There are many Japanese teas that can provide you with health benefits. These include Gyokuro, Sencha, Genmaicha, and Houjicha.
However, to get the most health benefits from these teas, they must be brewed three times. Approximately 30% to 40% of the nutrients from these teas are infused into water by brewing the tea leaves, and the tea leaves are discarded.
Matcha green tea is different. It is ground into a powder and completely dissolved in water when brewed. As a result, you ingest 100% of the healthy nutrients without throwing away any of the leaves. Matcha green tea also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene, just to name a few. These are not extracted into the water when brewed.
To brew one traditional cup of Japanese tea, it requires about 3 to 4 grams (0.11 to 0.14 oz) of tea leaves. To brew one cup of Matcha, about 2g (0.07oz) of tea leaves are used. This means you can use less tea leaves to get more of the healthy benefits of drinking Matcha, which is more efficient and cost-effective.
20 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
1. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that fight off cell damage. Cells can be damaged through UV radiation. This can cause wrinkles and make us look older. Health-conscious people know that antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, as well as dark chocolate. One of the benefits of Matcha green tea is the high amount of antioxidants it provides. It contains five times as many antioxidants than any other food—the highest rated by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) method.
2. High in Catechins and EGCg
Catechins are one of the most powerful antioxidant compounds. In scientific studies, green tea that contains catechins has been shown to reduce body fat. One catechin in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha green tea. EGCg is widely recognized for it’s cancer fighting properties, and Matcha green tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
3. Enhances Calm and Reduces Stress
For over a millennium, Chinese Taoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks have used Matcha green tea as a means to meditate while remaining alert. Matcha green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain that causes relaxation. This amino acid induces calm without any of the drowsiness you might expect from other “downers”. These alpha waves can reduce stress and allow for some to reach a higher state of consciousness.
4. Boosts Memory and Concentration
L-theanine also increases the production of dopamine and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters that enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration. An increase dopamine and serotonin will make everyone feel better!
5. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
Many Samurai warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan drank Matcha green tea before going into battle because of its energizing properties. Matcha has caffeine like all green tea, but it also contains a unique combination of other nutrients that increases endurance naturally. This increased energy can last up to six hours without any stimulant side-effects such as nervousness, fast heart rate, or hypertension. The L-theanine found in Matcha green tea provides good, clean energy.
6. Burns Calories
Matcha green tea has also been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Unlike many diet aides currently on the market, Matcha also causes no negative side-effects.
7. Detoxifies the Body
During the last three weeks before the Matcha green tea leaves are harvested, the Camellia sinensis, or flowering leaf buds, are covered to deprive them of sunlight. As a result, the tea plants produce a tremendous amount of chlorophyll. This chlorophyll not only gives the Matcha green tea its color, but it is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemicals from the body.
8. Fortifies the Immune System
The catechins in Matcha green tea have antibiotic properties that fight disease and promote health. Just one cup of Matcha green tea provides substantial quantities of potassium, Vitamins A & C, iron, protein, and calcium. According to scientific studies, the nutrients in Matcha green tea may also have the ability to inhibit the attacks of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on human T-cells.
9. Improves Cholesterol
Studies of different populations have shown that people who drink Matcha green tea on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Men who drink Matcha green tea are also 11% less likely to develop heart disease.
10. Amazing Flavor
Matcha green tea tastes great all by itself! There’s no need to add any sugar, milk, lemon, or honey to make it palatable. Its crisp, vegetative notes are complimented by the savory taste of the L-theanine amino acid, making Matcha a tea that is very unique. It’s healthy and tastes good, which make it easier to drink on a regular basis.
11. Promotes Health for Type-2 Diabetics
Matcha green tea is rich in antioxidants, but it also aids in lowering levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and hepatic glucose levels in those with diabetes. Research conducted on diabetic subjects concluded that Matcha green tea exerts inhibitory action against renal and hepatic damage by lowering the accumulation of advanced glycation end-products in the kidneys.
12. Anti-Aging Properties
The evidence for Matcha’s youth-sustaining properties can be found in Okinawa, Japan. Here, a large percentage of the population enjoys long life expectancies. Their longevity has been attributed to the consumption of Matcha green tea. This tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is gaining more popularity in the rest of the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation, and aging.
13. Weight Loss
A 1999 study that was featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract has thermogenic properties that promote fat oxidation. This is due to the levels of catechins found in green tea. It was demonstrated that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s calorie-burning rate) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily calories expended. Another study showed that exercising immediately after drinking Matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat-burning during exercise.
14. Added Fiber
Matcha green tea contains high levels of easily absorbed fiber. Fiber helps to ease constipation, stabilize blood sugar levels, and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart attacks. It is an important part of a healthy diet.
