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7 Ways Matcha Tea Can Improve Your Health

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

You’ve probably come across matcha lattes on various café menus or tasted desserts with that striking green hue. Matcha isn’t just visually appealing, matcha tea is a wholesome drink that gives you a steady and natural energy boost, along with a distinctive flavor that opens up culinary possibilities.

With more folks seeking alternatives to coffee, matcha tea has become a go-to choice due to its lively color and caffeine content. Unlike regular green tea, matcha isn’t steeped leaves, it’s a finely ground green tea leaf powder.

While you’ll find matcha tea in almost any American coffee shop these days, its roots trace back to ancient times. For over 800 years, it’s been integral to Japanese tea culture, originating in the 12th century when Buddhist monk Myoan Eisai brought it to Japan from China. Eisai realized matcha helped his focus during meditation.

These benefits might entice you to swap your daily coffee for a matcha latte.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the magical benefits you can experience when drinking matcha tea.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your nutrition.

7 Benefits of Matcha Tea for Your Health

Let’s explore the top health benefits of matcha to better understand why it’s something you should consider drinking.

Below are seven potential matcha tea health benefits:

1.      Cardiovascular health

Matcha tea is rich in micronutrients, particularly one called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a plant compound with potential health benefits.

Research on EGCG’s effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health indicates it possesses various therapeutic properties, including anti-atherosclerosis, anti-cardiac hypertrophy, and more, as per a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Matcha contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system by preventing plaque buildup, heart tissue thickening, and conditions like heart attacks.

2.      Good for memory and focus

With so many hustles and bustles of life, we know the importance of staying focused. Caffeine is renowned for boosting energy and alertness. According to a study with fatigued college students, matcha tea aids memory tasks even when it’s early morning. Theanine, an amino acid in matcha, might amplify these effects, and it’s linked to improved focus and lower stress.

According to a study, drinking matcha tea enhances attention, focus, and cognitive function. In one randomized controlled trial published in April 2021 in Nutrition Research, young adults facing stress benefited. Similar findings emerged from a trial with middle-aged and older adults, published in May 2021 in Nutrients.

Matcha combined with caffeine outperformed caffeine alone, enhancing attention and performance under psychological stress.

Some researchers call it the “mood-and-brain food,” as it can be beneficial for attention span and memory because of the presence of theanine, EGCG, and caffeine.

3.      It may protect you from cancer risk

Numerous beneficial elements in matcha tea have been studied for their potential anti-cancer attributes. A study involving over 1,400 participants published in Cancer Causes & Control revealed a connection between green tea consumption and lower stomach cancer risk.

Catechins and gallic acid, phytochemicals found in matcha, have even been explored alongside chemotherapy. Researchers are investigating if they enhance the effectiveness of specific chemotherapy drugs.

4.      It may support metabolism

Some phenolic acids present in matcha play a role in regulating how our bodies process fats and carbs, potentially aiding in managing metabolic conditions. Moreover, matcha tea could contribute to lowering blood glucose levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity.

A study involving adult females indicated that consuming matcha tea daily for three weeks heightened exercise-triggered fat oxidation during a 30-minute brisk walk.

Research highlights that green tea extracts, in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise, can bring down body weight and waist circumference. While most metabolic benefits stem from green tea and not exclusively from matcha, both originate from the same plant and share similar compounds.

5.      It may be good for bone health

Some studies state that opting for tea, particularly different types of green tea, could potentially contribute to strengthening your bones and subsequently lowering the risk of bone fractures.

Among various teas, including matcha, green tea seems to have a stronger impact on boosting bone mineral density. This is attributed to its elevated content of plant compounds, lower oxidation, and heightened antioxidant capacity compared to other teas.

6.      Skin health

Both matcha powder and green teas offer benefits beyond internal health — they can enhance skin well-being, too.

According to a study, the components in green tea could potentially be applied topically to support skin regeneration, aid wound healing, and manage specific epithelial conditions like aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosacea, and actinic keratosis.

7.      It can help you lose weight

If you are planning to shred some calories, matcha tea can be a great option. Consider including matcha in your weight loss journey and see the results. The combined effects of EGCG and caffeine naturally speed up your metabolism, improving your daily calorie-burning rate.

Matcha tea takes advantage of fat as an energy source. Green tea catechins kickstart the body’s thermogenic fat-burning process. In a 12-week study, it was discovered that incorporating green tea led to significant drops in BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat area for healthy Japanese men and women.

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