What is matcha? Matcha is the powdered version of green tea leaves. Thus, consuming matcha will provide all the essential nutrition you can’t fully reap from green tea. When you are drinking green tea, you usually throw away the steeped tea leaves, resulting with just the soaked water from the leaves. Then if you drink matcha, there is nothing discarded because the leaves themselves are consumed after turned into powder. This is why the whole nutrition from the leaves is presented for you once you whisk it in a cup with warm water. Meanwhile, here is the best benefits of matcha you need to know.
1. Super Rich in Antioxidants
Since green tea is known for its antioxidant source yet matcha is better. Thus, it has even higher amount of antioxidant per serving. ORAC, the measurement of antioxidant value, has given 1380 score for matcha for the antioxidant amount. This has reached the daily recommended intake of antioxidant, which are around 3,000 up to 5,000. The greatness of antioxidant in matcha is even 7 times better than dark chocolate. Then believe it or not, it is also 6.2 times better than the amazing Goji Berries. The type of antioxidant contained in matcha is EGCG or epigallocatecin gallate. This component offers a long list of benefits for the body especially for neutralizing the harmful things inside. Indeed, one cup of matcha is better than ten cups of regular green tea. As a result, how could it possible for you to miss drinking this healthy tea to get the most of its antioxidants?
2. Infection Protector
EGCG (epigallocatecin gallate) contained in matcha is an infection protector. It helps preventing your body from getting various infections like fungal, viral and bacterial. Thus, ingested this antioxidant is able to bind to your lipid membrane in order to fight the human pathogens growth.
3. Prevention of Various Cancers
Still about the EGCG in matcha, this compound can even help the body to fight several types of cancers. Meanwhile, thanks to its chemopreventive properties. Moreover, since EGCG is a kind of polyphenol, it also helps preventing cancerous cells to proliferate. The 60% of catechin type in matcha is EGCG. This is quite a rich amount to burst out many benefits. Catechin is known for its amazing anti-cancer properties and it has been even proved by a study that EGCG consumption helps inhibiting the growth of breast tumor. Although, it was done to female mice.
4. Body Cleanser
Matcha and green tea are not only different in the nutrient and preparation method, but both of them have also a difference in term of harvesting. Before harvested, matcha is covered from preventing it exposed to the sunlight directly. The purpose of this pre-harvesting technique is to increase the chlorophyll level. That is why matcha has a beautiful dark green color in a more vibrant shade. The increasing chlorophyll level in matcha does not only make its color astounding, but also improve the benefit in detoxifying the body.
Meanwhile, today’s lifestyle makes your body getting contaminated with toxins and chemicals both from your environment and the foods that you eat daily. Cleansing the blood is one of the benefits chlorophyll can do for detoxifying your body. With the blood is cleansed from the toxins, chemicals and other harmful components, you can be healthier and prevented from many diseases. When the blood is cleaner then it can play its role in delivering oxygen better, which means the other organs in your body can cleanse themselves.
5. Cardiovascular Health Improvement
High cholesterol is one of the potential factors that could lead to cardiovascular problems. Luckily, by drinking matcha you can keep your bad cholesterol low. There have been several studies proving that drinking matcha regularly in a quite significant amount can maintain the health of the cardiovascular system. The richness of antioxidant in matcha makes the level of bad cholesterol low by blocking its oxidation. As the result the good cholesterol is increasing making your cardiovascular healthy. With the hypertension is lowered, the condition of high blood pressure can be prevented at the same time.
6. Diabetes Fighter
Our body needs insulin to turn the sugar consumed into energy. Naturally, your body can produce insulin for playing that role. Yet if you have problem in producing it, you are prone to diabetes. People suffer from type 1 diabetes can get it worsened if not treated properly. People who suffer from type 1 diabetes should start consuming matcha powder from preventing it progressing. If you don’t have diabetes, that is a good thing to maintain by drinking matcha regularly.
Meanwhile, one of the diabetes causes that people hard to avoid is the imbalance lifestyle that includes lacking of activity and improper diet. Matcha has been claimed by a study to be great in preventing diabetes with the result from the study claimed that there was a reduced risk for about 18% to the people who drink matcha regularly. Those already suffered from diabetes got 4% lower risk in the possibility of type 2 diabetes development. So, grab a cup of hot matcha right now if you don’t want to miss this benefit.
