Matcha has quickly gained popularity outside of its home country Japan in countries like US and Australia and is starting to become a daily essential for a growing crowd in Europe as well. One of the reasons is that it is considered a superfood and therefore comes with many health benefits. We’ll share 5 of the most important health benefits in this article.
1) Calm and focused energy – just like a zen monk or samurai warrior
Matcha has less caffeine than coffee – about half as much as an espresso. The caffeine in matcha also bonds to larger plant molecules, increasing the time it takes for the caffeine to break down in the bloodstream. This means the energy boost comes slower but also stays longer, in average between 4-6 hours. This is quite impressive, as the energy from coffee already wears off after 1-3 hours. And there is no jittery, no coffee crash associated with matcha. This is not the only benefit. The amino acid L-theanine in matcha stimulates the alpha brainwaves and is known to promote a feeling of calm alertness. Japanese Zen monks have been using matcha to aid their hours-long meditations for this exact reason and samurai warriors made it a habit before they went into a battle.
2) Antioxidants – more than any other fruit or vegetable on the planet
Antioxidants provide protection from harmful free radicals which are the molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and inflammatory diseases. Nutrition which is rich in antioxidants also decreases bad cholesterol. Our matcha at Matcha Moments has 15 times more antioxidants per gram as wild blueberries. This is a lot of antioxidants! Check out the comparison of our matcha with other antioxidant-rich foods (on a per gram basis):
3) Calorie Burner – thanks to EGCG catechins
Do you ever have those 3 o’clock sugar cravings? If so, drink a cup of matcha and you will most likely forget about the chocolate vending machine around the corner of your office and the EGCG catechins in the matcha will also boost your metabolism. Sounds too good to be true? We felt the same way, but there are several studies out there that indicate that EGCG catechins found in matcha increase the thermogenesis of the body and impact a satiety hormone called leptin. A study from the year 2000 in the Journal of Endocrinology found that daily dosages of EGCG caused mice to lose up to 21% of their body weight, likely due to its effect on leptin (satiety hormone). Another study in 2005 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who drank catechin-rich green tea extract (matcha) daily dropped almost twice as much weight in 12 weeks as participants who didn't. No, this doesn’t mean that you should get yourself a donut with every cup of matcha – matcha can support a diet but not replace healthy eating.
4) Natural Detoxifier – get that glow on
The vibrant green color of matcha comes from its abundant amount of chlorophyll which is known as a natural detoxifier. Chlorophyll increases the blood’s capacity to transport nutrients and oxygen to cells within the body. This means that it cleanses and regenerates the body at molecular and cellular levels. Matcha green tea can be used not only in food and drinks but also in cosmetics, e.g. as a facial mask. In our next blog post, we’ll show you how you can get your glow on with our popular and easy detox mask recipe.
5) Blood Sugar Control – no spikes in insulin
A research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008 found that regular consumption of green tea “can increase fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise and can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance”. Matcha can help you regulate blood sugar levels naturally thanks to the high amounts of antioxidants, and curb your sugar cravings. Matcha is also sugar-free and unlike fruit juices and sodas, it will not cause a spike in blood sugar or insulin and is therefore a great drink for diabetics.
Reasons enough to indulge in matcha! If you would like to, share your favorite matcha creation with us on Facebook or Instagram with the Hashtag #mymatchamoment. Every week we feature our favorite matcha post from one of our followers.