Health Benefits of Matcha
Can green tea have superpowers? When it comes to health benefits, it can. Powdered matcha contains antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that deliver health benefits no other food, drink, or traditional green tea can.
So what gives matcha green tea its superpowers?
Table of Contents
Take a look at this comprehensive matcha health benefits
What Is Matcha Green Tea?
There's no question that green tea is good for you, but matcha takes health benefits to a whole new level. When you make conventional loose-leaf green tea, you discard the leaves and any nutrients left behind after hot-water infusion.
Matcha tea uses the entire leaf, made by grinding each specially grown and harvested for use in this fine powder. Since none of the rich nutrients are lost, matcha holds the ultimate green tea superpowers for health.
Grades of Matcha
Matcha runs from the highest grades to the lowest. Based on a variety of factors, the highest-grade is grown and harvested in Japan under the most pristine, hand-picked, and optimum conditions.
These higher grades have a brilliant green color, rich aroma, and a distinct, but not bitter taste. Traditional tea ceremonies use ‘premium’ or ceremonial grade to make thick tea, and many daily drinkers outside of traditional settings prefer this quality for its bold flavor, striking emerald-green color, energy-building properties, and health benefits.
Below the ceremonial grade is ‘Usucha’ or thin-tea which offers a strong balance of premium characteristics (color, aroma, effects) while being lower cost and with a marginal range of bitter notes. This sharper taste can be preferred by some, though is traditionally considered unfit for ceremony. The added bitterness comes from a higher tannin content (i.e. polyphenols which are good for our health), so you’re still getting all of green tea’s superpowers.
At the end of the matcha spectrum, culinary-grade still has many valuable uses and most all of the same health benefits. This grade of matcha is used to impart a sweet and savory flavor into many of your favorite recipes.It’s perfect for smoothies, cookies, cakes, soba, and even green tea ice cream.
The lower cost of culinary grade comes with a greater range of bitterness; this is usually because the leaves used are more mature, and harvested later in the season, meaning the rich chlorophyll and amino acids like L-theanine are still present but with a greater tannin and catechin content. Culinary uses aside, it’s a great low-cost option for an immediate health-boost.
Why Is Japanese Matcha Superior to Matcha Grown in Other Regions?
The story of matcha is centuries old. Japanese Zen monks first learned its value when they drank matcha before long hours of meditation. Once they discovered that drinking matcha enhanced their focus and kept them awake during long sessions of mental focus, it wasn't long before the Samurai adopted it as a ritual which optimized physical and cognitive performance during training and battle.
With strong roots in Japanese culture, the growing and harvesting of matcha has developed as a labor-intensive agricultural technique. Perfected over the past millennium, today the best of Japanese matcha tea is produced in Uji, a region known for its superior quality and the careful attention each tea plant receives; matcha from this area represents the most brilliant of green color, smooth flavor, and it's amazing benefits on mood and health.
Matcha Green Tea Delivers Real Health Benefits
The first mention of green tea’s health benefits date back thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but in the past decades many studies have confirmed matcha has many health benefits; some research specifically has measured matcha powder as the ultimate carrier of health benefits, where since the entire leaf is consumed, you get the full power of key vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, and antioxidants.
Take a look at these super-powered health benefits matcha tea delivers:
Disease and environmental protection
Matcha contains catechins, a family of polyphenols known to assist in our bodies’ antioxidant activities. This group also contains the well-known epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). As one of the world’s most potent antioxidants, EGCG is suggested to reduce inflammation and protect the heart and brain from disease, and is potentially promising in studies against cancer. EGCG is also instrumental in protecting your body from the damaging effects of air pollution, harmful UV radiation, and chemicals used in our daily environment.
Matcha tea actually has many naturally occurring antioxidants, not just EGCG. These work together to protect against a host of illnesses and common health problems. Most importantly, these include cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease,Parkinson's disease, and other degenerative issues
One of the ways the catechins in matcha tea helps protects your heart is by naturally lowering cholesterol levels.
