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Full List of Vitamins and Minerals for Immunity in Matcha Green Tea

Nicholas Noble | April 05, 2020

Essential recommendations of social distancing and frequent hand-washing remain as the most critical factors to reduce the spread of the novel virus. Yet during this time of separation and at-homeness, it’s notable how interests in healthy behaviors and good-for-you dietary choices are on the rise.

People are more carefully selecting habits for health virtually everywhere, but especially in areas of high infectious spread. With the basics covered (follow the CDC), thinking outside-the-box is only to be expected, including ways to elevate immunity and signal the body to ramp up natural defenses.

Nutritional Considerations for Immunity

Perhaps next in line, is how nutrition and diet influence immunity. Although there aren’t any proven ‘immunity’ diets, that’s not to say essential nutrition goes without benefit.

In fact, there is good evidence to suggest a balanced diet – with all necessary vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals – is necessary to enact a healthy immune response. Conversely, it’s known that poor nourishment may increase odds of bacterial and viral infections; it’s also common for underlying conditions to make for concomitant nutritional deficits. [1] 

These details make for complex considerations in the ongoing pandemic. No empirical evidence is yet known for this virus or its nutritional risk factors, but we may still find reasonable inferences for our health. Such as where dietary supplementation could be beneficial or, at least safe.

Common Dietary Deficiencies in America

The average American diet is reported to have more than a handful of common nutritional deficiencies at any one time, [2] adding intersection between balanced diet and immunity. Context also includes the question of ‘unnecessarily high doses’ from certain daily multivitamins; often with low absorbent nutrient-forms and bioavailability.

More importantly, since many people are looking to bolster their wellness through diet right now, there are questions of whether multivitamins are effective; it’s also debated whether they are free of potentially harmful interactions. [3] Therefore natural sources, in place of multivitamins, are particularly noteworthy during this time.

Interest includes balanced diet (whole food and drink) as a more ideal means of supplementation. Whereby enjoying non-processed sources of nutrition, it’s thought that you may benefit from complete, natural complexes of essential nutrients – possibly superior to that of daily multivitamins or narrow food groups.

Vitamins and Minerals and Polyphenols in Matcha Green Tea

In order to help understand the connection between healthy diet, nutrition, and the subject of immunity, below we turn to the vitamins and minerals in matcha green tea that we are most knowledgeable about. 

Nutrients in the list to follow are compiled based on the chemical analysis of matcha green tea. It’s composition includes, but is not limited to these critical nutrients: zinc and other essential minerals, B-complex, and vitamins A, C, E, K.

Full List of Vitamins and Minerals in Matcha Green Tea

High quality diet is desirable for effective and more-easily absorbed nutrient forms. Balanced eating emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes. Nuts and non-carnivorous fish are also recommended as healthy sources of healthy fats, omega-3s, and wide ranging nutrition.

Food options may be diverse, but access or taste preferences might be contributing factors towards subtle, often unnoticed nutritional deficiencies. The reality is that those who are more intentional with their diet will fare better, but body-complete nourishment is still a tough nut to crack.

Please note that it’s always recommended to consult with your physician about nutritional status and what options are safe for you, matcha included.

ZINC

The mineral zinc is one of a number of vitamins and minerals that matcha green tea may help you improve upon. It’s pivotal in the function of numerous enzymes and transcription factors. In other words, it’s involved in powering our metabolism and physiology.

It’s also well-documented for a central role in immune response, where limited supply of zinc may limit healthy immunity. Maintaining recommended zinc levels is reported to lower the incidence of some respiratory infections by more than 30%, as well as shorten the duration of symptoms during infection. [4] 

Each serving of matcha green tea may contain up to 1mg of zinc, or about 10% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). If your diet is low on sources of zinc, a daily bowl of matcha (or two) may be part of a more complete solution for your nutritional health.

VITAMIN C

One of the most important enzyme cofactors your body needs is vitamin C. This vitamin is most commonly associated with fruits like citrus, but it’s found in some quantity in most every source of nutrition, including matcha.

It improves the efficiency of enzymes throughout the body and helps protect their functionality. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties which are helpful to balance inflammatory reactions of immune responses. In other words, it protects the body from damaging itself when fighting infections or injuries. [5]

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, may reduce incidence and severity of respiratory infections, offering ameliorative function in the lungs especially, improving odds against conditions like pneumonia, [6] and offering overall protections for the cardiopulmonary system.

Recommended daily intake starts at about 50mg/daily in order to prevent the condition known as scurvy. However, for ideal health it may be recommended to intake more, usually 500mg-1000mg, especially during times of greater risk of infection where immunity needs to be high. [6] 

HOW MUCH VITAMIN C IS IN MATCHA

With wide-ranging importance for our health (metabolism, antioxidants, immune support), we need to be sure our diet includes sufficient levels of vitamin C. Based on one source, a single serving (~1.5tsp) of matcha green tea may contain more than 10% of the RDA for vitamin C, [7] or nearly 100x that of regular brewed green tea bags.

