Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha green tea powder vs green tea bags
A variety of sites claim that just one cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of regular steeped green tea. The health benefits of matcha, powdered green tea, exceeds regular loose leaf green tea. When you drink matcha you are ingesting the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. The antioxidants, i.e. catechins – EGCG, inside the powdered leaves, are clinically proven to be incredibly beneficial to our health. – MissOlive
Using a mg catechin/g of dry leaf comparison, results indicate that the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.
— Weiss, David J., and Christopher R. Anderton. “Determination of catechins in matcha green tea”
Matcha: Vitamins and Minerals
Matcha is rich in:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
抹茶, “fine Powder Tea”
Color: Vivid Green
Contains caffeine: Yes
- It takes approximately one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha
- True matcha is made with ground tencha. Ground sencha is known as konachaand is not equivlant to matcha.
- Researchers found that the concentration of the EGCG (antioxidants) available from drinking matcha is up to 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from other green teas.
Matcha and Anti-Aging
Green Tea and Longevity
Green tea has powerful cancer fighting antioxidants, ingredients which improve memory, cognition, cardiovascular health and brain function. These issues affect life expectancy and overall longevity.
Is matcha better than green tea?
Yes! Matcha is very nutritious and holds an impressive ORAC score of over 1380. This high ORAC score demonstrates matcha’s superior level of antioxidants, higher than blueberries and acai berries.
- ORAC is a measure of antioxidant value. The USDA recommends 3,000- 5,000 ORAC units per day.
Studies have shown matcha to contain significant levels of:
- Amino acids
- Complex polysaccharides
- Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Impressively, matcha has been identified to be:
- An antioxidant
- and possibly anti-fungal
Studies have confirmed consuming matcha can:
- control high blood pressure
- control cholesterol
- be used as a natural diuretic
- reduce the risk of diabetes
- reduce physical and psychological stress
- improve mood and alertness
- boost the immune system
- reduce bad breath
- prevent tumor growth
- reduce strokes by 21%
- promotes the oxidation of fats
- improves metabolism
- stabilizes insulin
- prevent influenza
- prevent cataracts
- prevent glaucoma
- improves longevity by supporting anti-aging
What is matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground and powdered green tea. The tea used to create matcha is grown in the shaded misty mountains of Japan, this region receives very little direct sunlight. The proper growing and harvesting of matcha is what gives it its vivid green color and incredible health benefits.
Incidentally, matcha is commonly known for its use in the traditional Tea Ceremony.
The Japanese Tea Ceremony: Chanoyu
The Japanese Tea Ceremony, known as Chanoyu, is a highly ritualized practice of drinking matcha tea. The Zen monks were the first to introduce matcha to Japan, and their influence is seen throughout the ceremony. Most notably, the emphasis of a calm mind, serene settings and awareness of nature.
How is matcha grown and harvested?
Matcha is made from tea leaves, which are shade-grown. A few weeks before harvesting, tea bushes are covered to further prevent direct sunlight. The lack of light slows down growth and turns the leaves an even darker shade of green (chlorophyll). This step is said to promote the production of amino acids. Once harvested the leaves remain shaded or are moved indoors and laid out flat to dry. The dried leaves will begin to crumble and become known as tencha.Tencha is stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha. Matcha of the highest quality will be a VERY bright green. If the color is slightly brown, yellow or beige it is of poor quality and has oxidized – hence, losing all of its benefits.
Where can I find and buy matcha?
You will be pleased to find many matcha vendors on the internet. You can usually find it at whole food stores or Japanese markets.
NOTE; If it is in a tea bag it is NOT matcha. Matcha is a bright and vivid green powder. It is usually sold in small canisters.
Matcha Naturally Fights Cancer
Flavonoids in Green Tea: Catechins
The major flavanoids in green tea are catechins, specifically:
- epicatechin (EC)
- epigallocatechin (EGC)
- epicatechingallate (ECG)
- epigallocatechingallate (EGCG)
Epigallocatechin Gallate: Tannins, Polyphenols, Anthocyanins and Flavonoids
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is the most effective cancer chemopreventive polyphenol in green tea.Tannins, a catechin, are a naturally occurring plant polyphenol found in tea leaves. And anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, which are a plant polyphenol.
Let me explain the importance of this with a brief glossary:
EGCG, a polyphenol that prevents cancer.
Polyphenol, an antioxidant. Nutritional consumption of polyphenols have shown the ability to prevent degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancers. This includes neurological diseases and diabetes.
Anthocyanins, an antioxidant with pigment. These are also known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Anthocyanins are especially helpful in the reduction of cardiovascular health problems, including hypertension and improvement of cholesterol levels.
Flavonoids, a plant metabolite. Dietary flavonoids functions as an antioxidant and free-radical scavenger. Flavonoids aid in cancer prevention, improves cardiovascular health and improves our immunity defenses.
Studies show matcha stops breast tumor growth.
Matcha: Chlorophyll and Detox
- A Renowned Detoxifying Agent: Chlorophyll, the pigment which gives leaves their green color, helps to remove heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body. Matcha tea is a chlorophyll rich food. Its vivid green color is due to the growth and harvesting process, which supports the natural infusion of chlorophyll.
Catechin: EGCG and Breast Cancer
- EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate): is the catechin with the most potent cancer-fighting properties. 60% of the catechin content in matcha is EGCG. In a 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi, researchers found consuming EGCG significantly inhibited breast tumor growth in female mice. Researchers believe these findings can help lead to new therapies for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in women.
Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
The regular consumption of matcha and regular green tea have been shown to:
- prevent insulin resistance
- inhibit hyperglycemia
- reduce the opportunity for developing metabolic syndrome
How? EGCG promotes an increase in insulin sensitivity and induces natural glucose absorption.
Matcha Reduces Renal Damage: Improves Fat Metabolism, Cholesterol and Glucose
Catechins and Fat Burning: “Daily consumption of tea containing 690 mg catechins for twelve weeks reduced body fat, which suggests that the ingestion of catechins might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity.” Dr. Joseph Axe
- Matcha reduces fat: It has been reported the catechins in matcha are absorbed into the blood stream and promote fat metabolism in the liver.
- Matcha reduces cholesterol and triglycerides: several studies have found a reduction of cholesterol levels and triglycerides with regular consumption of matcha.
- Glucose: Matcha promotes a natural sensitivity to insulin and glucose levels.
“Matcha treatment significantly lowered the glucose, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels in the serum and liver, renal AGE levels, and the serum thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances levels.” Yamabe, Noriko, et al. “Matcha, a powdered green tea, ameliorates the progression of renal and hepatic damage in type 2 diabetic OLETF rats.”Journal of medicinal food 12.4 (2009): 714-721.
Matcha Improves Heart Health and Longevity
Cardiovascular Diseases: Matcha and your heart
Studies have shown matcha can greatly improve cardiac muscle health and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- promotes a lower incidence of coronary artery disease
- was shown to lower hypertension and reduces the chance of actually getting high blood pressure
- supports health of blood vessel cells surrounding the heart
- protected arteries against atheroscelrosis
- consumption lowered total cholesterol levels, specifically harmful LDL levels
Drink 3 cups of matcha per day…
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, population based clinical studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent artherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery diseases by 11 percent with consumption of three cups of green tea per day.
Matcha is Anti-viral
The Anti-Viral Effects of Matcha
- H1N1, Influenza and the Common Cold: Studies have shown that the catechins in matcha can avert viral infections, this includes H1N1, influenza and the common cold.
- HIV: Even more amazing, the EGCG in matcha inhibits HIV infection and replication of the virus in those already infected.
- Staph Infection: Staphylococcus aureus infections are also inhibited due to the EGCG in matcha.
Tran, Jennifer. “Green Tea: A Potential Alternative Anti-Infectious Agent Catechins and Viral Infections.” Advances in Anthropology 3.04 (2013): 198.
Matcha Stops Degenerative Diseases: Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Dopamine and Parkinson’s
Think of dopamine as an effective messenger. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals in multiple regions of the brain. This communication is needed to produce smooth and intentional movement. The loss of dopamine produces abnormal signals within the brain and therefore causes impaired movement.
Promising studies show matcha may inhibit the development and progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
Clinical studies are being continued in this area, but the various natural ingredients in matcha have already been shown to enhance current medications in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Matcha also seems to reduce nerve degeneration and improve dopamine levels. One particular study showed the regular consumption of matcha reduced the incidence of Parkinson’s by 10 fold.
Theanine increases dopamine levels
- Tea, the Camellia sinensis, is the only plant that makes the amino acid Theanine. Theanine is also known as Teanin or L-Theanine.
- Theanine stimulates alpha brain waves, which are associated with a relaxed, but alert mental state. It helps relax the mind while also allowing one to focus on mental tasks. Which incidentally brings up another find. Monks drank matcha prior to long periods of fasting, prayer and meditation (1).
- Controlled experiments have shown Theanine has a positive effect on the mind and improves memory by increasing dopamine levels. Also, the alpha brain waves increase 40 minutes after consuming Theanine, making this a great study drink for scholars and students alike.
Improve your Focus and Reduce Anxiety
Matcha and the Amino Acid L-Theanine: Calm Mental Alertness
Matcha naturally contains 5 times the L-Theanine than other teas. This amazing amino acid can naturally improve your mental alertness while also keeping you naturally relaxed. Plus, it may also improve your memory.
L-Theanine: may help to reduce mental stress reactions.
Ross, Stephanie Maxine. “L-Theanine (Suntheanin): Effects of L-Theanine, an Amino Acid Derived From Camellia sinensis (Green Tea), on Stress Response Parameters.” Holistic nursing practice 28.1 (2014): 65-68.
Improve Vision Health
Green Tea: Diabetic Retinopathy
A recent study found the consumption of green tea protected the retina and reduced the opportunity for the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Silva, Kamila C., et al. “Green tea is neuroprotective in diabetic retinopathy.”Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 54.2 (2013): 1325-1336.
“Traditional Chinese medicine remains the best choice of herbal molecules mining for ocular remedies.” Chu, Kai-On, and Chi-Pui Pang. “Herbal molecules in eye diseases.” Taiwan Journal of Ophthalmology (2014).
Improve Skin Health
Oral Care: Bad Breath and Dental Issues
Matcha is antibacterial: The regular consumption of matcha stops the opportunity for periodontal diseases by killing germs and reducing bad breath.
Matcha and Skin Care
Matcha and regular green tea has been shown to:
- alleviate eczema
- reduce acne breakouts
- enhance sunscreen protection
- act as an anti-inflammatory
- reactivate epidermis cells (due to the EGCG)
In addition, the vitamins in matcha include Vitamins A, C and E, all of which are important in producing healthy cell turnover, the promotion of skin glow and the enhancement of skin brightening capabilities, all of which improve skin tone and radience.
Don’t miss my article: 100 Matcha Recipes
100 matcha recipes! Recipes include everything from matcha eggnog, matcha cookies, matcha smoothies, matcha brownies to matcha martinis!