Is Matcha good for you?
Matcha is a true superfood, with its key benefits being:
- Antioxidant Powerhouse
- Boosts metabolism
- Improved concentration & calmness
- Linked to the reduction of certain diseases
- plus, it is super delicious
Matcha tea's strength comes from the entire leaves being dissolved in water rather than steeped in bags. Instead of throwing away the leaves, you ingest all their antioxidant goodness. And the result of this is pretty impressive...
Matcha green tea antioxidant levels:
- 6.2 times that of Goji Berries
- 7 times that of Dark Chocolate
- 17 times that of Wild Blueberries
- 60.5 times that of Spinach
The metabolism boost benefit comes from the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in matcha. The EGCGs belong to a group of antioxidants called catechins, sometimes referred to as fat burners, that are found in tea.
Due to its concentrated nature, it is possible for matcha to boost your metabolism by as much as 40%. In comparison, a cup of steeped tea may lift your metabolism by 8%.
Improved Concentration & Cognitive Function
L-theanine is an amino acid found in matcha that promotes a state of relaxation and well being.
The theory behind how this works is that stress can induce beta waves in the brain. Beta waves create an excited, more agitated brain state. However, the L-Theanine found in matcha creates alpha waves, which counteract beta waves and lead to a relaxed alertness.
L-Theanine is common in all tea, but matcha contains five times the amount of L-Theanine that is found in black and steeped green teas.
L-Theanine may help memory and learning ability, due to its ability to reduce distracting information, improving performance on cognitive tasks.
Linked to the reduction of certain diseases
This is potentially the most exciting health benefit of drinking matcha, but also the hardest to lay definitive claims about. A simple google search will result in a long list of studies that have resulted in positive improvements in health from consuming green tea. At its core, and once again, it appears to be the unique class of antioxidants known as catechins (EGCG) that provide the difference.
A study in 2006 showed that those that drank just one single cup of green tea a day decreased their risk of Alzheimer's by 38%, those that had two per day decreased their risks by 54%.
Another study in 2011 featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.
Furthermore, there is growing evidence that EGCG potentially may have cancer-fighting properties, including protecting cells from DNA damage.
As mentioned, it is difficult to lay definitive claims to its benefits, but it is safe to say that there is a growing amount of documentation linking matcha to improving one's health and reducing the risk of disease.
Sources & great articles to learn more: