11 remarkable health benefits of matcha green tea for body and mind

by Mar 4, 2019Healthy living

Matcha green tea has become a very popular drink in the past few years, even though Japan has been drinking if for centuries already.

Wherever I go for a drink here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, there are always several options that include matcha. That made me decide to find out what all the fuzz is about and write it down in this article for you guys. And it turned out that it is an extremely healthy drink, for both body and mind! That is exactly the combination that I find so important.

So what is matcha green tea exactly? It is different from regular green tea in its way of cultivation and consumption. A few weeks before the tea leaves are harvested, they are shaded. This step provides them with some of their unique healthy properties. And it also gives the leaves a naturally sweet, smooth and creamy flavour. After harvest the leaves are grounded into a fine powder: matcha powder.

All of the powder is consumed when drinking matcha as a tea, which makes it quite unique. When you normally drink green tea, only 10% of the nutrients are consumed, as 90% stays behind in the leaves. However, with matcha, everything that the plant has to offer is consumed 100%. Pretty awesome, right?

Now that we’ve established what matcha green tea is, let’s go through a list of remarkable benefits that it has to offer:

1. It’s high in antioxidants

The first benefit of matcha green tea is that it contains very significant levels of antioxidants. Foods can be measured with something called an ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This score will tell you the antioxidant concentration in a food or drink, and its ability to eliminate free radicals.

The ORAC score for matcha green tea is one of the highest ever measured for any food or drink. To make a comparison: that comes down to 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. And 6 times more than the very healthy goji berries. And with its score of 1384, it still stays well above the extremely hyped (but also very healthy!) acai berries that have a score of 1027.

2. It stimulates your metabolism

Another great benefit of matcha green tea is that it stimulates your metabolism. It is found that matcha green tea can boost thermogenesis, enhance the resting metabolic rate of your body and can also aid in fat burning. There are of course more types of food or drinks that can do that. But the great thing about matcha is that it doesn’t cause adverse side effects at the same time, such as an increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

It is however important to note, that matcha green tea cannot replace a healthy diet. Make sure to eat healthy and exercise, and just add drinking matcha tea to your routine!

3. It’s a great energy booster

Matcha green tea is also known to be a fantastic energy booster! This drink contains theophylline, which is a healthy type of caffeine, and is responsible for giving the boost in energy. The wonderful thing however about this type of caffeine, is that it is released slowly over the course of many hours, and that you won’t experience any jitters, nervousness, or a crash. It is therefore an excellent substitute for coffee if you do want the caffeine boost, but without the negative side effects. It is even described that matcha green tea can bring you to a state of calm alertness.

4. It’s a potential cancer fighter

Matcha green tea contains a high amount of EGCG (an abbreviation for the unpronounceable “epigallocatechin gallate”). ECGC is studied for the potential effect of reducing the risk of cancer. It makes up 60% of all the catechins that are found in matcha green tea, and contains even 137 times more EGCG than brewed green tea.

5. It aids in anti-aging

The fifth benefit of matcha green tea that many people will like, is that it aids in anti-aging. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why matcha green tea is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world.

Matcha green tea has the ability to reduce both inflammation and oxidation which slows down the aging process and helps you look and feel younger. This process is possible due to a combination of antioxidants, catechins, and the vitamins A, C, B-complex, and K that are found in matcha green tea.

6. It improves your skin

Along the same lines as number 5: what’s also a very popular benefit, is that matcha green tea helps to improve your skin. It’s also one of my favourite benefits, because my face just hasn’t the best skin naturally.

The reason matcha green tea can aid in taking care of your skin, is the high amount of antioxidants. It can for instance help against skin blemishes, scarring, acne, or red spots. And as a bonus it also helps prevent and repair damage from the sun.

7. It lowers cholesterol levels

Another great health benefit of matcha green tea is that it helps lower your cholesterol levels.

It is the catechins that are found in matcha that help to reduce both fatty acids and cholesterol that are found in the blood lipid level. Next to that, matcha helps to slow down the process of oxidation of LDL, which is short for bad cholesterol.

8. It’s a detoxifier

Matcha green tea is furthermore known to be an excellent detoxifier, due to the high amount of chlorophyll that is found in matcha tea leaves. Because matcha is grown in the shade, it has a much greater amount of chlorophyll than other green teas. The reason chlorophyll is a great natural detoxifier, is because it helps to eliminate chemicals as well as flush heavy metals and toxins out of the body.

9. It’s a stress reliever

Drinking matcha green tea can also help you to release your stress and calm your mind. It is something called L-theanine, which is a naturally stress-relieving amino acid, that is responsible for this effect. Matcha green tea contains a uniquely high amount of L-theanine and can aid in developing a greater sense of well-being.

Earlier, I also talked about the energy boost from the slowly releasing caffeine. It is exactly the combination of this type of caffeine with L-theanine that promotes relaxation and provides you with a balanced and relaxing energy.

10. It enhances your mood, memory, and focus

Building on benefit number 9, matcha green tea enhances your mind, memory, and concentration. This is again the result of the rich amount of L-theanine that is present in the drink. The amino acid raises the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. This contributes to a better mood, enhanced memory and cognitive abilities, and improves our concentration and focus.

It is again the combination of L-theanine and caffeine that is found in matcha green tea that provides the drinker with a relaxed state of mental clarity or alert relaxation. It is therefore also considered a great drink to consume before meditation practice. Fun fact: it is said that Buddhist monks indeed would drink matcha green tea before their meditation, as it helps them sustain deep concentration.

11. It boosts your immune system

The last wonderful benefit that I will share with you, is that matcha green tea can give your immune system a boost. This is due to a variety of great substances found in matcha.

Firstly, matcha green tea contains a high amount of catechins, known for its antibiotic properties that can help to strengthen your health.

What’s more, is that the significant amount of chlorophyll in matcha aids in alkalizing and detoxifying your blood. This will give your body a better chance to get more oxygen and nutrients to your cells for healing.

Lastly, matcha green tea can give your immune system a boost, because it contains a significant amount of several essential vitamins, such as: calcium, iron, potassium, protein, and vitamins A and C.

Wrapping up:

As has become clear, drinking matcha green tea has some remarkable health benefits, both for body and mind!

But I would like to repeat what I said earlier: no matter how healthy it is, it cannot replace a healthy and varied diet. Make sure to eat healthy and exercise enough, and in addition you can drink this powerhouse tea.

If you’ve decided to give matcha green tea a try, make sure to buy the real deal and be mindful of fakes on the market. There are unfortunately lots of copies out there that can use the same name, but are however not real matcha green tea. Rather a matcha flavoured tea. Real matcha green tea is actually a tad expensive, because of the complex cultivation- and production process.

Matcha powder is by the way not just reserved for tea preparation! Because of the rich flavours and strong taste, as well as the amazing health benefits, it is also oftentimes used in food preparation by chefs around the globe.

Do let me know if you are going to give matcha green tea a try! 😊 Or if you already tried it: what did you think of the taste? And how do you feel it affected your body and mind? Make sure to leave a comment!

About Me

My name is Lenore and it is my mission to present women with tips and tricks on how to create a healthier lifestyle, but also on how to live more sustainably where less is more. So if you're looking for just that, you're in the right place!