Health and wellness have been a big priority given the events in recent years, with people shifting their lifestyles to make healthier choices. Green tea has been a large part of this shift, as many started adding it to their daily consumption and even making the switch from coffee.
Green tea, the primary ingredient in matcha in powder form, has been the subject of numerous clinical studies on its health benefits. The distinction between the two is that green tea is made by steeping the leaves in water, whereas matcha is made by consuming the entire leaf in powder mixed in water. As a result, the latter has more potent green tea properties. Matcha is said to have three times more antioxidants than regular green tea.
There are so many reasons to include matcha in your daily routine, and below are just a few reasons why:
Matcha keeps you alert without the caffeine crash.
Many of us need caffeine to function properly in today’s fast-paced world. But the caffeine in coffee causes more harm than good by spiking our adrenaline and insulin levels, giving us jitters, palpitations, and sometimes even anxiety. Drinking coffee usually starts with large amounts of energy and ends with a crash, which makes us want to grab another cup.
Besides having less caffeine, matcha releases it slowly, providing the drinker with long-lasting and sustainable energy without the jolt and crash. Matcha is rich in L-theanine, which provides a state of calm focus and wakefulness. Because of this gradual release of energy, matcha addiction due to caffeine is very uncommon.
Matcha maintains the skin’s youth and elasticity.
Matcha contains high levels of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which lessens the effects of hormone imbalance when ingested. However, the best way to take advantage of matcha’s skin-saving properties is by applying it as a face mask. The chlorophyll in matcha absorbs damaging UV rays from the skin exactly as it does with plants.
Mitigating UV ray exposure plays a big part in protecting the skin from aging – keeping it healthy and looking younger. When applied to the skin, the EGCG in matcha may lower sebum production, helping control the growth of acne. It is also naturally anti-inflammatory, leading to fewer skin irritations.
Improve mood and decrease anxiety with matcha.
L-theanine improves attention and memory, and promotes the release of feel-good hormones. Among all kinds of teas, matcha contains the highest amounts of this amino acid. The endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin found in L-theanine help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Matcha increases the brain’s GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and decreases stress. The act of drinking matcha can also be meditative when we do it mindfully - training our minds to stay in the present moment instead of lingering in negative or intrusive thoughts.
Matcha manages weight.
Some studies have shown that green tea helps speed up metabolism by 17% with moderate exercise. This is due to the EGCG found in green tea, in which matcha has a much higher concentration. Increased fat oxidation and metabolism help burn calories faster, leading to quicker weight loss.
Matcha is also extremely low in calories, which makes it a much better alternative to sugary sodas and juices. Drinking matcha daily even helps suppress appetite for some.
Matcha detoxifies the body from free radicals.
Matcha is loaded with healthy nutrients, also known as catechins. These are natural phytochemicals found in certain plants that detoxify the body from harmful free radicals.
Some studies show that matcha has up to 137 times more catechins than other kinds of green tea. These antioxidants defend the body against cell damage, playing a role in preventing chronic diseases, heart diseases, and even cancer.
Keep your heart healthy with matcha.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death globally, and many heart conditions stem from high cholesterol levels. Daily consumption of green tea (and essentially matcha) is known to lower cholesterol levels to keep your heart in top shape.
Both animal and human trials on green tea have shown that matcha positively influences blood glucose and lipids, decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). It is estimated that a single cup of matcha can lower cholesterol levels by up to 0.58mg/dl.
With so many health benefits, it’s not surprising that matcha may actually increase one’s lifespan. Many studies show that people who drink tea daily have a longer lifespan due to decreased heart diseases and strokes.
Of course, matcha isn’t the solution to all our health problems. It’s essential to have a healthy balance between diet, exercise, and taking care of our mental state. A great quality of life relies on our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
While matcha is not the ultimate answer, it does significantly affect all these aspects of our wellbeing.