MATCHA. Here’s what you should know about this powerful green powder.
What is Matcha?
Tea is known to be one of the healthiest “natural” drinks that our planet has to offer us, that is, apart from water. With that being said, tea’s most “natural” state means unprocessed and unsweetened. Green tea is often the most favorable when it comes to health benefits. Matcha powder is green and also a tea, so what makes it different than green tea? Why should we drink matcha instead?When producing matcha, the process begins when the green tea leaves are still in the process of growing. The plant is kept shaded up until they are chosen for harvest. Shading the plant increases the levels of chlorophyll (which gives the tea it’s vibrant green color), amino acids within the leaves, and also boosts the flavor of the tea. After harvesting the leaves, they are steamed and dried. The stems are removed before the whole leaves are ground into matcha (powder).
This powder benefits us as consumers because we are able to consume the entire particles of the leaves, instead of only the dissolvable elements that traditional green tea infuses into water. This rich powder provides for a creamier, sweeter beverage. Just remember, because this powder is made of the entire leaf, a little bit of matcha goes a long way. The richness of one cup of matcha, in comparison to regular infused green tea, has about three times the antioxidants.
Why should I drink Matcha?
So, what are the health benefits associated with consuming this green powdered tea? Here are 6 research-supported benefits that you may acquire from your delicious cup of green goodness.
1. I want a Healthier Heart! Green tea leaves contain a large quantity of catechins, which are natural antioxidants. These catechins benefit your cardiovascular system and may reduce the risk of heart disease mortality according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Matcha is the richest form of green tea, therefore contain the largest amount of catechins for one to consume. Studies have also provided the possibility of stroke prevention associated with matcha consumption. These catechins also are helpful in maintaining healthy and clear arteries.
There is also an association between matcha and healthy cholesterol levels. A published comprehensive analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular matcha consumption resulted in reduced LDL cholesterol.
2. I want Fat Loss! Matcha is proven to support a faster, more efficient metabolism. This helps you burn fat!
According to a 2018 study, regular consumption of matcha can increase your body’s rate of thermogenesis, which is the rate at which you burn calories. This increase is shown anywhere from 35-43%. That’s a huge improvement! This same study also showed significant results in reduction of body fat percentage due to matcha consumption.
In a 2018 study published in Human Kinetics, female subjects consumed one cup of matcha before a 30-minute brisk walk. Researchers were able to conclude that the matcha tea led to an increased conversion of fat into energy, meaning more fat was broken down and eliminated from the body.
3. I want “Non-Jittery” Energy & Improved Mental Focus! Matcha compared to other teas contains higher levels of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It favorably contains the highest amount of L-Theanine. All green teas offer L-Theanine, but the levels that matcha has to offer is unmatched! Most green teas offer 4-5 mg of this amino acid per serving. Matcha contains 20mg! Why is this important? L-theanine is known to have a calming and meditative effect on the body.
That’s great and all, but I want caffeine! If this is you, good news, matcha indeed has caffeine that helps you stay alert and focused! But who has ever drank too much caffeine to where you felt like a jittery, over-anxious mess? I have! So, this is where L-Theanine comes into play. The calming effects of this amino acid allows for sustained energy without the jitters that other energy drinks induce.
4. I want a fabulous Detox! Because the entire leaf is used to produce matcha, we are drinking high levels of Chlorophyll when we consume it. Chlorophyll is the chemical responsible for the vibrant green color of this tea. It is known to aid in the removal of heavy metals, toxins, and chemicals from the body.
5. I want healthy cell growth & anti-aging properties! Studies have shown that drinking matcha on a regular basis reduces the amount of free radicals within your body, thus reducing the amount of cell damage within your body. This reduction in free radicals provides anti-aging benefits as well as a stronger immune system.
6. I want a Healthy Functioning Brain! Studies reveal that matcha consumption can contribute to healthy brain function.
In a 2014 study, researchers with provided participants consumed matcha every day for three consecutive months. Results suggested that matcha consumption can improve cognitive function of the brain and reduce progressive cognitive failure.
In another study last year, published in the Food Research International, healthy adults who consumed Matcha on a regular basis demonstrated better reaction time, memory, and focus, when compared with a group given a placebo.
So…Who is eager to try Matcha?!
Although matcha is noted to have many benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. Matcha contains caffeine, therefore, if you are unsure if it is for you, you should consult with a physician.
If you would like to learn more or discuss fun ways to incorporate matcha into your diet, feel free to speak with me, Nicole Durham (Wellness and Weight Loss Director at Jones Physical Therapy Clinic in Louisiana)!
Schedule your appointment with me today to take the first step on your way to wellness! I offer free Discovery Visits to learn more about my program.