20 Health Benefits Of Matcha, According To Science (+3 Delicious Matcha Recipes)

Matcha is a Japanese word for finely ground green tea leaves. While this might be so, the whole Matcha tradition originated from China and later through the migration of monks settled in Japan. The logic behind the grinding of tea leaves is that the normal tea leaves do not retain their nutrients and minerals.  

To better enhance the effect of the Matcha tea, the growth and processing of the leaves also undergo some alteration. Using the shaded farming methods, the tea leaves have more chlorophyll levels compared to the normal tea leaves. This, in turn, produces even darker shades of green in the tea leaves.

The Matcha tea had initially lost its popularity with the Chinese. However, in recent time it has gained resurgence not only in Asia but worldwide. This is seen by the sheer number of Matcha recipes including muffins and lattes all made with Matcha tea leaf powder. The review below seeks to shed light on the various benefits of Matcha to human health and some delicious recipes you should try at home.

20 Health Benefits of Matcha         

1.    Body and Mind Relaxation

The reason matcha was originally so favored by the monks is due to its relaxation properties. Matcha powder has a stock of amino acids and L-theanine properties. These two enhance the production of alpha waves in the brain, which counteracts the production of stress-inducing beta waves (1). This puts the mind at rest and improves the brain’s meditative capabilities. Theanine itself aids in neurotransmission within the brain, which improves the state of alertness and removes any drowsiness. Reduced psychological and physiological stress removes any inhibition of the neuron excitation.

In addition, the relaxing capabilities also improve concentration and memory. According to research, caffeine is a stimulant for cognitive function (2). Therefore, the caffeine in the matcha serves to increase your focus and elevates your mood. However, unlike coffee, a combination of L-theanine and caffeine reduces the rate of adrenaline release and prevents the crashing after effect of coffee (3). One is able to focus the energy from the caffeine into useful activity since its release is less spontaneous.    

2.    Increased Energy Levels and Endurance

Coffee is the one drink worldwide renowned for its caffeine properties. Caffeine is common in both matcha and coffee but it is advisable to go for the former. The sudden jittery feeling after having a coffee drink is not present with matcha. The levels of caffeine in matcha are five times more as compared to the normal caffeine beverages (4). However, the release of the caffeine is slower and lasts longer with less sluggish effects afterward.

According to research, matcha also improves the body’s endurance by a 24% margin (5). The next time you require an energy fix it is advisable that you go for Matcha instead of the other stuff, as it is healthier.

3.    Attain Weight Loss Naturally

Weight loss is a distress to both men and women. Many people believe that going to the gym and exercising strenuously is the only sure way of losing weight. However, scientists have discovered that matcha can complement other weight loss strategies, helping individuals to lose weight naturally.

According to researchers, matcha improves the natural thermogenesis of the body, which burns away the body fats (6). This is the metabolic rate of the body. Furthermore, due to its mineral and nutritional properties, matcha improves to rate at which the organs work.

The caffeine in the matcha tea affects the adrenal glands, which in turn release the stimulant hormone in the body. The adrenaline improves the body’s functionality and thus increases the rate at which it burns the extra calories. Observations show that matcha improved the metabolic rate up to 35% (7). It is, therefore, a reliable way to guarantee reduced body weight.

In addition, it is an effective way to reduce the risk of obesity and maintain a healthy body. By breaking down the body fats, the individual can enjoy a reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke.  

4.    Detoxify the Body

The road to detoxification is one riddled with hype, myths, and theories regarding fasting and consumption of organic-only foods. For those of us not particularly keen on fasting the need for easier and more practical way to detoxification is through matcha.

Using the shaded farming method increases the chlorophyll levels of the tea leaves. According to researchers, chlorophyll is a natural antitoxin. Chlorophyll in the blood improves its alkaline balance, which also spreads to the muscles (8). This way the body returns to its natural state of balance.

The antitoxins released also reduce the rate of cell degeneration. According to some researchers, matcha components reduce the aging rates in individuals. With the increased rate of release of the antitoxins, the body is able to maintain cell regeneration and prevent fast cell degeneration.

