Reduce risk of cardio-vascular diseases, cancers, stroke, boost immune system and metabolism, support nerve system, slow aging, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, decrease inflammation, prevent flu, and prevent cavity and gum disease….
Green tea health benefits are versatile and no single drug offers such a long list of benefits. That’s the reason more and more doctors recommend green tea to their patients nowadays.
This is good and bad—because doctors may be professional about human health, but unfortunately they are not professional about green tea, and consequently, they may be recommending the wrong tea.
When I read celebrity doctors’ green tea advertisements, it’s easy to tell that their information source is giant tea companies, not scientific medical studies.
Dr. Mercola is one of the celebrity doctors, who has thousands of followers. His daily email usually features 2 or 3 health related issues and each article is fairly lengthy and very ‘informative’. I don’t know if Dr. Mercola actually sees patients in person daily, but writing these articles everyday must take a lot of time and energy from him.
Or, probably we should believe his staff is doing “research” for him and writing the long articles on his behalf.
Anyway, our assumption is, the contents are authorized by Dr. Mercola, so every word is true and we ought to follow his advice.
Although I enjoy most of his articles and often agree with him, I have to “WHOA” against “his sales pitch” on green tea. It is obvious to me that Dr. Mercola (or his assistants) didn’t do enough “leg work” and as a result, he is promoting the wrong tea, Matcha.
There is a better choice than Matcha
Here are 3 facts why Matcha is not the best tea for your health:
Fact #1: Celebrity doctors, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz, Dr. Weil, etc., all acknowledge Catechin antioxidants are the main reason for the amazing health benefits of green tea, which is true. The problem is, they are stressing the fact that Matcha is shade grown and they claim Matcha is superior because of the ‘uniqueness.’ This is exactly why I would say doctors are not green tea professionals—they are missing an important scientific fact: sunlight changes Theanine to Catechin antioxidants in tea leaves. So, less sun exposure means less Catechins.
Fact #2: Another critical problem is that the doctors seem convinced that “young leaves” have higher health value. The scientific fact is, the less sun exposure, the less antioxidants. As a result, compared to the second and the third crop harvested in summer and early autumn, the first crop tea harvested in spring doesn’t have as much antioxidants—the younger leaves are not exposed to as much sunlight as the older leaves and consequently, less Catechins. It is true “young leaves” are promoted as premium in Japan because Japanese culture values “seasonal beauty” and “Hatsu-mono; the first thing in season”. When Japanese tea industry markets Matcha as a premium, higher quality tea, doctors interpret that to mean “Matcha is better for you.”
Another cause of this misunderstanding is the common usage of the name, Matcha. The name, Matcha, is often misused as a synonym for ‘green tea powder’, but Matcha is not simply “green tea powder” but it is powder made from “Tencha” tea leaves which are grown in shade.
It is true Matcha is better for you than brewed tea because we consume all the phytonutrients and antioxidants available from entire tea leaf.
“When you drink Matcha green tea, you’re not just consuming green tea leaf-infused water (which contains only a small fraction of the phytonutrients) — you’re actually consuming the entire nutrient-rich green tea leaf.” “With USDA Certified Organic Royal Matcha Green Tea, you could receive over 100 times the EGCG provided from regular brewed green tea!” (Quote taken from http://products.mercola.com/green-tea)
Yes, but if you consume Sencha powder rather than Matcha (Tencha powder), it is even more advantageous than Matcha, simply because Sencha tea leaf, grown in full sun, contains more Catechin antioxidants up to 42% more.
Fact #3: The amount of Catechins and Caffeine are inversely related. The less Catechins, the more Caffeine. So, Matcha, shade grown green tea powder, has less Catechin antioxidants but is higher in Caffeine than tea grown in full sun. Conclusion: The doctors are right to promote consuming the entire green tea leaf to get 100% of its precious health value but they are wrong to promote Matcha as the very best tea for that purpose.
That is why I keep sending messages and samples to the doctors who have a huge influence over so many American people nationwide. What they should promote is “Edible Green® ground green tea.” Edible Green® is a fine powder ground from Sencha, grown in full sun. More Antioxidants, and less Caffeine than Matcha.
Usually, decaffeinated green tea is “antioxidant-deprived” and less beneficial. Our recent test shows even decaffeinated Edible Green® has more Antioxidants than Matcha.
Misunderstandings and truths about green tea
I’m quoting the statements from Dr. Mercola’s product page. I understand it is long, but I strongly feel it’s my mission to tell you the true story about green tea. I hope you’ll keep on reading and find it informative. Underlined emphasis provided by me:
1. “After some research, I found that the best green tea is really bright green tea. If it isn’t bright green, you are receiving inferior oxidized green tea which will not provide the full range of benefits you’ve heard about.”
It is true, intense green color indicates how fresh (and not oxidized) the tea is. It is the Japanese custom to add sodium hydrogen carbonate to create the bright green color when they steam Matcha tea leaves, but no additives are used when they steam Sencha tea leaves. The Sencha powder is a lovely deep, but not bright, green color. Very fresh, more natural and wholesome.
