
With the surge in popularity of matcha, production has been forced to increase immensely to keep up with demand. This had led to farmers being forced to work extensive, unlawful hours. In unregulated areas that have also been cases of farms bringing in the use of child labour.