What is Matcha?
Matcha is an extremely concentrated green tea made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black, green, and Oolong teas all come from the Camellia Sinensis but are produced in different ways. Black tea leaves undergo a natural oxidation process before being used. This exposes them to the elements, and they turn black. Oolong tea is subjected to a special process that partially oxidizes it.
Most teas can be prepared by putting the tea leaves into a tea bag and letting it steep in hot water. Matcha is different. Matcha is unique because the leaves are powdered and then infused into drinks or foods. Matcha drinkers receive a greater concentration of tea and its components because they consume the ground tea leaves.
There are also some differences in the taste. Amity Lui is a sports nutritionist at Worksite Wellness Nutrition in New York City. She says that green teas have a “typically lighter taste, perhaps refreshing,” whereas Matcha has a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of grassiness.
What is the origin of Matcha?
Matcha is a tea that originated in East Asia. It was discovered by Chinese Buddhist monks and Japanese Buddhists, who used it to induce a “calming, relaxing state which helped with meditation,” Lui explains.
Matcha is a culturally significant ingredient that has been used for rituals and in tea ceremonies. Lui explains that a traditional Japanese tea ceremony can be called “chado,” or “the way tea,” but it may also refer to “chanoyu,” “hot water for the tea.” She says that these ceremonies can last for up to four hours.
Lui says that drinking Matcha is a good way to remind yourself to slow down and appreciate the process.
Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods: drinking green tea has many health benefits
Green teas contain a high amount of polyphenols and antioxidants – substances that are natural with a variety of health benefits.
Antioxidants fight against oxidation. This chemical reaction can create “free radicals.” Free radicals are a group of chemicals that can be very reactive and take over or damage the cells in your body. Free radicals are substances that your body is trying to get rid of or avoid. Antioxidants help.
The way green tea is made makes it unique when it comes to its antioxidant content. Green tea, which is not oxidized, tends to have more antioxidants in it than black or Oolong tea. Black and Oolong contain higher levels of caffeine.
Rich in polyphenols
Polyphenols act as antioxidants within the body. It can fight against UV radiation, unwanted pathogens, and inflammation. Polyphenols have a positive impact on brain health, blood glucose regulation, and cardiovascular health. Melanie Murphy Richter is a registered dietitian and nutritionist in the Los Angeles region and an instructor of nutrition science at the University of California Irvine.
Anti-inflammatory properties and anticancer properties
The catechin polyphenol group is one of the most powerful groups found in green tea. Researchers have studied the benefits of catechins in green tea, including reducing inflammation and preventing cancer. Green tea catechins with the greatest promise are epigallocatechin gallate (EPCG), which scientists claim has the strongest Anticancer and Anti-inflammatory potential.
Worst Cancer-Causing Foods.Matcha: Health Benefits
Researchers are continuing to develop new insights into how green tea can benefit the body and mind. This includes increasing the growth of hair or decreasing cognitive decline risks.
Below are some findings – but remember to take them as a grain (or a teaspoon) of salt. Matcha benefits are derived from high doses of tea, which is not the same as a cup of latte.
Matcha is a promising food for health due to its antioxidant content. Richter states that Matcha’s antioxidants “can help protect cells from the oxidative damages we accumulate each day through water, food and air, and even emotional factors like stress” and may reduce cancer risk.
Supports liver health
According to some studies, green tea extract has liver benefits. For example, it may help the body fight fatty hepatitis. Green tea catechins, EGCG specifically, can be toxic for the liver if consumed in excess.
Brain function is improved.
Matcha contains L-theanine as well, an amino acid known for its calming properties that can help regulate brain functions. “L-theanine helps relieve stress, lowers blood pressure, and boosts cognitive functions, such as memory. Lui claims that L-theanine can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase cognitive functions (i.e., memory), and improve mood and sleeping.
The L-theanine found in green tea, and Matcha is not unique to the Camellia Sinensis plant. However, it may be more potent. Lui claims that Matcha contains up to five times the L’theanine of regular green tea.
Matcha contains a lot of caffeine, which can boost alertness and concentration. Lui claims that an average matcha cup includes 60-70 milligrams. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this is slightly higher than all teas, which have a moderate caffeine content between 30 and 50 mg, and somewhat less than coffee, which has an intermediate caffeine level between 80 and 100 mg.
