Matcha tea is a highly beneficial ingredient to add to your daily diet and has a ton of health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can improve overall health and well-being. This article details all the health benefits of matcha, plus ways to enjoy it.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Most people have heard of matcha tea. It is often recalled as being a drink listed on the menu at popular coffee shops. While super sweet gourmet matcha drinks are common at coffee shops, matcha can be prepared healthy and easily added to your daily diet without swinging into a Starbucks.
Matcha is a green tea that has recently gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits. It is made from Camellia sinensis leaves grown in the shade. Growing the plant this way causes them to contain higher levels of chlorophyll, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.
Matcha tea is also traditional in Japanese culture. Matcha tea is made by grinding the shade-grown tea leaves into a fine powder. To prepare the tea as a drink, the powder is whisked into hot water, creating a smooth and vibrant green tea. It can also be added to milk, smoothies, and the batter of baked goods.
Unlike other green teas, when you drink matcha tea, you consume the entire tea leaf rather than just steeping the leaves in water. It is super versatile and nutritious, with tons of health benefits and flavor.
Let’s talk about some of the health benefits of matcha tea.
Health Benefits of Matcha
1. Matcha Can Help Boost Energy Levels
Matcha is known for its ability to boost energy. But how? The combination of caffeine and L-theanine found in matcha work together to provide a sustained energy boost without the crash that can come from consuming large amounts of caffeine.
If you are an athlete, a tired mama, or just someone who needs a boost, matcha tea is a great supplement to add to your daily routine. Matcha tea is a great source of energy because of the moderate amount of caffeine it contains.
The perfect amount of caffeine can aid in increasing alertness which many people need during long, busy days. Everyone is searching for quick pick-me-ups these days, so you may as well choose something with added health benefits.
One great thing about matcha is that it contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, providing a sustained energy boost without the jitters or crashes that can come from consuming large amounts of caffeine.
When the words “energy boost” are put together, athletes often run toward the opportunity. Consuming matcha tea is a great idea for athletes because it can help improve endurance and physical performance.
Some studies have shown that matcha consumption can improve oxygen utilization, increase endurance and reduce muscle damage during intense exercise. That is great news for athletes trying to take their performance to the next level and a good reason for athletes to consider adding matcha into their pre-and post-workout routines.
Caffeine is common in most people’s diets and harmless when consumed in moderation. However, consuming excessive amounts of matcha tea can lead to excessive caffeine intake. Excessive caffeine intake can cause side effects such as increased heart rate, jitters, and trouble sleeping.
2. Matcha Helps Improve Brain Health
One of the most popular traits of matcha is that it contains L-theanine, which has its own health benefits. L-theanine has been shown to improve mental focus.
Who doesn’t want to add something to their daily routine that will improve focus and clarity?
L-theanine can even aid in reducing feelings of stress and has also been shown to have a calming effect on the brain, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This can lead to improved focus and concentration.
When consumed together, caffeine and L-theanine have been found to have a synergistic effect, leading to an improved state of alertness and focus, known as the “Zen effect”.
This unique combination can help you stay alert and focused for longer periods, making it a great option for those who need to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
3. Matcha May Aid in Weight Loss
If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you are on a mission to shed a few pounds and want to add some healthy supplements to your diet.
Great news! Matcha can aid in weight loss for a few reasons. The powder is low in calories and can replace other high-calorie pick-me-up drinks you are used to consuming. It also contains EGCG and caffeine, which can help to speed up your metabolism. It is an all-natural fat burner due to its thermogenic effect on the body.
Are you an emotional eater? The calming effects that the L-theanine in matcha has on you can reduce stress and therefore reduce chances of you overeating as a stress response.
Matcha can also act as an appetite suppressant. How do you ask? The catechins in Matcha can help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing cravings and overeating.
Drinking matcha can be seen as healthier than coffee, depending on how you prepare it. Instead of a high-calorie, high-fat latte, try mixing matcha into unsweetened oat milk with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.
4. Matcha May Reduce Inflammation
Antioxidants are all the rage these days! People often discuss which foods have the most and how to get more of them in their diet. Matcha contains a particularly high level of a specific antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to developing chronic diseases.
The antioxidants in matcha may help reduce inflammatory responses within the body. Even though inflammation is a natural body response to injury or infection, chronic inflammation can develop many chronic diseases. A diet rich in antioxidants helps to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Matcha is also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, chromium, and other essential minerals.
Some research has shown that matcha may help improve symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as asthma, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis. More information is needed to prove this but adding matcha to your diet is an easy healthy option.
It is important to note that while matcha may have anti-inflammatory properties, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for inflammatory conditions. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or medical treatment.
5. Matcha Can Help Protect the Liver
The health benefits of matcha tea just keep coming! It has been shown to have liver-protective effects due to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
The high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of matcha tea help do many things for the liver. One of the best things it does is reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause liver damage and increase the risk of liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, so reducing it is key!
Matcha tea can also reduce inflammation, as previously mentioned, but this can specifically benefit the liver. Inflammation in the body is a risk factor for liver diseases such as fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
Consuming matcha tea can also help protect the liver against toxic substances due to its antioxidant content. It creates a detoxification effect which is great for liver health.