Unlike black or oolong tea, matcha green tea preserves all of the natural vitamin C levels, which otherwise are reduced by oxidation and fermentation processes. Also, since you consume the whole-leaf with matcha, there are no essential nutrients tossed away like an average tea bag.

VITAMIN E 

Vitamin E is one of the body’s primary antioxidants to protect the lipid layer of every cell in your body, especially fat cells. It has an essential role in regular health maintenance, while reported to serve to protect against common diseases such as cancer and arterial disease. [8] 

In addition, at least one peer-reviewed source mentions vitamin E deficiency as a significant risk factor in compromised immunity; [9] considerations include those who may have specific malabsorbancy, but may extend to the average American with low dietary levels of this essential vitamin. [2] 

The daily recommended intake for vitamin E is 15mg, common sources include spinach, nuts, and vegetable oils. However, because of its chemical structure (in order for its function), vitamin E itself is not a water-soluble vitamin – unlike vitamin C and other nutrients – it’s instead soluble in fat. 

HOW MUCH VITAMIN E IS IN MATCHA GREEN TEA

In order to facilitate absorption, consume sources of vitamin E alongside healthy fats, such as spinach salad with olive oil dressing. Also, one single serving of matcha green tea may contain approximately 20% (~3mg) of vitamin E’s RDA, based on a national food analysis by Japan. [10]

That’s reportedly 32x that of spinach by weight. And unlike brewed green tea, which relies on water-solubility of the tea leaves (and nutrients), by enjoying matcha, you are consuming the whole leaf to give the body a chance to benefit from high levels of vitamin E that are otherwise tossed with a tea bag. 

B-COMPLEX VITAMINS IN MATCHA

Matcha green tea contains four of the B-complex vitamins. It has significant levels of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B6 (pyridoxine). [11] Each of these are essential for regular health and cellular survival, and have wide reaching effects on how our body is able to deal with stress, and carry out metabolic processes.

Certain groups of people are disposed to low levels of b-vitamins, particularly those with dietary restrictions (e.g. no animal products). Also, certain people have malabsorption of some B-vitamins, [12] where having extra sources for these nutrients may prove advantageous. 

Healthy levels of B-complex vitamins are associated with improvements against a host of diseases and malignancies. Adequate dietary levels of these vitamins can stimulate immune cells and deter microbial infection. [13] It’s also known that the spectrum of B-vitamins are responsible for inflammatory mechanisms to safely protect the body in cases of infection or injury.

Moreover, it’s suspected that a strong dietary basis to elevate levels of B-vitamins may have therapeutic potential for individuals who have auto-immunities or compromised immunities. [14] 

For these reasons, matcha green tea may be an excellent option for those looking to naturally improve their dietary intake of certain B-vitamins.

*Matcha may also contain levels of carotenoids (vitamin A precursors) 

Essential Minerals in Matcha Green Tea

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and regular drinking, like with matcha green tea, is reported to fortify the availability of essential minerals in the diet. [15] Numerous research studies also report that green tea may safely optimize the mineral (and nutritional) status of individuals. Testing has included those with obesity, diabetes, and/or individuals with already low intake of key minerals. [16-17]

Matcha green tea is also noteworthy for higher levels of essential minerals when compared to other loose-leaf teas, such as black and oolong; matcha green tea contains trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, chromium, and copper. [15, 18] Research also points to green tea as an excellent dietary source of daily manganese. [19]

  • MANGANESE - Essential for bone growth and development.
  • POTASSIUM - Vital for healthy muscle contractions, including the heart. Also regulates fluid levels within cells. Deficiency may cause fatigue or muscle cramps.
  • MAGNESIUM - Matcha green tea is high in chlorophyll, which is rich in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for bones, synthesis of proteins, muscle and nerve actions, and immunity.
  • CALCIUM - Important for bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure, immunity
  • PHOSPHOROUS - Important for healthy bones and teeth. Necessary or otherwise essential for every cell. Helps metabolism maintain pH balance.
  • SODIUM - Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.
  • CHROMIUM - Works closely with insulin to provide healthy and stable blood sugar levels.
  • COPPER - Trace mineral, part of many enzymes; needed for iron metabolism and other enzymatic processes.

Additional Thoughts

There’s no such thing as the perfect diet, and currently, there aren’t any proven to ‘boost’ immunity, either. However, if we take steps to care for our nutrition and dietary habits, we may bring out the best of our natural immune system.