Decreased rate of cell degeneration reduces the rate of aging since the more toxins are in the body the higher the rate of cell degeneration. Therefore, in case you want to look young and dazzling a regular cup of matcha might just do the trick.

5.    Increased Antioxidants

Antioxidants are responsible for undoing the many harmful effects of the environment on our bodies. Some of these are the UV radiation, bacteria, and other disease-causing pathogens. Catechin antioxidants also improve the anti-inflammatory properties as well and reduce rapid cell regeneration. Matcha green tea packs a sufficient amount of polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and L-theanine, which are all amino acids.

EGCG is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties and cell regeneration (9) (10). These properties improve skin health as well as prevent the rapid spread of pathogens in the body.

Polyphenol, on the other hand, is an allergen, which aids against any allergies, which might occur. L-theanine is an amino acid, which provides relaxation and focuses the brain by boosting the alpha wave production.  

6.    Improved Immunity System

Matcha green tea powder is a product of ground whole leaves. This provides the wholesome nutrients and minerals in the leaves instead of the steaming contents of normal tea leaves. Among the nutritious contents are crucial amino acids, antitoxins, and vitamins essential for our body’s revitalization. Matcha green tea has the vitamins A, C, E, and K and vitamin B-complex. Other components like the L-theanine and the epigallocatechin are amino acids, which help to boost the body’s immunity system.

The body requires the immunity system to carry out its functions unburdened by the pathogens and bacteria. The immunity system, in turn, requires care and revitalization to keep it functioning. Reduced stress levels are one way to improve the immunity system. According to research, the levels of stress in the body affect the immunity system. Increased levels of stress reduce the body’s ability to fight disease (11). With matcha, the stress-inducing beta waves are counteracted which reduces the body’s levels of stress and thus improves its immunity.

7.    Improves Bone Health

The body depends on it support system which is the bones. For healthy bones, we require copious amounts of minerals and nutrients to replenish the constantly reducing levels. Matcha has a cache of nutrients and minerals that come directly from the plant leaves themselves. The body, therefore, receives the nutrients directly from the plant by drinking matcha. Matcha is rich in minerals required for proper bone formation like phosphorous, iron, calcium among others (12).  

Osteoporosis is a condition wrought by the appearance of pores in the bones. Mainly, it results from the lack of nutrients and vitamins required for full bone growth. Minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and iron help in full bone health. Drinking matcha green tea provides the body with the minerals required for full recovery and growth of bones. These minerals also reduce the risk of osteoporosis that is susceptible to individuals with weak bones.

8.    Reduced level of depression

Increased levels of depression caused by stress may bring about a sense of dispassion in the daily lives of man. However, the anti-anxiolytic amino acid in matcha tea powder, L-theanine, may help to curb this depression. L-theanine boosts the production of alpha waves in the brain, which combats the stress-causing beta waves. The alpha waves in the brain increase the mental clarity of the individual. In addition, the alpha waves give a sense of relaxation to help you deal with the day’s activities.

Over time the levels of stress may cause increased depression if at all one does not find some form of relief. Matcha reduces the levels of stress causing beta waves, therefore, removing the cause of stress. In addition, matcha induces the production of serotonin and dopamine (14).

According to researchers, the levels of hormones balance out when you take matcha. Serotonin and dopamine are the hormones responsible for reducing stress and improving the jovial mood.

9.    Improved Skin Health

Many people will go to extreme ends in order to maintain smooth skin and radiance. Skin cells may undergo rapid generation causing skin cancer or inflammations. This is due to the occurrence of contaminants in the environment and UV radiations. Matcha tea leaves powder undoes the harm done by radiations and other contaminants with its myriad of antioxidants. EGCG is responsible for countering inflammatory diseases and maintaining normal cell regeneration (15). This, in turn, prevents dandruff and psoriasis, which are detrimental skin conditions.

Another cause of skin disease is an unhealthy digestive system. For the gastronomic tract, the laxatives induce movement of the colon muscles to release any stored waste (16). Matcha tea is rich in laxatives, which releases the body from digestive waste accumulation.     

