Matcha green tea powder is one of the most popular and sought-after health foods in the world.
- Scientific research has proven that adding a small amount of matcha to your diet is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your long-term health.
It can aid weight loss, promote a healthy heart, protect your liver from damage, and help prevent cancer.
We’ve taken a deeper look into this miracle-worker, so read on to discover precisely how matcha could change your life.
What is matcha?
Matcha comes from the camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to make green tea.
It’s a powder made from the dried leaves of the plant.
But don’t get too excited!
This doesn’t mean you can just buy green tea leaves and grind them yourself.
- Matcha green tea powder is made from plants grown specifically for making matcha.
- The plant is grown in the shade rather than in full-sunlight, and only the young leaves are harvested for matcha.
Additionally, the manufacturing process removes the stem and veins of the leaf to help make a fine powder.
Because the green tea plant is grown in the shade, the plant produces extra chlorophyll, which gives the powder its bright green colour.
It also means the plant is packed full of goodness and nutrient.
The production of of matcha
A quick behind-the-scenes look at some little known facts regarding matcha production.
- The production process for grinding the leaves into powder takes over an hour.
- The highest-quality matcha is ground, gradually over time, using granite stones.
- If the grinding is too fast, friction can cause heat which may destroy some of the healthy compounds.
- Unlike other teas where you discard the leaves, matcha powder includes the whole leaf so you get additional benefits.
Did you know?
We thought you might enjoy some fun facts about this super-tea.
- Matcha tea comes from Japan, where it is often used in elaborate, traditional tea ceremonies.
- Before it is ground into powder form, matcha is referred to as “tencha“, which means ‘fresh leaf’ or ‘sweet leaf’.
- The word “matcha” – literally means ‘ground tea’, so it only refers to the powder form.
- ‘Matcha‘ comes from the Japanese word ‘matsu‘ which means powdered, and ‘cha‘ means tea.
When shopping for matcha, make sure you choose a high-quality product that is responsibly grown and produced.
Matcha tea is made from the ground leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. It is grown in a certain way to maximise the nutrients in the finished powder. It also has a unique way of being processed.
Why is matcha so good for you?
Matcha green tea powder has been super popular in Japanese culture for centuries. The first use of matcha was recorded as far back as the 12th century when a Japanese monk brought back green tea leaves from China. There is a small amount of evidence it was used in China as early as the 7th century. However, it became prevalent when it was studied in Japan.
- The health benefits of consuming matcha were so pronounced it became a significant part of Japanese culture.
Nowadays, matcha is not only used to make tea; it is also added to coffee, salads, and smoothies.
People all over the world rave about its wonderful properties.
Studies performed on matcha green tea powder suggest that consuming matcha on a regular basis may help…
- reduce your risk of getting cancer
- promote liver health
- encourage weight loss
- prevent heart disease
- lower blood pressure
- noticeably increase energy levels.
There have been many studies done on matcha, so you can be sure it is super safe to consume.
The health benefits of matcha tea and its side effects have also been well-documented.
Matcha is considered one of the healthiest herbal teas available because you actually ingest the whole ground-up leaf, rather than brewing and then removing the leaves like other teas.
This allows your body to get the most out of the plant.
Matcha has been drunk for centuries in Japan and China, but has only recently become popular elsewhere in the world. It contains powerful biochemicals which have beneficial effects on heart and liver health, blood pressure and weight loss.
May prevent cancer
The ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale measures how anti-oxidative a food is.
It’s no surprise that matcha and green tea sit way above any other superfoods, including blueberries and pomegranates.
- Not only does matcha contain more antioxidants than other foods, but it also contains the best kind – catechin polyphenols.
This type of antioxidant is super effective at offering protection against cancerous cells.
Would you like to know why?
Antioxidants help fight damage at a cellular level.
In short, they effectively attack unhealthy cancerous cells and promote the health of positive cells.
Studies show that consuming high amounts of antioxidants can slow the growth of existing cancers, such as tumours, and prevent the formation of new cancers.
- One study even found that the compounds in matcha helped to actively fight tumours and reduce the size of the tumour over several weeks. In particular, matcha contains really high concentrations of a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Say that again!!!
Antioxidants help promote a healthy immune response so your body can destroy cancerous cells before they can grow or spread.
Drinking matcha can help reduce your chances of getting cancers in many parts of your body. There is even evidence it can help fight existing cancers and shrink tumours.
Helps lower blood pressure
Matcha has proven benefits in helping lowering blood pressure levels.
Within matcha is L-theanine, which is an amino acid proven to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure levels.
It is especially effective if you suffer from elevated blood pressure due to stress.
The amino acid is also proven to
- prevent damage to HDL cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol.
- help keep blood pressure down
- keep your heart healthy.
- lower fatty triglyceride levels in your blood.
And with lower blood pressure levels, matcha also effectively helps prevent strokes.
Research in Japan suggests that matcha can have a protective effect on the cells in your brain.
This is good news for stroke victims because it means any effects will be minimised.
We can thank the L-theanine in matcha for this nerve cell protection in the brain.
More helpful bio-compounds
Matcha and green tea are also loaded with polyphenols (micronutrients), which help lower blood pressure levels.
