If you are fond of desserts, you have probably heard about matcha. In recent years, matcha rose to the popularity that you can find it in many foods today – coffees, lattes, shakes, frappes, cakes, ice creams, and some chocolate or cookie brands even have their matcha-flavored chocolate or cookies. For some reason, this green powder just dominated much of our desserts today!
Some love it, some hate it, but one thing we can say: matcha is here to stay! However, matcha is just more than a “dessert powerhouse”.
Aside from being a dessert flavor or add-on, matcha is found to have some enormous health benefits. This isn’t much surprising because matcha is a tea, and tea, in general, is known to bring some health benefits. But matcha offers a different level of health benefits; this is what separates it from many of the teas we have!
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the amazing health benefits of matcha green tea. If you are a matcha-lover, you are already on the right track! If you don’t like matcha, well, this can probably change your mind!
But needless to say, if you want to get most of the health benefits of matcha green tea, you should take it alone – not a sugary matcha-flavored cake or frappe! But of course, you can buy or make your healthy version of matcha-flavored cakes, smoothies, or any dessert you can think of!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha is a type of green tea that came from the Camellia sinensis plant, where regular green tea also comes from. However, matcha green tea is grown differently compared to regular green tea; this makes the two significantly distinct.
The tea bushes are covered from the sunlight for around 20-30 days before harvesting them. This increases the levels of chlorophyll in the leaves, giving the leaves a darker green color. This also increases the production of amino acids.
Once harvested, the leaves are separated from their stems. Once gathered, they will be ground into a fine, green powder; this is the matcha that we see.
Now, here’s the interesting part: because all of the leaves are part of the matcha powder, matcha contains significantly high amounts of antioxidants and caffeine – this gives matcha some of its enormous health benefits!
Health Benefits Of Matcha Green Tea
Here are just some of the enormous health benefits that matcha green tea can give you. We’ve already given you a hint, so let’s start there – it is antioxidants!
1) Matcha Is Significantly High In Antioxidants
Matcha is significantly rich in catechins, plant compounds that are usually found in tea that give it its antioxidant properties.
What makes matcha different from regular tea is that, with matcha, since you consume the whole leaf by grinding it, you get all of the healthy benefits of the leaves – and the leaves are very plenty of such health benefits! On the other hand, we don’t get most of the health benefits of regular tea because we take it by boiling the leaves in water – but the boiling does not extract all or even most of the health benefits of the leaves, so plenty of such benefits remain in the leaves.
But there’s more to that; based on one estimate, matcha’s catechins content is as high as 137 times greater compared to other types of green tea! In other words, matcha’s antioxidant properties are significantly higher because of its very high catechins content!
2) Matcha May Prevent Cancer
Aside from having significantly high amounts of antioxidants thanks to its wealth of catechins, matcha can help you prevent cancer – thanks again to its catechins!
Catechins – specifically the catechin EGCg – have cancer-fighting properties. That’s already good news, but there’s better news: more than 60% of catechins that can be found in matcha are EGCg!
Aside from helping you prevent cancer, antioxidants, EGCg catechins, and other types of catechins fight off free radicals. This can help you prevent or reduce your risk of major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
3) Matcha Can Help You Lose Weight
Since matcha is a green tea, and green tea is one of the well-known tea or supplements used for weight loss, it makes sense to say that matcha can help you lose weight, too – as long as it does not come with a sugary cake or frappe!
Green tea is one of the most commonly used ingredients in weight loss supplements. This is because green tea is shown to help speed up metabolism, hence boosting the fat burning process.
For instance, according to one study, green tea extract is shown to increase fat burning by up to 17% during moderate exercise. On another account, a review of 11 studies shows that green tea helped reduce body weight and maintain a healthy weight.
4) Matcha Can Boost Cognitive Function
Some studies suggest that matcha can improve and boost your brain or cognitive function.
For instance, according to one study of 23 people, matcha improved the memory, reaction time, and attention of people who consumed a matcha tea or bar compared to those who consumed its placebo counterpart.
It seems that matcha can help improve the cognitive function of elders. In one study, researchers studied the effects of matcha on older people’s cognitive function by having them consume 2g of green tea powder every day for 2 months. After the research, they found out that their cognitive function indeed improved.
5) Matcha Could Promote Heart Health
As a green tea, matcha can help reduce the risk of heart disease and promote overall heart health.
Green tea is shown to reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides. Elevated LDL levels cause heart and other cardiovascular problems because it clogs your arteries by building up fatty deposits on its wall.
Aside from reducing LDL levels, green tea is also shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
6) Matcha May Protect The Liver
According to some studies, matcha can bring health benefits to your liver, as well. The liver is one of the most important organs in the body – it cleanses your body from toxins by flushing them out. Therefore, taking care of your liver should be one of your top priorities, and matcha can help you with just that!
For instance, according to one study, green tea extract had significantly reduced the levels of liver enzymes. If the levels of liver enzymes are unhealthily elevated, it can cause liver damage.
On another note, according to an analysis of 15 studies, drinking green tea is found to help decrease the risk of liver disease.
Is Matcha Green Tea Safe?
Matcha is mostly safe to drink and does not produce many side effects. But if it does, it could be mostly because of its caffeine content – so, if you are sensitive to caffeine, be sure to take note of how many matcha cups you drink.
If caffeine consumption is a serious issue for you, consider consulting your doctor first before drinking or eating matcha or simply avoid it.
Recommended Matcha Green Tea Brands
There are many matcha brands that you can try out there, but if you’re looking for recommendations, here are the matcha brands that we highly recommend:
- The Reserve Matcha
- Soar Organics Matcha Green Tea
- Grace Matcha (authentic Japanese matcha green tea)
- Pure Matcha
- Mizuba Tea
- Encha Matcha
There are many different blends to choose from, but make sure you still go with a ceremonial grade, this is the highest and most effective form of matcha.