10.  Reduced Risk of Cancer

Research shows that there are more antioxidants catechins in matcha as compared to any other tea leaves. The reduced ability of the body to regulate the generation of the cells thus causing the growth of tumors is the main cause of cancer. This unchecked generation may be due to mutation of cells due to radiations. By increasing Catechin antioxidants in the body, one can reduce the unchecked generation of cells. The antioxidants, on the other hand, remove other contaminants and pathogens to prevent cell mutations (17).

The streamlining of the digestive system through laxatives reduces the risk suffered from colon cancer. In addition, the catechins remove any microbes in the mouth to reduce the risks of oral cancer. Lastly, the detoxifiers not only remove the toxins in the muscles and blood, they reduce the toxins caused by smoking. This, in turn, reduces the risk of lung cancer and parched skin.

11.  Prevent type 2 diabetes

Matcha has increased mineral and nutrient content, which causes improved metabolism in the body. By improving the body’s metabolism, its ability to break down the glycogen and triglyceride content in the blood increases. This way the hepatic functions aid in the reduction of sugar levels in the body (18). The diabetic patient need not go for long treatment regimens of insulin to enable the breakdown of blood sugars. The antioxidants in the matcha green tea also prevent any infections of the liver, which may cause reduced sugar breakdown.

The catechins also help in streamlining renal functions in the body. A study on diabetic patients shows that matcha tea inhibits renal damage. The inhibitory aspects of the EQCQ amino acids prevent the damage of cells in the kidney, which in turn curbs the accumulation of advanced glycation products.

12.  Overcome Allergies and infections

Allergies are a nuisance and may sometimes prove fatal if not checked in time. The main allergic reaction cause is IgE, which is the receptor responsible for allergic reactions. The EGCG component in Matcha is not only an antioxidant but also an inhibitor of the IgE receptor. This prevents severe allergic reactions.

In addition, the EGCG binds to the lipid membrane to prevent the progress of pathogens in the body. This prevents the progress of various pathogens including herpes, A and C and adenovirus staphylococcus aureus bacteria (19). Researchers also found out that polyphenol found in matcha also reduce the pollen allergies (20).

In a research on the inhibitory effects of EGCG, suggestions made show that it prevents the spread of viral infection in the body. This inhibition applied to herpes and influenza viruses. In addition, the penetration component of the EGCG works to prevent the spread of HIV in the brain. The commonly available antiviral drugs do not penetrate the brain barriers, which renders them ineffective. However, the EGCG component of the matcha green tea can penetrate the brain tissue. The inhibitory action of the epigallocatechin allows it to prevent any spread of the virus in the brain tissue.     

13.  Improved dental health

Teeth problems are a bugger or so would concur any person suffering from teeth diseases. The various properties of matcha, however, can relieve you from these woes. The anti-inflammatory components in the matcha prevent the occurrence of periodontal disease.

On the other hand, by reducing the acidity in the mouth the chances of tooth decay also reduce. By also reducing the bacterial presence in the mouth, you are less susceptible to dental plaque while drinking matcha (21). Lastly, according to research, matcha leaves are more efficient in refreshing breath in comparison to gum or mints. By reducing the microbes in the mouth, you are less likely to suffer from bad breath.

14.  Better Eyesight

In a laboratory experiment on rats, Catechin was more in the retina of those fed on green tea (22). Cataracts form through oxidation, which forms an opaque layer in the eye lenses. This reduces the visibility of the eye until eventual blindness. Due to the absorption of antioxidants in the eye tissue cataracts caused by oxidation were hence counteracted. The antioxidants in matcha penetrate the eye tissue more effectively thus prompting the breakdown of the cataract proteins. The green tea properties also prevent other eye conditions including glaucoma.

15.  Better Your Cardiovascular Health

The importance of blood circulation is important and its care is paramount. However, this very sensitive body system also suffers most in way of disease venerability. Suffering a heart attack can be due to a myriad of causes be it cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or triglycerides (23). Matcha tea can counteract the negative causes of heart conditions. By promoting autophagy in the vascular endothelial cells, the EGCG reduces the risk or constriction of the vessels (24). This also reduces the number of fats on the heart muscles allowing them to work unburdened.

