Why You Should Jump on The Matcha Bandwagon

What is Matcha:

Matcha is a stone-ground powdered green tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The difference between matcha and standard green tea is that matcha is made from grinding up the entire tea leaf versus in standard green the leaves are discarded. According to the 8th century Zen priest Eisai, who introduced the tea to Japan, matcha is “the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.

I am partnering up with ZenMatchaTea to share some awesome nutrition education on the amazing health benefits of green tea consumption (especially MATCHA). Now if you are skeptical about this tea and unsure if you want to jump on the basic matcha girl bandwagon, I have some research proven nutrition facts to share with you, which I think will sway your decision!

*disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this blog post and I do not get any type of commission from ZenMatchaTea, just simply sharing the love for matcha and giving a shout out to a company who provides research based evidence to back up their sales of a health-promoting beverage!

What Matcha Contains: 

Theophylline: a unique form of caffeine found only in tea (especially green tea). This type of caffeine releases slowly, over an 8-10 hour period, giving you sustained energy without the negative effects of caffeine (aka that 2pm caffeine crash that makes you want to jump in bed for a nap!)

L-Theanine: an amino acid found exclusively in green tea, shown to have relaxation and calming effect alongside increasing mental alertness! Now, we all need to be a bit more alert!

Research: Studies have provided reliable evidence showing that L-theanine and caffeine have clear beneficial effects on sustained attention, memory, and suppression of distraction. Moreover, L-theanine was found to lead to relaxation by reducing caffeine induced arousal.1

Thermogenics: green tea has been studied for awhile in regards to weight loss benefits. Research now indicates that drinking green tea can boost metabolism moderately, increasing calories burned without adverse side effects. Replacing high calorie beverages with low-calorie tea is a great idea if looking for some weight loss benefits, but this should also be paired with balanced meals and increased physical activity for best results.

Research: A meta-analysis of 11 studies on green tea catechins demonstrated a positive effect on weight loss and maintenance,and seven interventional studies found weight loss benefits for green tea when consumed for longer than six weeks.2

Anti-oxidants: the catechins found in green tea are some of the best and most powerful antioxidants (especially EGCG) which aids in reducing and preventing chronic diseases and aiding in healthy aging. Here is a cool comparison: matcha contains 70 times that antioxidant capacity of orange juice! Read more about antioxidants here – Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Research: Experts at Tufts University found that the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) level of antioxidants in matcha tea is highly than in pomegranates or blueberries. Matcha tea ORAC rating is a mighty 1300 units per gram, compared to blueberries 91 units per gram or pomegranates 105 units. Using a mg catechin/g of dry leaf comparison, findings demonstrate that the concentration of  EGCG available from drinking matcha tea is 137 times higher than the level of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least 3 times more than the largest literature value for other green teas.3

Adaptogenics: green tea is an adaptogen  – adaptogens are stress-response modifiers that increase an organism’s nonspecific resistance to stress by increasing its ability to adapt and survive (meaning it helps the body cope with mental and physical stress and can boost energy without causing a crash the way sugar does – Statement from Harvard Health.)

Blood-Pressure Lowering Catechins: those nifty little catechins have also been shown to reduce blood pressure by preventing contraction of blood vessels through inhibition of angiotensin.

Research: Green tea consumption (whole tea) has been reported in a meta-analysis to increase endothelium-mediated vasodilation. At a median dose of 500mL daily, arterial diameter was increased 40% relative to control groups’ or baselines’ 6.3%.4

Cholesterol-Lowering Agents: Green tea has long been known to decrease the levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and has no to minimal effect on the HDL (“good” cholesterol). Read more about cholesterol here – What About Cholesterol?

Research: Flavonoids in green tea prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reduce blood clotting. A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported that green tea significantly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure and total and LDL cholesterol.5

References:

1.  Dietz, C. and Dekker, M. (2017). Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 23(19).

2. Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Westerterp-Planteng MS. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009;33(9):956-961

3. Weiss DJ1, Anderton CR.Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2003 Sep 5;1011(1-2):173-80.

4. Ras RT, Zock PL, Draijer R. Tea Consumption Enhances Endothelial-Dependent Vasodilation; a Meta-Analysis. Gluud LL, ed. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(3):e16974. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016974.
5. Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N, Jamshidi A, Nikbakht-Nasrabadi E, Khosravi-Boroujeni H. Green tea catechins and blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(6):1299-1311

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