Matcha – It’s Benefits and Side Effects
Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. We’ve all heard the word Matcha before, but what is it really? It’s a particular variety of green tea, and is marketed as even more healthier. It’s grown and prepared differently from other green teas.
But is Matcha really that much healthier? This article explains the facts.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Since Matcha basically is a variety of green tea, it has most of the same health benefits. However, matcha is more concentrated in antioxidants. One single cup (237 ml) says to be equivalent to about 3 cups (711 ml) of regular green tea.
Studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of kidney and liver damage while lowering blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
These are the main health benefits associated with drinking matcha green tea.
1. It’s packed with antioxidants
Matcha as previously mentioned is very high in antioxidants. It may fight inflammation in your body, help maintain healthy arteries, and promote cell repair.
2. It May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the biggest cause of death worldwide. Many factors are known to increase heart disease risk. Drinking green tea may help improve several of these risk factors, including total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.
3. May Aid Weight Loss
Green tea is actually a common ingredient in many weight loss supplements. Studies reveal green tea increases your total calories burned by boosting your metabolic rate.
However, keep in mind that green tea is only a very small piece of the weight loss puzzle – and not all studies agree it helps.
4. May Boost Relaxation and Alertness
In addition to being a great source of antioxidants, green tea contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine. In fact, matcha contains much higher levels of L-theanine than other types of green tea.
L-theanine is linked to mental relaxation and may help fight stress signals. It also modifies the effects of caffein in your body, increasing alertness without causing drowsiness that often follows coffee consumption.
Safety and Side Effects
Some side effects and risks are associated with consuming matcha tea. Since it’s highly concentrated in both beneficial and harmful substances, it’s generally not recommended to drink more than 2 cups (474 ml) per day.
By consuming matcha powder, you are really ingesting the whole tea leaf – along with everything it contains. Matcha leaves may harbour contaminants, including heavy metals, pesticides, and fluoride from the soil in which the plant grows.
Using organic matcha may reduce the risk of exposure to pesticides, but even organic leaves may still contain substances from the soil that are harmful when ingested in large amounts.
Liver and Kidney Toxicity
Individual tolerance varies towards plant compounds, although high levels are found in matcha an may cause nausea and symptoms of liver or kidney toxicity.
Matcha Is Healthier Than Regular Green Tea
In summary, matcha is a special and powerful form of green tea. It comes from the same plant but is grown and prepared very differently. Since the leaves are ground into power, you end up consuming the whole leaf.
For this reason, matcha may have even more benefits than regular green tea. Just be sure to not consume more than 2 cups (474ml) per day and you are good to go!