What Does Matcha Do For the Body?

What Does Matcha Do For the Body?

Matcha powder has become increasingly popular in recent years. Besides its unique taste, its potential health benefits have also increased its popularity. Matcha is not just a beverage; it's a powerhouse of nutrients that can have a profound impact on your body. In this article, we'll explore what matcha does for the body and how it can contribute to your overall health and well-being.

What Is Matcha?

Before delving into its health benefits, let's understand what matcha is. Matcha is a Japanese green tea that is made from tea leaves. A matcha tea leaf is ground into a fine powder, unlike a traditional green tea leaf, which is steeped and discarded after steeping. This process makes matcha unique in terms of both preparation and composition.

Matcha tea is grown and harvested with great care. It is cultivated under shade for a few weeks before harvest to boost its chlorophyll content and enhance its green color. Using traditional granite stone mills, the leaves are then handpicked and ground into a fine powder. This meticulous process preserves the nutritional value of the tea, making matcha a concentrated source of health-promoting compounds.

Nutritional Composition of Matcha

Matcha is rich in various bioactive compounds, including:

Catechins: Catechins are a type of antioxidant found in tea leaves, and matcha is particularly high in specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Free radicals can cause damage to cells when EGCG is present, which is why it is known for its potent antioxidant properties.

L-Theanine: This amino acid is abundant in matcha and is responsible for the tea's unique calming and focused energy. Mental clarity and relaxation have been linked to it.

Chlorophyll: The shading process prior to harvest boosts the chlorophyll content in matcha, giving it a vibrant green color. Chlorophyll has detoxifying properties and may aid in purifying the body.

In addition to vitamins A, C, and E, matcha also contains potassium, calcium, and iron.

Boosts Energy and Mental Alertness

Matcha is renowned for its ability to provide a calm yet focused energy boost. L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation, and caffeine, a natural stimulant, contribute to this unique combination of calm and alertness. Due to its slow release of caffeine, matcha provides sustained energy without jitters or crashes.

By increasing serotonin and dopamine production in the brain, L-theanine is known to enhance cognitive function and improve mood. It promotes a state of alertness, creativity, and relaxation, which is often referred to as "mindful alertness."

Antioxidant Powerhouse

Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, and its most prominent one, EGCG, is a potent free radical scavenger. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells. Matcha's antioxidants neutralize these harmful molecules, protecting your body from oxidative stress. 

According to research, antioxidant-rich diets may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The high concentration of EGCG in matcha makes it a significant contributor to these potential health benefits.

Supports Weight Management

Matcha's potential to support weight management has been a topic of interest in recent years. Several studies suggest that matcha's combination of caffeine and catechins, particularly EGCG, may enhance metabolism and promote fat oxidation.

Catechins can also aid in appetite control by influencing hormones that regulate hunger, thereby assisting in weight loss or maintenance efforts. All the same, it is critical to keep in mind that controlling weight is a multifaceted process that is impacted by a variety of factors, such as nutrition and exercise.

Detoxification and Gut Health

Matcha contains chlorophyll, a powerful detoxifier. For overall health, it can help remove toxins and heavy metals from the body. Some proponents claim that chlorophyll-rich foods like matcha can assist in cleansing the digestive system.

Moreover, matcha's high fiber content can be beneficial for gut health. Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements, and a balanced gut microbiome may lessen digestive issues.

Cardiovascular Health

Consuming matcha regularly may promote heart health. As a result of its antioxidant properties, matcha helps reduce oxidative stress, which contributes to heart disease. Green tea consumption has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The combination of catechins, L-theanine, and reduced stress levels may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, contributing to overall heart health.

Enhanced Immune Function

Matcha is packed with vitamins, such as vitamin C, which play a crucial role in supporting the immune system. It also contains various minerals that are essential for overall health, including iron and calcium. A well-balanced diet, which includes nutrient-dense foods like matcha, can help maintain a robust immune system.

Skin Health

The antioxidants in matcha, including EGCG, can protect the skin from UV rays and pollution. Using matcha as a topical treatment or drinking it may reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, the chlorophyll content in matcha may contribute to skin health by promoting detoxification and reducing the appearance of blemishes.

How to Incorporate Matcha into Your Diet

There are various ways to enjoy matcha and harness its health benefits:

Traditional Matcha Tea: Whisk matcha powder with hot water to create a frothy, vibrant green tea.

Matcha Latte: Mix matcha powder with steamed milk and a sweetener of your choice for a creamy and delicious matcha latte.

Smoothies: Add a teaspoon of matcha to your morning smoothie for an extra nutritional boost.

Baking: Matcha can be incorporated into baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins, to create a unique and vibrant flavor.

Salads and Dishes: Use matcha as a seasoning in savory dishes or sprinkle it over salads to add color and flavor.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Despite matcha's numerous health benefits, it is important to consume it in moderation. Caffeine consumption can cause insomnia, nervousness, and an upset stomach. It's advisable not to exceed 2-3 cups of matcha per day, depending on individual tolerance.

Moreover, because matcha is a concentrated source of nutrients, it can interfere with certain medications or medical conditions. Consult a healthcare professional before incorporating matcha into your diet if you have any health concerns or are taking medication.

In Conclusion

Matcha is more than just a trendy beverage; it's a nutritional powerhouse that can have a positive impact on your body. Its high levels of antioxidants, combined with L-theanine, make it a unique addition to a healthy lifestyle. From boosting energy and mental alertness to supporting weight management, cardiovascular health, and immune function, matcha offers an array of potential benefits. If you have any concerns, consult a healthcare professional. Whether you enjoy it as a comforting cup of tea or incorporate it into your recipes, matcha is a delicious and healthy way to enhance your well-being. Check out Leigh Leaf’s matcha and our delicious recipes you can try!

Back to blog