Benefits of Matcha: What’s So Good About It? Why All the Hype?
Benefits of Matcha: What’s So Good About It? Why All the Hype?
Benefits of Matcha: Everyone seems to be drinking their matcha lattes! But what’s so good about Matcha tea that makes it better than any other run of the mill tea? Here we break down the health benefits to this uber-popular coffee house drink!
Benefits of Matcha: What’s In Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is finely ground tea leaves, traditional to Japanese ceremonies—matcha packs more significant potential for health benefits than regular green tea does. Catechins in tea are what makes it so healthy, and Matcha has a higher amount of catechins! And there are several different catechins, each producing different health effects. Studies found that consuming Matcha, you get 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the most substantial value for other green teas.
What Are The Health Benefits of Matcha?
There are several amazing health benefits to consuming Matcha! It lowers stress levels, helps you sleep better, helps fight cancer and boosts immune health. Matcha also helps with brain health and fat loss! So forgo that gross green milkshake, and grab your mug of healthy green Matcha for St Patricks Day—and read through these fantastic benefits to Matcha!
1. Matcha Tea Can Help Reduce Stress + Lower Cortisol
You still get the caffeine from Matcha to help kick-start your day—but matcha tea also contains an abundance of theanine, an amino acid with a stress-reducing/cortisol lowering response. Theanine helps to balance out caffeine. Researchers studied the stress-reducing effect of Matcha and found a high stress-reducing result and decreased levels of anxiety. L-theanine alone improved self-reported relaxation, tension, and calmness starting at 200 mg. L-theanine and caffeine combined were found to particularly improve performance in attention-switching tasks and alertness. In another study, researchers found matcha tea not only significantly reduced stress levels but also helped considerably with sleep!
2. Matcha Tea is Loaded with Antioxidants and May Help Fight Cancer Cells
Matcha contains high levels of antioxidants that help to decrease inflammation, improve immune health, and lower the risk of many diseases! It is is particularly high in EGCG, a catechin with cancer-fighting benefits. Researchers studied matcha tea on breast cancer suppression. Treatment with Matcha was sufficient to suppress both oxidative mitochondrial metabolism (OXPHOS) and glycolytic flux, shifting cancer cells towards a more quiescent metabolic state.
On top of this, Matcha strongly affected mTOR signaling (associated with inflammation and inflammatory health conditions), specifically down-regulating many components of the 40S ribosome. Also, they discovered other key pathways were affected, including the antioxidant response, cell cycle regulation, as well as interleukin signaling. The researchers concluded that Matcha might have significant therapeutic potential by mediating the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells!
3. Benefits of Matcha: Matcha Tea Improves Your Brain Health
Matcha tea has a positive effect on memory, cognition, and mental health! A review of studies done on matcha tea and brain health showed a positive influence on psychopathological symptoms. There was an overall reduction in anxiety, increased memory and attention, and overall better brain function!
The one factor that was found to have the most significant impact on brain health was the combination of both the caffeine and the -theanine together. When these substances were separated, there was significantly less of a health punch!
4. Matcha Tea Enhances Fat Oxidation With Exercise!
One particular catechin found in Matcha known as epigallocatechin gallate (say that five times fast), combined with caffeine (both found in Matcha), increased exercise-induced fat oxidation! What does this mean for you? If you are already actively exercising-even walking fast for a half-hour, drinking Matcha will help boost your metabolism and oxidize more fat than exercise alone.
Benefits of Matcha: Summary
There are many other health benefits of matcha tea, that are not listed above, such as cardiovascular benefits, increased energy, protective against Alzheimer’s, and many more. There is a lot of hype surrounding certain “superfoods” and while I don’t buy into all of the hype, I am a firm believer in the drinking of Matcha!
Homemade Creamy Matcha Drink:
1 tsp Matcha powder
3/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup filtered water
1 TBS honey or maple syrup
1 TBS coconut manna
1/4 tsp cinnamon
One whisk (does not have to be one of those cool matcha whisks, but they do work best)
Put all the ingredients except for the cinnamon in a saucepan over med-low and whisk together until heated through (warm simmer). Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Weiss DJ, Anderton CR. J Chromatogr A. 2003 Sep 5;1011(1-2):173-80. Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography.
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Unno, Keiko et al. “Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by Green Tea Are Associated with a Reduced Caffeine Content.” Nutrients vol. 9,7 777. Jul 19. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9070777
Bonuccelli, Gloria et al. “Matcha green tea (MGT) inhibits the propagation of cancer stem cells (CSCs), by targeting mitochondrial metabolism, glycolysis and multiple cell signalling pathways.” Aging vol. 10,8 (2018): 1867-1883. doi:10.18632/aging.101483
Mancini, E et al. “Green tea effects on cognition, mood and human brain function: A systematic review.” Phytomedicine Volume 34, Oct 15, 2017, Pages 26-37.DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.07.008
Willems, Mark Elisabeth Theodorus, Mehmet Akif Şahin, and Matthew David Cook. “Matcha Green Tea Drinks Enhance Fat Oxidation During Brisk Walking in Females”. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 28.5: 536-541. < https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0237>. Web. Mar 12, 2020.