Matcha has become one of the hottest trends in health, wellness, and tea shops—and for a good reason. Matcha green tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that have proven positive impacts on physical and mental wellbeing.
What are the health benefits of consuming matcha regularly? Why should you incorporate matcha in your daily diet?
What is matcha?
Matcha is a form of green tea, but it’s grown a little differently. Matcha plants are covered and shaded for 20-30 days before harvest, out of direct sunlight. This actually boosts the chlorophyll production, which generates more nutrients and vitamins. Matcha is essentially a more potent form and extraction of green tea leaves.
Matcha has all those awesome benefits you know about green tea—and then some!
What are the benefits of matcha?
Protects with antioxidants
Matcha contains catechins, which are compounds that fight the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that damage DNA and cells, leading to disease and cancer. Catechins are the antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage caused by pollution, UV rays, and unhealthy lifestyle.
Its antioxidants include polyphenols, catechins, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the compound that makes plants green, and it’s filled with a number of proven health benefits.
Essentially, matcha contains antioxidants that can help minimize cell damage, neutralize free radicals, and prevent disease.
Fun fact: Matcha contains nearly 137 times more catechins than other forms of green tea. That makes it one of the most powerful antioxidants available.
May fight cancer
Matcha contains a special catechin called EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCg is considered one of the most effective and potent tea compounds, especially with regards to its anticancer properties. One study concluded that EGCg showed the most chemopreventive effects of 10 tea polyphenols, and it could be a promising addition to anticancer developments. Other studies have shown that EGCg may be effective against prostate cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, and liver cancer.
Note: This doesn’t mean matcha is a treatment for or preventative measure for cancer. More research is necessary to understand how EGCg and other matcha antioxidants are showing a reduction in cancer cells. But it doesn’t hurt!
Nourishes with vitamins
Along with its concentration of antioxidants, matcha is full of vitamins and nutrients. Check out this list of nutrients found in matcha:
- Vitamins: A, C, E, K, and B-complex
- Minerals: selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium
- Amino acids: L-theanine, theophylline
Most people don’t get enough vitamins on a daily basis. Supplementing with matcha is an effective way to get a shot of nutrients that your body craves, especially to keep your immune system strong.
Improves GI tract
Matcha is also high in dietary fiber and colon-cleansing chlorophyll. This promotes the digestive system and gastrointestinal health. One study found that matcha stimulates fecal excretion, so it may help ease constipation and other gut troubles.
The EGCg and chlorophyll in matcha are strong detoxifiers. They may actually help cleanse the blood and cells of toxins, helping to maintain alkalinity within the body. Chlorophyll may also help pull toxins from colon walls, which can help improve energy, minimize inflammation, and reduce leaky gut.
Due to its detoxifying effects, matcha may also help protect liver from disease and damage. One piece of research found that green tea lowers liver enzymes, which is an indicator of liver damage. A second study concluded that matcha consumption could actually decrease the risk of liver diseases.
Boosts metabolism and burns calories
Most weight loss programs or supplements include green tea extract because it’s well known for its ability to boost weight loss. A lot of research has shown that green tea, especially matcha, can help strengthen the effects of exercise and diet programs. One study found that green tea extract during moderate exercise increased fat burning by 17%, and another found that it boosted 24-hour calorie and energy expenditure compared to a placebo.
Consuming matcha or green tea on its own won’t necessarily help you shed weight. It’s not a diet solution. But it can help assist your weight loss program by enhancing effects of exercise, promoting GI movement, and detoxifying the colon.
Matcha can actually give you a boost of energy to get through the day. Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine called theophylline. This is a less potent form of caffeine compared to what you find in coffee. It sustains energy with a slow-release, so you won’t have those adverse effects like fast heartbeat or caffeine crash. Matcha keeps you consistently energized throughout the day.
Calms the mind and promotes focus
Research found that l-theanine in green tea actually increases and activates the brain’s alpha waves. These alpha waves promote relaxation responses and decrease stress levels.
When combined with the caffeine effect off theophylline, matcha can promote alertness and productivity—without the drowsiness or “crash” that other stimulating drinks often cause.
Improves cardiovascular health
Studies show that EGCg may actually help lower cholesterol levels and plaque buildup, which can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. A review of studies found that catechins have vascular protective effects that inhibit oxidation (cell damage), inflammation, and lipid buildup.
Matcha may keep your heart and blood clean and clear!
Regulates blood sugar
Research shows that the catechins in green tea may actually be able to regulate insulin sensitivity. Green tea elevates EGCg levels, which inhibits cellular glucose uptake. This may help prevent or regulate type 2 diabetes and thyroid concerns.
Plus, because it helps aid in weight loss, matcha may play a role in reducing the incidence of obesity that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
One study found that EGCg’s therapeutic properties include:
- Anti-myocardial infarction
- Anti-cardiac hypertrophy
Time for matcha gummies
Matcha benefits are unparalleled, even by green tea standards. Matcha is the closest thing we can get to the fountain of youth. The catechins and nutrients in matcha could help prevent disease, improve brain function, and regulate physical and mental health. If you want a shot of nutrients to supplement your wellbeing every day, matcha should be your new go-to.
There are a lot of ways you can incorporate more matcha into your diet. One of the easiest ways? Our matcha vitamin gummies!