Did you know that all varieties of tea, including oolong, black, and green tea, came from the same plant species, the Camellia Sinesis plant. From this shrub, various processes of oxidation occurs to generate your standard cup of tea. What you may not know is that green tea is extremely beneficial for your health and wellbeing, but more than you think.
For those unaware of the difference, green tea and matcha are derived from the same plant, but green tea is in the form of leaves (tea bag) whereas matcha is ground into a power to be easily used in a variety of ways. Both are a great adjunct to your current diet because there is L-theanine in both products, although there is about 15x more L-theanine in matcha than in green tea. But what makes L-theanine important?
L-theanine can reduce stress, increase metabolism, and lower blood pressure.
L-theanine is involved can aid with prevention of many disease processes.
- Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline: While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, studies have come out from the Alzheimer’s Association (2016, 2018) that supports the use of green tea to aid with prevention of cognitive decline and amyloid plaque build-up (one of the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease). L-theanine reduces the amount of nitrous oxide and glutamate, both in excess can cause neurotoxicity.
- Huntington’s disease, and anxiety : GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that counteracts the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. People who have anxiety and Huntington’s disease have a decreased amount of GABA, leading to an abundant excitatory neurotransmitters firing at any given time. L-theanine has been shown to potentiate GABA receptors, which can decrease the levels of glutamate, decrease un-purposeful movements and anxiety.
Several studies have commented on the synergistic effect of green tea and caffeine. Therefore, we suggest substituting your chai latte with a matcha latte instead. Otherwise, adding an extra cup of green tea into your diet or adding some matcha powder into your baked goods may be beneficial for you. Although some may advise taking green tea or L-theanine supplements, we prefer subtle additions in your diet rather than supplements since very high levels of L-theanine can result in abnormal liver enzymes.
Here are some of our favorite matcha/green tea infused treats: