The Top 3 Benefits of Tea
The Top 3 Benefits of Tea
Not only is tea incredibly refreshing and delicious, but it's also one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. Pure teas with no sugars or sweeteners are some of the most nutrient-packed drinks out there. Beat the heat with a cool glass of iced tea or snuggle up and get cozy with a classically warm mug. Either way, you get to enjoy the delicious taste of tea, a caffeine boost, AND a number of health benefits.
From One, Comes Many
Surprisingly, all different tea varieties come from the same plant, camellia sinensis. Otherwise known as the green tea plant. So all the different types of tea, white, yellow, green, oolong, dark, and black tea came from similar roots. In fact, the only difference between the types of tea is when they are harvested and how they are handled during and after the harvest.
Here at Tenzo, we're matcha specific (can you blame us?), so we'll be focusing primarily on matcha and how its harvested and its specific health benefits. If you want to read up on each and every type, this is a great place to start. But, for all your matcha-specific knowledge, keep on reading.
Greatest at Its Greenest
And now, back to matcha. Matcha is derived from the greenest part of the green tea plant. Before harvest, the green tea plants destined to produce matcha are moved to the shade for the last 4 weeks, where their color will deepen and nutrient levels will rise. After they're harvested the leaves are steamed to preserve freshness, and then ground into the very fine and bright green powder we know and love as matcha. This highly specialized growth and harvesting process are what allows matcha to retain almost all of its antioxidant content.
FUN FACT: Matcha is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods, per gram, on the entire planet.
What are the benefits of matcha tea?
When you think tea, you think health, and you should. Tea makes you feel great inside and out. So the question should really be, why does tea make you feel so good?
All the varieties of tea, including matcha, have a number of incredible health benefits, both long and short term. The main ones we’ll be discussing here today are hydration, antioxidants, and energy. From here on out, we'll just refer to them as the big three.
Facts are facts. Drinking tea helps keep you hydrated, and staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Water makes of 60% of our bodies, so when we're lacking on our daily intake, it makes a noticeable difference.
However, let's face it, drinking nothing but water all day can get a little boring. Add a little spice to your life ( pun intended ) with a cup of delicious matcha tea. Combine that with regular water intake and you'll be reinvigorated and refreshed. And, with all the different ways to drink tea, you won't get bored of the same old, same old.
Pro Tip: Brew your tea hot, let it cool, and put it over ice and add a little lemon slice! Nothing beats ice-cold matcha on a hot summer day.
The green tea plant comes loaded with powerful molecules, called antioxidants.
Tea's antioxidants might be the most important benefit of the big three. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that the body often produces as a reaction to environmental and mental pressures, like smog or stress. There are many different types of antioxidants found naturally in fruits and veggies all over the planet. There’s one molecule that in particular, that holds the health benefits powers of green tea. Its called - EGCG.
The superstar of the green tea plant, however, is an especially powerful antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin gallant, or EGCG. This tiny yet robust molecule has been proven to boost immunity, support weight loss, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and even prevent joint pain and arthritis.
So, get to sipping, because everyone could use a little more antioxidants in their life.
Between heavily sugared sodas and overly processed energy drinks, there are a lot of options for a quick source of energy. However, none of these options possess the natural health benefits that green does. Luckily, the benefits of green tea extend beyond hydration and antioxidants. Green tea also provides an energy boost, and matcha, specifically, provides the best energy boost of all.
With the rise in the popularity of matcha in recent years, people are starting to recognize the huge potential that it holds as a healthy caffeinated beverage. When you consume the entire tea leaf, as you do when you drink matcha, you get much more caffeine than you would if you were simply steeping it. And, the energy boost that matcha provides doesn't come with a crash, just pure sustained energy that lasts throughout the day.
Tea Does it All
In addition to the numerous health benefits and caffeine support that matcha provides, it also contributes to a calm and focused mind. Matcha contains a rare amino acid called “L-theanine” that promotes a feeling of alert calmness when paired with caffeine. Think of a "yoga mind," relaxed but aware. And, because of the delicate harvesting process that matcha endures, it has the most L-theanine of any tea variety.
So pick up a healthy cup of matcha tea, a nice English breakfast, or a soothing white tea and enjoy a healthy beverage that gives you energy, keeps you hydrated, and provides your body with powerful antioxidants. There's no other drink that does it all like tea does, and with its numerous health benefits and great taste, you really can't go wrong.