7. Immune System Booster
The richness of antioxidants in matcha is surprising. After mentioning again and again about the amazing EGCG, matcha still hides many essential nutrients such as polyphenols, L-theanine, potassium and many more. No wonder that matcha is a great immune system booster, preventing your body from getting attached by antigens.
8. Gastrointestinal Health Improvement
A study claimed that matcha is beneficial in keeping your gastrointestinal healthy. The toxin and chemicals in the body can be removed as matcha makes the fecal excretion stimulated. Moreover, since it contains caffeine, matcha is also useful in keeping your bowel movement regular. It promotes the bowel movement so the colon can be activated in pushing the waste. Colon stimulation mostly happens in the morning, so start your day by drinking green tea can be helpful. The fiber content in matcha is the bonus for keeping the constipation away.
9. Energy Booster
Coffee enthusiasts should now accept the fact that matcha is a more powerful energy booster. The reason why coffee can wake your energy up is because its caffeine content. Yet matcha is containing healthier caffeine for your body. This is absolutely a better option. If coffee gives you headache as the side effect, matcha is so much safer. It boosts your energy with its unique caffeine making the energy released slowly. Moreover, matcha has L-Theanine that can provide relaxation to your body.
Thus, the way matcha boosts energy is different from what coffee does because the caffeine in matcha comes with the catechins together as they flow in the bloodstream. That is why the alert calm effect from matcha doesn’t happen suddenly with bursts of energy like coffee, but more sustained. The combination of boosted energy and calmed feeling can be received at the same time after drinking matcha. By five times higher amount of L-Theanine than regular green teas due to the shading techniques used before the leaves are harvested, matcha is an amazing booster for your energy.
10. Calories Burner
You must be familiar with diet supplements containing green tea out there. Thus, the benefit of green tea in increasing metabolism makes it helpful for promoting weight loss at the same time. The most amazing thing from using matcha as a weight loss aid is because of its minimal side effects. Being rich in catechins makes matcha a great calorie burner. A study has shown that consuming higher amount of catechins regularly can shed some pounds of body weight. With the body fat mass reduced, the LDL levels are automatically low, which means you can get both benefits at the same time. This is because catechins are thermogenic. They are able improving the burning calories rate of the body as high as 43%.
If you want a more effective diet program, consider to drink matcha before exercising to boost your fat burning rate up to 25% during your exercises. Nevertheless, although some studies claimed matcha are helpful for weight loss, there are also some studies claimed that the weight loss effects is insignificant. So you need to balance your diet program by still combining physical activities and healthy meals.
Antioxidants are the best fighters for free radicals. Since matcha contains a lot of them, you can use it as your weapon fighting early aging signs both inside and outside. From the inside, it keeps you away from many diseases. From the outside, matcha makes your skin look younger. By reactivating the epidermis cells, consuming matcha makes your skin glowing. Moreover, matcha is anti-inflammatory, which means acne breakouts can be reduced from worsening.
12. HIV Protector
As a serious disease with the cure hasn’t been found, HIV is scary. The best way to cure it is by preventing it coming to your body. The high amount of EGCG in matcha is helpful in preventing HIV because flavonoid is known to be effective as an HIV fighter. By penetrating the blood brain barriers, EGCG boost the immune system and keep many diseases away. The anti-retroviral drugs consumed by HIV patients are not able penetrating the blood brain barriers, so matcha can be even used as a treatment for those already infected with HIV for inhibiting the infection.
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Some viral infections including common cold, influenza, H1N1 and staph infection can be prevented by consuming matcha regularly. The great flavor of matcha makes you enjoy your healthy life without feeling under pressure.
14. Exercise Recovery
If you usually have intense workouts that empty your energy, use matcha to help your body recovery. There might be imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in your body that could lead to diseases and cell damage when not treated properly. This imbalance could be increasing when you experience extreme fatigue as a study had shown through a research on mice. The EGCG consumption is helpful to deal with the condition, so consuming it fasten your natural workout recovery can be a great idea.
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15. Mental Stress Reliever
Compared to the other teas, matcha contains L-theanine five times better. This is a form of amino acid that helps relax your mind and increases the alertness. L-theanine works calming your mind by promoting the alpha waves production. These are the ones inducing mental relaxation in the brain so you can have your mental stress down without lowering your concentration. Matcha is perfect for both improving focus while calming your mind at the same time, unlike other downers.