In the very least, it’s noticeable how many of the vitamins and minerals shared in matcha, as other healthy foods, do in fact influence our health. It’s clear that the countless mechanisms behind our physiology and metabolism rely on many different building blocks, like in matcha green tea (not above mentioned: proteins, amino-acids, polyphenols), in order to sustain good health.

The Bottom Line - Matcha as a Dietary Support 

Although it’s not currently known the nutritional implications of this new virus, ensuring that we have adequate nutrition, and are free of serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies is thought to do a lot for our overall health, wellness, and immunological resilience.

And with existing evidence, it’s not unreasonable to draw parallels in how our health is bettered by regular levels of vitamins and minerals. Alongside a balanced, diverse, and colorful diet, matcha green tea is only one manner to upgrade your intake of many essential nutrients. 

Granted, matcha might not have everything (e.g. vitamin D), but it does go surprisingly far to offer a daily source of fortified nutrition. It can also help us keep calm and level headed during uncertain times, with an arsenal of vitamins and minerals behind the scenes to help your health stay in check.

-Team Matcha Kari

SHOP MATCHA

~ Drink matcha, level up, and stay calm! ~

*  *  *

 

References
[1] WHO, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Situation Report—41.
[2] Blumberg, J. B., Frei, B., Fulgoni, V. L., Weaver, C. M., & Zeisel, S. H. (2017). Contribution of dietary supplements to nutritional adequacy in various adult age groups. Nutrients, 9(12), 1325.
[3] Sekhri, K., & Kaur, K. (2014). Public knowledge, use and attitude toward multivitamin supplementation: A cross-sectional study among general public. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 4(2), 77.
[4] Read, S. A., Obeid, S., Ahlenstiel, C., & Ahlenstiel, G. (2019). The role of zinc in antiviral immunity. Advances in Nutrition, 10(4), 696-710.
[5] Chien, C. T., Chang, W. T., Chen, H. W., Wang, T. D., Liou, S. Y., Chen, T. J., ... & Hsu, S. M. (2004). Ascorbate supplement reduces oxidative stress in dyslipidemic patients undergoing apheresis. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 24(6), 1111-1117.
[6] Hemilä, H., & Chalker, E. (2013). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1).
[7] Somanchi, M., Phillips, K., Haile, E., & Pehrsson, P. (2017). Vitamin C content in dried and brewed green tea from the US retail market. The FASEB Journal, 31(1_supplement), 956-8.
[8] Rizvi, S., Raza, S. T., Faizal Ahmed, A. A., Abbas, S., & Mahdi, F. (2014). The role of vitamin E in human health and some diseases. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 14(2), e157.
[9] Kowdley, K. V., Mason, J. B., Meydani, S. N., Cornwall, S., & Grand, R. J. (1992). Vitamin E deficiency and impaired cellular immunity related to intestinal fat malabsorption. Gastroenterology, 102(6), 2139-2142.
[10] Kagawa, Y. (2008). Standard tables of food composition in Japan. Standard tables of food composition in Japan fifth revised and enlarged edition, 28-36.
[11] USDA Food Data, FDC ID #171917
[12] Kishimoto, K., Kobayashi, R., Sano, H., Suzuki, D., Maruoka, H., Yasuda, K., ... & Kobayashi, K. (2014). Impact of folate therapy on combined immunodeficiency secondary to hereditary folate malabsorption. Clinical Immunology, 153(1), 17-22.
[13] Chua, W. J., & Hansen, T. H. (2012). Immunology: vitamins prime immunity. Nature, 491(7426), 680-681.
[14] Spinas, E., Saggini, A., Kritas, S. K., Cerulli, G., Caraffa, A., Antinolfi, P., ... & Saggini, R. (2015). Crosstalk between vitamin B and immunity. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents, 29(2), 283-8.
[15] Adnan, M., Ahmad, A., Ahmed, A., Khalid, N., Hayat, I., & Ahmed, I. (2013). Chemical composition and sensory evaluation of tea (Camellia sinensis) commercialized in Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot, 45(3), 901-907.
[16] Suliburska, J., Bogdanski, P., Szulinska, M., Stepien, M., Pupek-Musialik, D., & Jablecka, A. (2012). Effects of green tea supplementation on elements, total antioxidants, lipids, and glucose values in the serum of obese patients. Biological trace element research, 149(3), 315-322.
[17] Prystai, E. A., Kies, C. V., & Driskell, J. A. (1999). Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc utilization of humans as affected by consumption of black, decaffeinated black and green teas. Nutrition Research, 19(2), 167-177.
[18] Mandiwana, K. L., Panichev, N., & Panicheva, S. (2011). Determination of chromium (VI) in black, green and herbal teas. Food Chemistry, 129(4), 1839-1843.
[19] Powell, J., & Thompson, R. H. (1998). In vitro mineral availability from digested tea: a rich dietary source of manganese. Analyst, 123(8), 1721-1724.

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