16.  Maintain a healthy liver

We know from above that green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which are useful to treat an inflamed liver. Hepatitis infection tends to cause inflammation of the liver. By drinking matcha tea one can counter the inflammation effects of the disease. In addition, the Catechin properties also protect and fight against toxic substances. During a study at the University of Connecticut, obese mice received a dose of matcha tea for six weeks. The results showed that the green tea reduces the accumulation of fats while the antioxidants improved the liver functioning (25).  

17.  Prevents the development of Dementia

The main cause of dementia is the deterioration of neurons in the brain. Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases are the main causes of neurodegeneration in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is directly responsible for neurodegeneration while Parkinson’s disease leads to removal of dopamine (26). Dopamine is responsible for the production of neurons in the brain.

However, catechins in green tea can curb the neurodegenerative progress in the brain. By protecting the neurons from degeneration, it prevents the Alzheimer’s disease (27). Other components of green tea also positively affect the brain neurons to improve the basic memory. This improves the ability to perform basic tasks and improves our mental health (28).

18.  A Healthy Digestive Tract

An unhealthy digestive system can cause all manner of nuisances be it low immunity, irregular digestion, and skin disorders. Matcha green tea has laxative properties, which allows for the proper functioning of the digestive tract. The caffeine (the laxative) activates the contraction of the colon to push forward the abdominal waste (29).

Since the gastrocolic reflex is most active in the morning, a morning dose of green matcha tea will help to push out the toxic waste from your digestive system. The catechins in the matcha also prevent inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is harmful to the colon. The amino acids in the matcha green tea also prevent the damage to the digestive organs such as the liver and kidneys.

19.  Improved sex drive

According to researchers, the sexual activity in individuals depends on their physical fitness. When the individual is most fit, they are prone to have stronger sexual drives. Matcha green tea provides the body with the much-needed nutrients and minerals. With improved mineral intake, the body repairs and replenishes all systems and creates a sense of balance in the body (30). In addition, green matcha tea also provides the body with L-theanine, which helps to relax the body. The resultant is improves fertility, hormonal balance and reproductive health as a whole.

20.  Improve Your Cognitive Performance

In a research of twenty-three individuals, a series of tasks designed to test their cognitive performance. Some of the participants had four grams of matcha while the other group took placebo tea or bar. The researcher found out those who consumed matcha and better reaction time and memory as compared to those who consumed placebo (32).

Caffeine also has cognitive effects but in matcha, the L-theanine components alter it to promote the alertness and also avoid the after effects on the energy levels (31). It is a common phenomenon whereby one suffers jitters after they have had a highly caffeinated drink. This is because the release of energy is sporadic and unchecked. L-theanine, however, regulates the release of energy in green matcha tea. This prevents you from suffering the hyperactive energetic effects of caffeine and the hangover-like after effects. L-theanine also helps the mind to focus and relax and you go through your daily activities.

[5] Delicious Matcha Recipes

In times of old, matcha was the main ingredient for green tea and the monks enjoyed it as such. Over recent years, however, the invention has served to popularize the green tea powder such that the menus are now filled with its health-giving properties. The caffeine effects balanced by L-theanine provide stimulation without the jitters are among of the favored effects sought when taking matcha tea. The high levels of antioxidants and the many health attributes also make matcha a preference. Below are a few recipes for a delicious matcha experience.

1.    Green Tea Soufflé

For any person who wants to try the recipe, be warned! It requires patience. This recipe is not popular outside of Japan. For those who have tried making a soufflé they know that it entails its fair share of disappointments. However, after some time you might come out successful. Now away from the negative air, the soufflés require meticulously following the instructions (32).   

Ingredients

For coating the ramekins

½ tablespoon unsalted butter (½ tablespoon = 7 grams) (at room temperature)

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

For custard

150 ml milk

100 ml heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

Three large yolks

Twenty-two grams granulated sugar (22 grams = 2 tablespoons)

Twenty-five grams all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons matcha

For the meringue

Three egg whites

Forty-four grams granulated sugar

For dusting

1-tablespoon confectionaries powder sugar

Instructions

1.      Preheat the oven to about 390 degrees Fahrenheit

2.      Brush the insides of the ramekins with butter and dust them with a tablespoon of sugar. Remove the excess sugar and leave in the refrigerator (to give the soufflés a surface to grip on).