Reduces the effects of stress
Japanese Zen monks were some of the first to learn about matcha's high concentration of the amino acid L-theanine. That’s because it is reduces stress, and promotes a sense of peaceful focus which has long been the perfect aid to meditation. For the average person, matcha is excellent to combat the stresses of daily life; even better, this calming effect does not induce drowsiness but instead a clear and alert mind with greater focus.
Promotes weight loss
Matcha tea has virtually zero calories, and is a wonderful boost to your metabolism. For many, the daily dose of concentrated vitamins and minerals is exactly what they need to create the enzymes and changes to burn fat. Not to mention, the unique compounds promote extended energy and improved blood flow to maximize workouts.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking matcha green tea once a day increases the rate that calories are burned, also called ‘thermogenesis.’ It was shown to increase the normal 8-10 percent range to as much as 35-43 percent every single day. Matcha green tea has none of the negative side effects associated with diet pills and more severe calorie-restricting diets.
Matcha naturally detoxifies your body
You probably know that chlorophyll is a natural molecule found in plants. Chlorophyll gives plants that lovely green color, and is used to convert energy from the sun into the fuel plants need to flourish and create the nutrients we need. Matcha green tea has high levels of chlorophyll, which may not directly flush toxins, heavy metals, and chemicals from your body, but it’s one of nature’s best indicators for the high concentrations of the key compounds that do. The rule of thumb is to look for the greenest matcha, that guarantees tons of antioxidants, polyphenols, and amino-acids which regulate our metabolism and clean our bodies from the inside out.
Boosts energy and endurance
Unlike a cup of coffee or an energy drink, matcha lets you maintain a steady flow of energy levels after drinking. You won't experience an energy crash one or two hours after drinking a cup of matcha, and unlike coffee and other heavily caffeinated drinks, you won't get the jitters or have to worry about heart palpitations.
Matcha is the perfect fuel before and after workouts. When consumed before a workout, it increases blood flow to muscles, protects the heart, and increases the availability of the critical muscle fuel called glycogen. Also, when taken before or after workouts, the potent antioxidants reduce exercise-induced oxidative stressors, which are known to make recovery take longer, and can be difficult on your body to tackle on its own.
Promotes healthy skin and teeth.
Matcha has antibacterial properties which help cleanse the gums and teeth, while also suppressing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that causes cavities and gingivitis.. Even better, matcha protects skin from free radicals, those unstable oxygen molecules associated with aging, damaged cells, and a lackluster glow. By drinking matcha green tea, your skin will maintain a natural, radiant, and healthy glow.
Matcha green tea health benefits takeaway
Add powerful health benefits easily when you include matcha green tea in your daily routine. Because matcha contains the entire tea leaf, you get 10 times the nutritional and health benefits in one cup of matcha than you do in one cup of loose-leaf green tea.
Benefits Cognitive and emotional health
The concentration of physiologically active amino-acids like L-theanine and EGCG have positive influences on our neurochemistry. These compounds in matcha green tea are known to act on our serotonin and dopamine systems, and is likened to increase our sense of wellbeing and happy outlook. Unlike coffee which is like empty-calories and can even make anxiety worse due to an excess of caffeine, these neuromodulating properties make for a cleaner source of energy that may even improve symptoms of depression. The nutritional value also gives your brain the chance to create more neurotransmitters naturally.
A healthy body means healthier cell production, including that of egg and sperm. Well researched antioxidants like EGCG found in matcha function to directly reduce dangerous damage to the DNA in our cells. With healthier and happier reproductive systems comes a boost to fertility and healthy pregnancy.
Matcha gives you energy without the crash and jittery side effects of coffee and sugary drinks. Matcha does not spike insulin levels, is always non-GMO, and is compatible with keto, paleo, vegan,vegetarian, and virtually every other diet. It’s concentrated with important nutrients that are usually hard-to-get, or near-impossible in typical diets; that includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, zinc, magnesium, and many more. With so many additional body-cleansing and supporting components, matcha is one of nature’s oldest solutions to better health, and is more time-tested and scientifically established than most every other pill or supplement out there. Not to mention, coffee which has only been around for about 400 years, matcha green tea has been connected to humans for more than 1,000 years.
Easily add a cup of matcha to your daily routine, and mix culinary grade into your favorite recipes. Matcha powdered green tea delivers super-powered health benefits you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Matcha vs Regular Green Tea
Loose-leaf green tea is rich in nutrients and health benefits. How does regular green tea stack up to matcha? Made from the entire leaf, matcha green tea's health benefits far outweigh those of traditional loose-leaf green tea.
You will have to drink 10 cups of loose-leaf green tea to get the antioxidants, L-theanine, vitamin C, carotene, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and overall nutritional value you get in one cup of matcha.
Matcha vs Coffee and Sugary Drinks
Matcha has caffeine like coffee, but your body processes it in a completely different way. The caffeine in matcha is released slowly, and the amino-acids control how it functions in the brain. This way you don’t get the jitters, anxiety, heart palpitations, or that familiar mid-afternoon caffeine crash from when you drink coffee. Unlike coffee, matcha also doesn’t irritate the gastrointestinal tract, instead it’s a probiotic for our gut-microbiome.
Matcha has an appropriate amount of caffeine to keep you mentally alert and is absorbed by the body more effectively to give you four to six hours of energy instead of the one to three you get from coffee. And, if you need an extra mid-day boost, you can even drink matcha in the early evening without worrying about interfering with your sleep.
Many common energy drinks contain too much sugar, leading to tooth decay, weight gain, obesity, as well as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Matcha tea is not only low in calories but also free of the harmful effects of sugars,like those seen from soda, ready-to-drink coffees, and others.
Matcha's Antioxidant Level vs Other Foods
Many foods have been given the label of “super” over time, but how many have truly earned it? Many of these so-called superfoods do contain nutrients that are good for you; Nuts, dark-chocolate, berries, fruits, and vegetables all provide health benefits. All part of a healthy diet, but in this case matcha tea truly earns the title of “superfood” when it comes to antioxidants.
Each food has been measured for their antioxidant capacities, in a unit called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Goji berries, for example, contain 253 ORAC units per gram. Dark chocolate contains 227. Pecans have 180; walnuts, 135. Pomegranates have 105, and wild berries, acai berries, broccoli and spinach all have less than 100. Where does matcha stand? Matcha green tea has a whopping 1,348 ORAC units per cup.
Matcha is not just a feel-good tea, It’s thus a real superfood that boosts your physical health, improves concentration, and delivers health benefits you don't get from other foods or beverages.
People Also Ask . . .
What Does Matcha Green Tea Do for You?
When you consume matcha, you are getting an unparalleled amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and more. On average, one serving of matcha tea is the same as 10 cups of regular green tea. That means you get 137x the number of antioxidants per cup.
As would be expected, the health benefits are vast. With its potent nutritional properties, matcha tea can boost your metabolism, detoxify your body, calm the mind, enhance your mood, and lower cholesterol. Matcha tea provides vitamin C, selenium, zinc, magnesium, EGCG, fiber, chromium, and more.
Matcha known to support a healthier immune system too. Its antioxidant catechins work to boost the immune system against cancer, assist with weight loss through thermogenesis, and improve your concentration with L-theanine. Studies also remind us that matcha may help boost immunity against the common cold and flu virus, because the catechins protect our cells from infection by reducing their chance of attaching to pathogens. In short, matcha can help you feel better, think better, and live healthier.
What Are Matcha Tea Side Effects?
These days everyone is wary of negative side-effects, and for good reason. Amidst the many bad connotations of medicines and drugs at the pharmacy, when consumed properly, matcha does not have any side effects. Many people in Japan where matcha has traditionally been consumed the most have upwards of three, four, even five cups of matcha per day. However, as with any substance, too much can cause some complications. This primarily relates to the fact that matcha has caffeine.
All green teas have caffeine. In a half teaspoon of matcha, there is about 35mg of caffeine. Nutritional guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. By these guidelines, it is safe to drink about 10 brewed cups of matcha per day without worry
These guidelines are different in some circumstances. Children and pregnant women should reduce their caffeine intake, and some adults who are sensitive to caffeine should monitor their intake of matcha as well.
Possible side effects from too much caffeine do include headaches, irritability, diarrhea, insomnia, or heart palpitations. This goes for any caffeine containing beverage, but generally no side-effects are reported with regular consumption of matcha. Consulting with your physician is always recommended when adding new things to your diet or lifestyle.