Unless you are a heavy drinker, it is unlikely that you have thought much about liver disease. While most people have healthy livers, it does not hurt to help boost your liver’s health and keep your body functioning smoothly.
6. Matcha May Improve Cardiovascular Health
A healthy heart is something you are probably hoping to have and keep! The heart is a very important muscle in your body, and the better it functions, the longer and more active your life will be! Matcha tea can improve cardiovascular health in several ways.
Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. But again, antioxidants are to the rescue. Regularly drinking matcha tea can help combat oxidative stress and keep your heart healthy thanks to its antioxidant content.
Matcha tea has been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels, lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). Those are all great things and can be a key factor in improving and maintaining heart health.
Blood pressure regulation is super important and a must for maintaining heart health. The L-theanine in matcha tea has been shown to help relax blood vessels and regulate blood pressure, which can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Another major health benefit of matcha tea.
Inflammation reduction is important for the cardiovascular system because inflammation in the body is a risk factor for heart disease. Even though matcha tea can improve cardiovascular health, it’s not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. So add matcha tea to your favorite smoothie and get walking!
7. Matcha Has Some Cancer-Fighting Effects
Cancer is a dirty word that no one wants to hear and everyone worries about. Matcha tea has cancer-fighting effects due to its high levels of antioxidants, particularly EGCG, which have been shown to have anticancer properties.
EGCG can help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading by reducing oxidative stress, inducing cell death in cancer cells, and inhibiting the formation of blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors.
Studies have shown that EGCG may protect against several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer. While the potential cancer-fighting effects of matcha tea are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of its benefits and to establish it as a reliable cancer treatment. Always consult with a doctor before incorporating matcha tea into your health regimen.
8. Matcha May Give You Healthy, Glowing Skin
Ahhh! Many of us dream of that shiny, glowing skin, especially as we age, and it is yet another matcha tea benefit.
The high levels of antioxidants in matcha tea help protect the skin against damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Protected skin is healthy skin! The more damage your skin endures, the less fresh and awake it looks.
Matcha tea also contains chlorophyll, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce redness and improve the skin’s overall appearance. Most people hate having red blotchy skin and desire a smooth and even complexion. Consuming matcha tea may be a start to evening out that skin!
L-theanine is an amino acid that matcha tea contains and has been shown to help reduce stress levels, which can impact skin health positively. We have all heard of stress lines on the face; let’s knock those suckers out! But wait, there is more! The combination of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and stress reduction can help promote a clearer and more radiant complexion and ultimately improve overall skin health and delay the signs of aging.
How Much Matcha Tea Should I Drink Per Day?
The amount of matcha tea you should drink daily for health benefits can vary depending on individual health goals and factors such as age, weight, and lifestyle. However, most health experts recommend drinking 1-2 cups of matcha tea daily to obtain its potential health benefits. It is packed full of nutrients!
It’s important to note that consuming high amounts of matcha tea can lead to excessive caffeine intake, which can cause side effects such as increased heart rate, jitters, and trouble sleeping. Matcha tea can also interact with certain medications, so it’s always best to consult a doctor before incorporating it into your health regimen.
At this moderate level, matcha tea provides a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve various aspects of health, such as skin, cardiovascular, and liver health, and potentially reduce the risk of certain diseases. Additionally, consuming 1-2 cups of matcha tea daily can provide a moderate amount of caffeine, which can help increase energy levels, alertness, and focus.
Where You Can Find Matcha—and How to Make Your Own
Matcha tea can typically be found in specialty tea shops, health food stores, Asian grocery stores, and online retailers. Some coffee shops and cafes also offer matcha green tea and other matcha drinks.
Some common retailers that carry matcha tea include Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. You can also find matcha tea online through websites like Matcha Source, Mizuba Tea Co., and Ohishi.
If you want to make your own matcha tea drinks and treats, it can be consumed as a traditional tea, added to smoothies, used as a cooking ingredient, or even made into a latte. Matcha tea is super versatile. It can be prepared in various ways and at various strengths. If you do not love the taste of matcha tea you can control the amount you use and add in other ingredients.
Here are some of the best ways to prepare matcha tea:
- Traditional Whisked Matcha: Whisk 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder with hot water using a bamboo whisk to create a frothy and smooth tea.
- Iced Matcha Latte: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder with a splash of hot water to form a paste, then add milk of your choice and ice for a refreshing iced latte.
- Matcha Smoothie: Blend 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder with your favorite fruit, yogurt, and milk to create a nutritious and delicious smoothie. You can also add in some protein powder!
- Matcha Baked Goods: Use matcha powder as an ingredient in baking to add a unique and healthy twist to your favorite baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins.
- Matcha Cocktails: Mix matcha powder into cocktails, such as a matcha mojito, for a unique and flavorful twist.
Regardless of how you prepare it, matcha tea is a nutritious and delicious beverage that can be enjoyed for its many health benefits.
Wow! Matcha tea has a whole lot to offer and is pretty easily accessible. It is a highly beneficial ingredient that is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can improve overall health and well-being. If you have yet to try it, it’s definitely worth incorporating into your diet. Adding it to your diet is an easy way to boost energy, improve focus and concentration, and improve physical and mental health.
One thought on “8 Proven Health Benefits of Matcha”
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