Matcha Green Tea and Health Benefits
Green tea is rich in bioactive phytochemicals. The most important of these are the polyphenols. Other bioactive compounds in green tea include caffeine, the amino acid L-theanine, fluoride and trace minerals, including calcium and manganese.
The polyphenols, including tannins, and caffeine increase the antioxidant properties of matcha. One of the main tannins found in green tea is EGCG which has been studied for its potential to affect human health and disease. EGCG has shown to boost metabolism, slow or halt cancer cells' growth, and provide other health benefits, including prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight loss. They work as powerful disease-fighting agents in the human body.
The amount of caffeine in matcha can be affected by the tea's origin, how it was processed, how it was prepared, and how long the tea was brewed. The amino acid, L-theanine in matcha moderates caffeine in the body. This means that you will feel more alert if you change your beverage from coffee to matcha. The dried green tea leaves contain approximately 11 to 25 milligrams of caffeine per gram, compared to matcha surpassing this with levels of between 19 to 44 milligrams per gram on average.
For centuries, enthusiasts have embraced matcha for possessing many valuable health benefits from the entire leaf used in manufacture, surpassing other types of green tea in nutrition.
Below we list some key findings in matcha research:
The Effects of Matcha on Concentration and Focus
The compounds found in matcha have shown the potential to change human health, mood and behaviour by its three major constituents; EGCG, theanine, and caffeine.
The potent antioxidant EGCG has demonstrated the potential to reduce anxiety, improve memory, and spatial learning, such as locating objects in space, navigating the environment, and combatting the effects of degenerative diseases.
L-Theanine is a unique amino acid found almost solely in tea plants and is responsible for the exotic taste of green tea.
L-theanine alters caffeine's stimulating effects. Animal studies found L-Theanine could elevate brain concentrations of GABA, serotonin and dopamine, three very important neurotransmitters that regulate mood disorders. A study performed by Japanese researchers from Kumamoto University showed a reduction in anxious behaviour after consuming matcha.
In studies on the combining effects of caffeine and L-theanine demonstrated a range of cognitive abilities beyond the capabilities of either chemical alone. L-theanine and caffeine promote faster simple reaction time, numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy.
Energy Booster without the Jitters
Stimulants such as coffee may taste amazing, but they can make our bodies unwell by causing slumps in energy, sleepless nights, and jitteriness. Coffee affects the adrenal glands by lowering our energy levels from spikes in adrenaline, glucose, and insulin. These effects disturb the body's equilibrium.
In contrast, the caffeine in matcha is steadily absorbed over six to eight hours, inducing a state of alert tranquillity. The increase in performance maximises our abilities without the jittery, wired feeling associated with many other types of caffeinated beverages.
The following measures give equivalence to the levels of caffeine in green tea and matcha. Green tea contains roughly 11 to 25 milligrams per gram of caffeine. Matcha contains about 19–44 mg per gram of caffeine.
An Antioxidant Powerhouse
The secret behind matcha's super strength is found in its polyphenol compounds called catechins, which are a type of antioxidant found in superfoods like green tea. Plant polyphenols help fight off harmful free radicals, prevent damage to cells and lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, numerous studies have shown that certain chemical compounds in matcha may help neutralize harmful free radicals and enhance your body's natural detoxification systems.
Flavonoids, are a large class of powerful phytochemicals.
The flavonoid Rutin is a plant pigment that was once used to make medicine. Matcha is the finest source of Rutin in all plants. Rutin contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The synergistic effects of Rutin and Vitamin C have anti-inflammatory properties, seals blood vessels, supports the circulatory system, lowers the incidence of strokes, protects against oxidative stress, and enhances the immune system. After fourteen studies, matcha proved nearly fifty times more concentrated in Rutin, than green tea.
Improved Heart Health
Matcha, like other green teas, contains antioxidants called catechins. The highest levels are found in EGCG, which supports cardiovascular health. A study on green tea EGCG found it can bind to a protein in plaques linked to coronary artery disease and, under certain circumstances, make it more soluble.