2.       For the Custard: In a large bowl whip the egg yolks and add sugar

3.      Sift the flour into the mixture and mix it further

4.      Heat the milk and heavy cream in a saucepan until it boils

5.      Add the hot milk into the mixture starting with a splash then whip it until the mixture is consistent. Add the rest of the milk while still wiping.

6.      Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and heat while whipping for about three minutes. Keep whisking the whole time to prevent the custard from overcooking

7.      When the custard thickens immediately, transfer it to a bowl and leave it at room temperature for half an hour.

8.      Add the matcha powder after the custard has cooled down completely

9.       For the Meringue: whisk the egg whites in a bowl till it forms bubbles

10.  While adding sugar a tablespoon at a time, which rapidly until it makes a firm glossy meringue, this should take about four minutes.

11.  Add half the meringue mixture in the custard and mix it until it is consistent

12.  Carefully fold the rest of the meringue with a spatula making sure you do not over mix

13.  Divide the mixture into the four ramekins and tap to ensure they level. Run your thumb along the edges

14.  Bake the soufflés for twelve to fifteen minutes until the surface rises slightly above the top of the ramekin. To check if they are ready, the top middle should wobble a bit.

15.  Dust with the powder sugar and serve right away.  

2.    Healthy Matcha green tea coconut fudge

When you are a tea lover and pay attention to health, this fudge is definitely for you. It is made of healthy matcha with a coconut fudge base. The matcha green tea powder adds color and flavor to the fudge plus numerous health additions. The recipe does not include granulated sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, or butter. The resultant fudge is both soft and fluffy but most importantly rich in healthy antioxidants (33).

Ingredients

800 grams (4 cups) low-fat organic cottage cheese, at room temperature

1-tablespoon vanilla paste

68 grams (2 ¼ cups) stevia in the raw (sweetener)

16 grams (2 tablespoons) matcha powder

85 grams (1/3 cup) raw coconut butter, melted

¼ cup homemade Metamucil

¾ cup reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

1.      Line an eight-inch brownie pan with parchment

2.      Blend the stevia raw, vanilla paste, cottage cheese, and matcha powder in a blender and mix thoroughly until the mixture is smooth

3.      While still blending add in the melted coconut butter

4.      Sprinkle in the homemade Metamucil while blending. Scoop the mixture and put in the freezer for two hours after spreading the surface evenly.

5.       Place the shredded coconut in a large bowl

6.      Divide the fudge into thirty-six pieces and place them in the serving pan after coating them with shredded coconut.

7.      After coating the fudge pieces in coconuts, place them in the freezer overnight while uncovered

3.    Thai coconut matcha soup

Soup is good, soup is healthy, and that is why we have it when we are sick. Good healthy soup is a delight for anyone who loves his or her health. With matcha in the in ingredients, the coconut matcha soup’s health values increase tremendously (34).

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium white potato, peeled and chopped

Three clove garlic, minced

One heaped teaspoon fresh ginger

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of ground black pepper

Five cups packed kale

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups coco-lemon Thai tea, steeped strong

1-teaspoon matcha (culinary grade)

One cup loosely packed parsley

½ teaspoon dried cilantro

One can of coconut milk

Instructions

1.      Sauté the onion and potato with a splash of water in a medium pan

2.      Allow it to cook for about eight minutes while stirring and adding water to prevent sticking

3.      Add the garlic, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper and stir a further two minutes

4.      Add the kale and allow it to cook for a further two minutes before adding the vegetable broth and steeped tea and stirring

5.      Cover the broth and allow it to simmer for half an hour after it starts boiling

6.      Add the cilantro, parsley, and matcha while stirring then allow the broth to cool for a while

7.      In a blender, blend the soup until it is smooth and silky

8.      Return the broth to heat and add the coconut milk

9.      After allowing the broth to attain favorable heat, serve and enjoy your hearty soup meal   

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