2. “Interestingly enough, after water, green tea happens to be the most widely consumed beverage on earth. For centuries, Matcha green tea has been kept a guarded secret. Why? The Japanese desired to keep their tea ceremony very exclusive and closed to the outside world.
Plus, the people of Japan wanted to keep this scarce form of green tea with its numerous health-promoting benefits strictly to themselves.”
Well, this part makes Japanese people look pretty selfish, doesn’t it? I don’t believe that is the reason Matcha was less available in the U.S.market over a decade ago. The true reason is because Matcha is not consumed daily in Japan. It would be safe to say the majority of Japanese population have tasted Matcha only a handful times in their lives—some may have never had a chance to taste Matcha. This is because 1) Matcha is typically very expensive, 2) tastes too intense to enjoy daily (and is high in caffeine), 3) and is customarily used as a ceremonial tea that involves a series of strict processes to follow to both make and drink. The kind of tea Japanese people enjoy everyday freely is Sencha, grown in full sun, not Matcha, shade grown tea.
3. In the next quote, it is implied that the long Japanese life expectancy comes from Matcha. That longevity more likely comes from Sencha (grown in full sun), which is the most popular green tea in Japan.
“As of 2006, Japan enjoys the fourth highest life expectancy rate in the world at 81.2 years. The U.S., China, and most European countries (other than Switzerland and Italy) are not even in the top 10.”
4. “With Matcha being part of the ritualistic Japanese monk ceremonies, it’s no wonder why these monks are able to concentrate intensely for their 12-hour meditation sessions!”
The tea ceremony was established for monks and samurai warriors. They welcomed high caffeine effect from Matcha to stay alert. The fact that Matcha tends to have “bitter” flavor appealed to their “Zen” spirit, “wabi-sabi,” which stands for their preference of stoic, simplest form of beauty. On the other hand, “Sencha” was born when Japan was enjoying over two and half centuries of peace under Tokugawa reign. This is when Basho made haiku, Kabuki was established as theatrical entertainment for common people, and many famous Ukiyoe were printed, including Hokusai’s. Since then, Sencha has been the green tea that Japanese people enjoy most as they enjoy their life.
5. “Japanese people typically do not drink coffee. They do, however, consume green tea throughout the day. With the powerful health-supporting benefits of green tea, and even more so with Matcha, I believe that 127 million Japanese have the right idea. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Japanese people typically do not drink coffee.” This is totally wrong. If you have been to Japan, you must have enjoyed the convenience of all kinds of beverages, including coffee in cans, cold or hot, available from automatic vending machines you can find at every corner in town. People drink coffee all the time—at home, office, restaurant, cafe, and even while they are walking! I’m not sure why Dr. Mercola had to throw in this unresearched remark…so as to sound more convincing that Matcha is good for you? Hmmm….
6. “Now, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that Royal Matcha Green Tea costs a bit more than your run-of-the-mill teas.”
Matcha is more expensive because of the cost to build the shade over the trees and its successful branding as ‘premium’. The Matcha on the site is $27.97 for 30g. Edible Green® 80 cup pouch is $17 for 40g and is better for you.
I would like American people to choose the right kind of green tea for their health, and I hope they realize Catechins are higher in Edible Green®, grown in full sun, than in Matcha, grown in shade. I acknowledge the doctors who have realized the difference in Edible Green® and adopted this valuable tea for their patients, including Dr. Paul Reilly at Seattle Cancer Wellness & Treatment Center, Dr. Karyn Shanks at Kylemore Center for Medicine and Healing, Dr. Don Olson at “A” Street Clinic of Chiropractic and many others.
Edible Green ground green tea exceeds the quality of green tea that Dr. Mercola recommends
Dr. Mercola’s product page concludes with five reasons to choose their tea as follows:
“1. Quality: It is well-known among tea experts that the green tea from Japan is unparalleled for its quality. The abundant teas from China, Pakistan, and India often provide lower quality, with possible contamination by metals and other toxins in their poor soils.
2. Health-promotion: You receive all the benefits of the antioxidants and phytonutrients from the entire tea leaf, not just simply a few that get extracted from the water.
3. Convenience: You can quickly add 1/8-1/4 tsp. to a bottle of icy cold water, shake and have a delicious green tea beverage to help you keep focused and energetic at work or at whatever you’re doing.
4. Beauty and Uniqueness: Unlike other green teas which result in a pale yellow-green, bitter liquid, the high energy-promoting chlorophyll content of USDA Certified Organic Royal Matcha Green Tea provides the most beautiful bright green color you’ve ever seen.
5. Superior Taste: China-type Matcha green teas have more of a bitter taste as a result of their pan-firing process. With its unique steam-firing process, Royal Matcha Green Tea from Japan has a very appealing taste — without damaging the nutrients and antioxidants.”
So—congratulations all Edible Green® fans!—Edible Green® is blessed with more antioxidants and less caffeine than Matcha and has all the beautiful benefits stated by Dr. Mercola. Edible Green® is also certified organic by JAS, and the farmers have been dedicated to growing organic green tea more than 30 years. And…lastly but not least importantly, it has more affordable price. Spread the word to your loved ones about this special tea—Edible Green®, more healthful and less expensive so you can continue to enjoy its benefits.