A study by Harvard Medical School found 40,530 Japanese adults who'd consumed more than five cups of green tea per day had a 26 per cent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. A further 16 per cent had lowered risk from fatal disease than those who'd consumed less than one cup of green tea daily.
The EGCG levels contained in matcha are much higher because of consuming the whole leaf. Imagine the increased health benefits from substituting green tea with the potency of matcha!
A study conducted by Min et al. (2015) showed that EGCG promotes strength in both the body's innate immune system and adaptive abilities. The high levels of EGCG found in the green tea leaves of matcha strengthens and supports the immune health in several significant ways. EGCG assists your body's production of T-Cells which reduces inflammation and fights pathogens. This aids in suppressing autoimmune diseases.
Biochemically active EGCG protects against viruses. Studies have shown that green tea alters the structure of viruses, by suppressing their ability to cause infection. Accumulating evidence indicates that green tea and its major ingredients, the catechins, are beneficial for fighting COVID-19. Green tea catechins are known to have impacted on the factors associated with COVID-19, has oxidative, hypertensive, anti-proliferative, thrombogenic, and lipid/cholesterol-lowering properties. EGCG's anti-inflammatory property may reduce the overactivity of the immune system and ameliorate the severity of COVID-19.
Tests conducted by consumerlab.com in 2015 on matcha found the levels of EGCG to be between 17 and 109 milligrams for each serving. By comparison, the average brewed green tea provided between 25 to 86 milligrams per serving, making matcha a powerful mechanism for fighting many types of disease.
So how do cells manage all their chemical reactions and control metabolism? The body's cells need to balance catabolic and anabolic pathways. These processes break down complex substances into simpler processes, and living organisms synthesize simpler ones into complex substances. They maintain the cell's energy balance. To bolster a particular metabolic pathway body cells must increase the rate-limiting enzyme. Activator-like matcha can boost the enzyme into an increasingly active form, thereby increasing fat-burning in the bloodstream. Animal studies suggest that the active compounds in green tea aid this process bolstering the effects of fat-burning hormones, such as norepinephrine. Combining caffeine and EGCG may synergise these effects, which persuades fat cells to break down more fat and muscle cells into energy.
Matcha's rich green colour is the result of its high chlorophyll levels. Chlorophyll aids in detoxification and can help promote the elimination of unwanted toxins, chemicals and heavy metals from the body. For this reason, consuming a daily cup of matcha is an easy way to boost your intake of chlorophyll and support your body's natural ability to detoxify itself.
The polyphenols in matcha include many compounds: flavonols, flavandiols and phenolic acids, constituting up to 30% of dry mass. The phytochemical constituents within the leaves of green tea assist the body's natural actions in eliminating toxins. Green tea is an excellent supporter of liver function because it contains lots of natural polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to support the body's normal detoxification processes.
Better Oral Health
The EGCG in matcha may help promote periodontal health through cleansing the teeth and gums and inhibiting the growth of harmful cavity-causing bacteria. EGCG can ward off these diseases and others.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men and found those regularly consuming green tea had superior periodontal health. Periodontists believe that maintaining healthy gums is critical to maintaining a healthy body. Drinking green tea at meals and breaks is an easy habit to maintain. Drinking green tea as frequently as possible may help maintain a healthy mouth. Just ask a dentist!
Promotes Healthy Skin
The green tea catechins are a group of very active flavonoids representing between 60 and 80 per cent of all polyphenols. They have proven to be effective in treating many health conditions, including diseases of the skin.
Green tea polyphenols have been found to effectively treat chronic infectious inflammatory conditions and hair disorders. Studies have shown polyphenols found in high quantities in matcha, have multiple benefits on the skin. These include suppressing ultraviolet radiation, blocking sunburn's damaging effects, reducing photoaging, and preventing the prevalence of skin cancer. Scientists have studied the growth of normal skin cells treated with green tea polyphenols, comparing them to cells after exposure to EGCG. Much to their astonishment, they found the polyphenols reactivated dying skin cells! The study also found the topical application of green tea may sufficiently penetrate the skin.