When combined with L-theanine and Matcha, you can imagine Matcha providing a “steady energy.”
Richter says that “caffeine can cause anxiety in some people and may even lead to digestive problems like diarrhea.”
Cancer prevention is possible.
Studies indicate that EGCG, along with other green tea catechins, may have a role to play in cancer prevention. This includes reducing the risk of lung carcinoma, breast, esophageal, stomach, liver, and prostate cancer.
Heart health is promoted.
EGCG, along with other green tea catechins, may help promote heart health. Studies found that catechins could target cellular pathways directly involved in diseases, inflammation, and vascular health.
Weight management aids
Matcha catechins are able to increase metabolism and weight loss potential. Some research has found that EGCG increases metabolism by preventing norepinephrine from being broken down. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that’s involved in the “fight or flight” response.
A second study of healthy Japanese men concluded that daily consumption of green tea catechins led to weight loss. Participants in the study were given solutions containing 690 mg of green tea catechins. This catechin level is comparable to the caffeine content of five or six cups of Matcha. The FDA has not set a caffeine limit, but it has determined that 400 mg is the maximum amount of caffeine adults can consume safely each day.
Richter recommends Matcha to people who are fatigued or have low energy.
Matcha’s role in specific health areas
Researchers are also looking at the benefits of Matcha for hair growth and bone health.
Supports for bone health
Green teas, such as Matcha, may be beneficial for bone health. The 2022 Survey Analysis found that drinking green tea was associated with being diagnosed as having osteopenia or osteoporosis. The survey included health interviews, physical examinations, and nutrition surveys. It also evaluated how much green tea women consumed annually, monthly, or on a daily basis. Three cups of green tea per day was the highest amount listed. The researchers did note some limitations. For example, they didn’t assess how long women consumed green tea or give detailed information about other dietary habits.
Other aspects of tea can damage the bones. Caffeine may have a negative impact on bone health, as it can reduce calcium content in the body and increase calcium excretion. Caffeine consumption in excess can also increase the risk of kidney stones. Green tea contains oxalate, which is another risk factor for kidney stones.
Support for fertility and benefits specific to gender
Matcha contains catechins, which may improve fertility in men by increasing sperm counts. They can also help with female reproductive conditions like endometriosis and polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Previous research found that “green Tea or its derivative, EGCG, has health benefits and effects on endometriosis PCOS and Dysmenorrhea.” However, experts state that more studies and trials are required to understand and verify the findings fully.
According to research, the antioxidant properties of green tea can also be used to manage infertility by fighting ROS. DNA, proteins, and lipids can cause ROS damage. This can affect sperm count in men and ovary function in women.
Alternative Energy Drink
Matcha is a healthy alternative to many energy beverages, which can be dangerously high in caffeine or sugar.
Lui suggests that if you are prone to drinking a second cup or more of coffee a day, it might be beneficial to switch to Matcha to reduce your caffeine intake while also providing a small boost in nutrients.
EGCG in Matcha has anti-inflammatory properties that could protect against a range of anti-inflammatory diseases like arthritis. In a study of geriatric patients suffering from rheumatoid, green tea therapy and exercise were found to be effective non-drug treatments.
According to Richter, “matcha’s anti-inflammatory properties and its polyphenol content can also benefit our gut health.”
She adds that “certain amounts of matcha may help to positively impact certain gut inflammation issues, such as irritable intestinal syndrome.”
Richter says that Matcha also contains dietary fiber, which can help to support the growth and health of beneficial microbes.
In a study, green tea consumption in dogs was found to reduce plaque and promote oral hygiene.
According to the study above, green tea can improve oral hygiene in humans. Green tea contains compounds that may help fight bacteria and even prevent certain dental diseases such as gingivitis. Drinking Matcha can also help to prevent bad breath.
Cognitive Support in Aging
Matcha may help some people prevent cognitive decline. In a study of older adults, older women who consumed Matcha were less likely than others to experience cognitive or memory changes. Researchers concluded that Matcha could help prevent cognitive decline in older women.
The benefit of Matcha was not observed when the results were viewed as a group or only when males were considered. The researchers also did not explain why Matcha was beneficial to older women, but they suggested that some components, such as Vitamin K, could have health benefits.