The Gist of It: Matcha is Packed with Antioxidants
Most of the major health benefits that come with the consumption of Matcha is due to the fact that Matcha is packed with antioxidants. Two of the strongest are EGCg and L-Theanine.
Anticancer, cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Matcha matcha contains catechins, a potent class of antioxidants. In particular, like regular green tea, matcha contains EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), known for its anti-cancer effects as well as its effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Throughout the years, numerous studies have been conducted to explore the relationship between green tea and these health benefits and have yielded very positive results. According to the Journal of the American College of nutrition, “Recent human studies suggest that green tea may contribute to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, as well as to the promotion of oral health and other physiological functions such as anti-hypertensive effect, body weight control, antibacterial and antiviral activity, solar ultraviolet protection, bone mineral density increase, anti-fibrotic properties, and neuroprotective power.”(Cabrera C, Artacho R, Gimenez R 2007) The above results are based on regular green tea and the consumption of about 5 cups a day. However, studies have found that “matcha green tea contains at least 3 times as much EGCg as other green teas studied in research,”(Ware 2017) suggesting that its effects are even greater.
Boosts metabolism- burns calories
Another benefit of EGCg is that is believed to boost your metabolism. Studies suggest that matcha green tea can enhance metabolic rate and can also increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) The thermogenic effect of green tea is generally attributed to both its caffeine content and its high content of catechin-polyphenols. (Dullo 2000)
Supercharge immune system
It is believed that ECGg in green tea has the ability to increase the number of regulatory T cells which play an important process in immune function. This higher production of regulatory T cells results in the anti-inflammatory effects of matcha as well as its believed benefit of supercharging your immune system. (Oregon State University 2011)
L-theanine → Relaxation and calmness; enhances cognitive abilities.
L-theanine is another amino acid found in Matcha tea. Research suggests that this amino acid may have cognitive and antibacterial benefits. It has been said to promote a relaxation state and an overall sense of well being. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine (a combination found in Matcha tea) is said to result in a state of relaxed alertness. ”(Ware 2017) Evidence from EEG studies show that L-theanine has direct effects on the brain and that at realistic dietary levels, has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal. (Nobre ac, Rao a, Owen GN)
Other Benefits and Properties of Matcha
- Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Matcha is also said to be linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, although more research is needed. However, there are some interesting and promising results. A 2014 study showed that when people drank green tea for 12 weeks their blood pressure dropped significantly. (Sifferlin 2018)
- Skin complexion and skin disorders
The beauty of matcha tea powder is in its versatility. There are not only endless ways to include it in your cooking, recipes, and drinks, but its uses do not end in food products. Matcha has become very popular in skin care treatments. It’s polyphenolic compounds have been linked to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are great for skin complexion and care towards a variety of skin disorders. “The outcome of the several experimental studies suggests that green tea possess anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic potential, which can be exploited against a variety of skin disorders.”(Katiyar, 2000)
Matcha benefits do not stop there. Along with all the other benefits, matcha is rich in fiber and provides you with an endless array of vitamins and minerals; which is why matcha green tea powder is said to have endless benefits upon consumption.
Dullo, A (2000): Green tea and thermogenesis: interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine, and sympathetic activity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702779
Katiyar, S (2000) Green tea and skin. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926734
Nobre, A. C. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state [Abstract]. Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328
Oregon State University (2011): Mechanism discovered for the health benefit of green tea, a new approach to autoimmune disease. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602143214.htm
Sifferlin, Alexandra (2018)- Time: Should you drink Matcha Tea? Retrieved from http://time.com/5188377/matcha-tea-benefits/
Ware, M (2017)- Medical News Today: Is matcha good for you, and how can you use it? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305289.php
Wolfram, S (2007)-Effects of green tea and EGCG on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906191