Why Is Matcha Good for You?
Matcha tea may seem like just another type of tea, but nothing can be further from the truth. Regular green teas only use a fraction of the nutrients stored in the leaves. As the tea brews, only a small portion of the nutrients end up in the water. The rest is still in the leaves which are cast aside, and are already at a disadvantage because of subpar harvesting techniques.
Matcha tea, on the other hand, allows you to consume the whole leaf. This ensures that the full benefits will be made available to you; you’ll be leaving others in the dust by choosing matcha over loose-leaf green tea, reaching your full potential with every cup.
Is Matcha Good for Weight Loss?
There is no quick fix when it comes to weight loss, but matcha is a great addition to a comprehensive weight-loss program. The reason for this stems from the nutrients packed inside each leaf.
For one, matcha has been shown to improve your metabolism and burn fat. That means that it tackles the issue of weight from both sides, giving you a natural boost in your fight against unwanted pounds, naturally encouraging higher energy levels, while also triggering that hard-to-access fat metabolism
As far as other options for weight loss, most are supplements which you’ve likely seen carry negative side effects. Since many of those shortcuts are new, synthetic, and untested, you should think of matcha as a natural way of improving your weight. If you are interested in weight loss, rest assured that matcha doesn’t use any dangerous mechanisms to burn fat. It won’t raise your blood pressure or cortisol, which are two things you want to avoid when trying to lose weight safely and keep it off. Besides, matcha green tea has origins more than 1,000 years old, our bodies have developed alongside green tea’s valuable benefits.
In fact, matcha's effectiveness has been professionally documented. There was a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed matcha increases thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the rate at which the body burns calories.
With matcha green tea, thermogenesis jumped from 10 percent to 43 percent. That means matcha green tea can safely increase the rate at which you burn calories, which is exactly what you need for weight loss without worrying about strain on your heart.
Why Is Matcha More Costly Compared with Other Green Teas?
The price of matcha reflects the labor involved in producing it. In Japan, high-quality matcha is a luxury item, always expensive, but there are many grades of matcha. They vary in price as well as quality.
Food grade, or ingredient, matcha is used to make green-tea ice cream and other sweets, smoothies, and green-tea noodles (cha soba); it is relatively inexpensive. The most expensive high-grade matcha is drunk in the tea ceremony.
When to buy Culinary Grade Matcha?
Food grade, culinary, or sometimes ‘ingredient matcha’ can be used to make green-tea ice cream, sweets, smoothies, and green-tea noodles (cha soba); it is relatively inexpensive, where on the other end,the most expensive ‘ceremonial’ high-grade matcha is reserved for the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Nonetheless, all matcha carries a shared host of health benefits and energizing properties.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
Matcha green tea has a flavor often described as umami, or savory, typically associated with broths and cooked meats and pleasant to the palate. The lower grades of matcha progressively taste more bitter notes, which improper preparation can exacerbate. When you’re choosing a grade of matcha, decide on how you’d like to consume it, and be sure to sift it, and use only steamed, not boiling water. Culinary grades are not recommended for daily drinking, as the tannin content for many is unpleasant to taste, so that’s why it’s important to select a well-sourced Koicha (ceremonial grade, also known as thick tea) or Usucha (sipping tea, also known as thin-tea).
Prepared right, and with the proper grade, matcha has an irresistible flavor. If that’s not your experience, double check your source, quality, and preparation style.
How Do You Make a Bowl of Matcha?
Follow these steps to make the perfect bowl of matcha:
Heat water in a kettle until steam first appears. Water temperature should be around 180°F. Remove from heat. Water temperature is extremely important when making matcha to keep it from tasting bitter.
Pour 1/2 cup of hot water into the waiting matcha bowl. Dip the whisk into the warm water. Remove whisk, discard water, and dry the bowl.
Using a matcha tea scoop, measure 3 scoops, the approximate equivalent of 1 teaspoon into the warmed bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of hot water.
Use a matcha tea whisk to mix the tea and water. Begin slowly with a back-and-forth motion, and then increase the intensity with quick strokes to create a froth.
Rinse the scoop and whisk. And enjoy your matcha.
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