15. Chlorophyll Source
The Matcha leaves are grown in a way that increases the production of chlorophyll. Research has shown that chlorophyll may help the body to eliminate harmful heavy metals and other chemical buildup. Chlorophyll is amazing nutrient with many health benefits. There is no need to buy expensive wheat grass shots at a juice bar when Matcha tea has the same effect. It is highly alkaline and balances pH levels, detoxifies and cleanses the blood, and has anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
16. Skin Health
The antioxidants that make Matcha green tea so beneficial also support skin health and radiance. L-theanine and EGCg reduce skin inflammation and free radicals that can accelerate skin aging. Drinking Matcha tea on a regular basis can help your skin appear more youthful.
17. Gastrointestinal Health
Matcha green tea also helps with gastrointestinal disorders. According to research, the consumption of Matcha helps to stimulate fecal excretion to aid in the elimination of harmful chemicals and toxins. It may make you feel less bloated and more regular with your bowel movements.
18. L-Theanine Benefits
Like EGCg, L-theanine is found only in green tea. This amino acid makes you feel relaxed, yet energized. It increases the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). L-theanine has also been shown to counteract the overstimulation of cortisol or adrenaline that is caused by caffeine. It helps to provide long-lasting energy without the high and crash of strong coffee or energy drinks. Research has also shown that L-theanine can help to lower high blood pressure, enhance memory and cognitive abilities, and even improve the quality of sleep. The health benefits of L-theanine are significant, and the best way to get it into your diet is by drinking a cup of Matcha green tea.
19. Detox Effect
Because of the high amounts of chlorophyll found in Matcha tea, it can help to rid your system of heavy metals and other dangerous substances. The Matcha green tea will help you to detox your blood, treat constipation, and enhance your digestive system. This beneficial cleansing will improve your overall health and wellness.
20. Jitter-free Energy Boost
Like all green teas from the Camellia sinensis plant, Matcha contains some caffeine. However, it contains half the amount of caffeine (35mg) compared to an average cup of coffee (80-120mg). If you replace your coffee with a cup of Matcha green tea you will cut a significant amount of caffeine out of your diet. However, the L-theanine won’t leave you feeling groggy. It slows the release of caffeine into your bloodstream and results in a milder and long-lasting energy boost to keep you going all day.
Matcha Caffeine Content
Matcha contains more caffeine than green tea but less than coffee. You can expect a serving of Matcha to provide a steady stream of energy for four to six hours without caffeine jitters. A 8-ounce serving of Matcha made with 1 teaspoon of Matcha powder contains 70mg of caffeine. According to the caffeine database, Caffeine Informer, here’s how that compares to other caffeine-containing drinks:
Dunkin Donuts coffee—102mg
Keurig K-cup coffee—100-140mg
Starbucks Grande coffee—165mg
As you can see, you can have more cups of Matcha tea and get less caffeine on a daily basis. If you are looking to cut back on your caffeine intake, and also get more health benefits, then Matcha tea will work for you!
Japanese or Chinese Matcha: Which is Best?
Most Matcha tea is grown in Japan, with the rest coming from China and Taiwan. You may be concerned about buying food from these countries. In Japan, there may be radiation from Fukushima, and in China, there may be industrial toxins. Let’s take a look at the tea-growing in both countries.
Matcha Tea from Japan
Japan has Matcha tea growing regions that have been producing tea for hundreds of years. Growing, harvesting, and processing is done by hand using time-tested techniques that have stayed the same for centuries. Like wine producers in France, Matcha producers take the quality of their products very seriously. Premium Japanese Matcha growers are located far away from Fukushima-generated radiation, however, just to be safe look for brands that are tested by independent labs and found to be free from residue like Breakaway Matcha and DoMatcha.
Matcha Tea from China
Consumers have to be careful when purchasing green tea from China, as it may have industrial toxins. Tea plants are especially prone to taking up lead from the soil, and this lead can get concentrated in the leaves of the tea plant. When consuming regular green tea, most of the lead stays in the leaf and does not leach out during the brewing process, so therefore it is safe to drink.
But Matcha is a different story. With Matcha, the whole leaf is consumed, so lead is definitely a concern. Matcha tea from China does not adhere to the same regulations and time-honored traditions as Japan. It is possible to find Matcha tea from China that is certified USDA organic, such as Kiss Me Organics, which is sold on Amazon. When buying Matcha from Japan or China, always look for a brand that meets quality assurance standards.
Matcha Green Tea: The Bottom Line
There are three ways that Matcha green tea is unique among other teas: tradition, health, and versatility. In Japan, it is a treasured drink and a significant part of the culture.
The health benefits of Matcha green tea are similar to those of regular green tea, only more beneficial. Compared to ordinary green tea, Matcha contains more of everything that matters—antioxidants, EGCg, and L-theanine.
It puts you in a state of calm relaxation without drowsiness, and synchronizes your brain waves to match those reached during meditative states. Matcha is beneficial to those with diabetes, obesity, stress, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Matcha helps with detoxification, and it even helps your skin look good! Matcha is also a versatile culinary ingredient and tastes great without any additives.
These are all excellent reasons to give Matcha a try, and see the benefits for yourself!
Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API