16. Versatile Ingredients
Since its popularity, matcha has been used in various food items including desserts, candies, ice creams, milkshakes, cookies and many more. You can even find matcha usage in many restaurants and cafes. Including matcha in your meals is very easy because this ingredient is very versatile, allowing you to make different matcha recipes every day.
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17. Memory and Concentration Improvement
As has been mentioned before that L-Theanine is great for relaxing mind, this is also amazing for improving your focus and concentration as the serotonin and dopamine production is increasing. These two are responsible in memory and concentration improvement in the brain. This is also due to its caffeine amount that helps sharpen the mind without feeling headache.
18. Tooth Decay Prevention
Matcha can do many things for your oral health including lowering the dental plaque, making saliva less acidic and preventing teeth cavity. By keeping all of them in control, bad breath and tooth decay can be prevented. Its anti-inflammatory properties help maintaining your gum health. Moreover, the antioxidants keep oral cancers away.
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19. Strong Bones Builder
The combination of alfacalcidol and polyphenols in green tea gives your bones enough nutrition to make them strong and healthy. Bones inflammation can be prevented with its effectiveness has been even proven through a research.
20. Eyesight Booster
While you might think its carrot job, matcha can provide the same benefit with its Catechin. The ability of this antioxidant in absorbing the eye tissues makes matcha one of the recommended foods for good eyesight maintenance.
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21. UV Protector
It is again the catechin that shares this benefit by protecting your skin from the UV rays. Drink matcha regularly and you will help your skin more sun resistant so the redness and aging can be prevented and slowed down.
22. Allergies Barrier
Above has been mentioned about matcha benefit in fighting infection thanks to its EGCG, but the benefit continues up to blocking some allergic reactions. As a powerful antioxidant, EGCG is able binding to your lipid membrane for keeping the pathogens away such as Candida albicans yeast, herpes and more, which makes matcha helpful reducing the allergic reactions.
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23. Dementia and Parkinson Prevention
The ability of matcha in improving the dopamine levels in the brain can help more than just boosting the memory, but more importantly, it can keep dementia and Parkinson away considering that the neurons in the brain are prevented from deterioration.
24. Healthy Liver Maintenance
And here again the catechin does its job in protecting your liver from toxins, resulting with liver inflammation prevention. Those suffered from liver inflammation get their liver fatty, and a study showed that consuming matcha prevents the fat from accumulating. However, keep in mind that matcha can’t be consumed too much, so it is just a kind of supplement, not a treatment. Consuming matcha too much might lead to some side effects as below.
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Possible Matcha Side Effects
The high amount of caffeine in matcha, although this is different from the one contained in coffee, can lead to some side effects when consumed too much. You might suffer from sleeping disorder or diarrhea after drinking this healthy green tea on a regular basis. It can also cause iron deficiency, which makes it not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women. As a result, you may take matcha in average or recommended daily take to get its balance benefits.
The versatility of matcha makes it very appropriate to use in a variety of recipes. Here are some easy and interesting ideas on how to include matcha in your favorite foods.
Substitute peanut butter with matcha will make buttercups tastier and healthier. Make your regular buttercups recipe and mix matcha, coconut butter and almond flour for the soft filling. This could be a cute, yet tasty healthy snack.
Feeling bored of the regular crepes? Move them out and try this healthy matcha crepe recipe. To make it richer in fiber, use whole-grain buckwheat flour instead of the all-purpose one. Combine it with matcha powder and complete the crepes with chocolate ganache made with coconut milk.
Need a mood and energy booster in the morning? Get a cup of warm matcha latte before heading out to the office. Mix warm coconut milk, hot water, sugar and matcha powder together. Whisk until foamy and enjoy.
A combination of dates, matcha powder, cocoa powder, coconut butter and maple syrup can be amazingly delicious. This could end up with sweet, healthy bars and when you dust the cut bars with a little of matcha powder, it will even boost your appetite.
6. Ice Cream
Now you can enjoy healthier ice cream without the guilt by using the right ingredients. Mix coconut milk, almond milk, matcha powder, dates, honey and xanthan gum together could end up with high quality ice cream even without an ice cream maker.
Taking some precautions before consuming matcha is necessary because although this is packed with a long list of essential nutrients. Thus over-consumption might end up with a bad result especially if you are under certain conditions.
As a result, matcha is the powdered version of green tea that comes from Japan. That’s health benefits of matcha, likewise, it’s best for cancer, skin, and overall health.