Flavonoids (read – antioxidants) help destroy free radicals in your body.
They also boost your vascular system, leading to a reduction in systolic blood pressure.
- Systolic blood pressure is the top number of your blood pressure reading.
It measures the force the heart exerts on the walls of our arteries each time it beats.
Matcha is particularly effective for people with blood pressure over 130.
Flavonoids can also slightly increase the size of your arteries and break down fats which might cause clots allowing your bloodstream to flow more freely.
The catechins and flavonoids in green tea could lower your blood pressure levels and improve your blood flow. This reduces your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Reduces risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide for people over the age of 35.
As such, it’s no surprise millions of people are looking for ways to reduce their risk of getting heart disease.
- Several scientific studies have shown that regularly drinking matcha can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Catechins, some of the main components in tea, positively affect heart health.
They reduce chances of cardiovascular incidents, including heart attacks.
The cholesterol we love to hate
In addition, one of the leading causes of heart disease is high cholesterol levels.
Matcha and green tea have been proven to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Matcha can also prevent the oxidisation of these cholesterol cells in your blood which are thought to cause heart disease in later life.
- This means that even if you aren’t at risk of getting heart disease now, drinking matcha could prevent you from having heart problems as you age.
LDL cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, which leads to an increased risk of heart disease, blood clots, and hypertension.
The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea leaves can help minimise the risk of atherosclerosis and protect from arterial oxidative damage.
Combined with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, drinking matcha could literally save your life.
Drinking Matcha can help prevent heart disease in later life. It can also prevent you from having a heart attack and lower cholesterol levels.
Energy boosting – we could all do with this!
Surprisingly, green tea leaves contain more caffeine than coffee beans.
Green tea leaves consist of around 3.5% caffeine, while coffee contains just 1% caffeine.
However, as coffee is brewed at hotter temperatures, more caffeine is extracted into the drink than the slightly cooler water used for tea.
This means that drinking green tea can give you a serious energy boost.
- Part of the reason you don’t get a caffeine high from drinking green tea is that the leaves also contain L-theanine.
This changes how your body reacts to the caffeine.
Coffee, which does not include this compound, gives you a short, sharp boost of energy and mental stimulation.
- Green tea and matcha, on the other hand, provide an extended, less pronounced boost.
The reason – the L-theanine slows the breaking down of the caffeine.
This means your body has a chance to process it better, giving you a sustained energy boost over several hours.
In addition to providing a prolonged energy boost, matcha contains compounds that help maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
So what’s not to like? Who couldn’t do with more energy for longer?
Feeling calmer, more relaxed and focused
Meanwhile, the amino acids in matcha regulate alpha waves in your brain.
What does that mean? It means you feel calmer, less stressed, and yet still very focused.
- Effectively, this also helps prevent you from expending additional energy, overthinking, and needlessly worrying.
If you are someone who worries a lot about work and just wishes they could concentrate better… guess what?
Matcha is the perfect tea for you.
Matcha contains amino acids and compounds which help regulate brain activity. The result is that you feel focused and calm. It also includes a compound that slows how your body digests caffeine, giving you a more prolonged, more sustained energy boost without the crash.
May help lose weight
One of the main reasons matcha is so popular with women worldwide is that it has proven weight-loss benefits.
In fact, most diet and weight-loss products often contain extracts of matcha to aid fat burning.
Why bother spending money on fancy products when the main weight-loss ingredient is matcha?
Hey! Great question.
- Drinking matcha tea is a more efficient and less expensive option if you want to lose weight.
Part of the reason matcha is so effective for losing weight is that it can help boost your metabolism.
This means that doing the same amount of exercise will have a more extreme result than if you don’t drink matcha.
As well as boosting your metabolism, the caffeine in matcha leads to increased energy levels, so you have more energy to spend.
Losing weight can lead to you feel sluggish as your body burns more calories than you consume.
Matcha effectively combats this with research suggesting that drinking matcha while losing weight leads to better weight loss by an average of 17%.
As well as helping you lose weight, matcha has a long-term impact on your metabolism.
In other words, it can assist in keeping that weight off!!
Keeping the weight off
The catechins in matcha effectively oxidize fat cells in the body, suggesting any fat stored on the body will shrink.
Matcha will also attack fat cells as they form to help keep the weight off.
- If you find yourself yo-yo dieting where you manage to lose weight, but instantly put it back on, matcha could help stop this cycle.
Studies into how matcha affects the body show that regularly consuming matcha has the benefit of helping to maintain a sustained weight loss.
So long as you continue with a healthy diet and exercise regime, drinking matcha will help you lose weight and keep the weight away, even if you do come off a calorie deficit diet.
With increased energy levels and improved metabolism, Matcha can help you lose weight and keep the weight away. Matcha is effective at burning fat through oxidisation, making it a key ingredient in most weight-loss products.
May promote a healthy liver
Having a healthy liver is vital to good overall health, and many of us push our liver into overwork mode by drinking alcohol and eating unhealthily.
Luckily, the liver is one of the only organs in the body that can actively heal itself and repair damage.
So, even if you haven’t been kind to your liver in the past, you can still have a healthy liver in the future.
Drinking matcha tea is a fantastic way to encourage liver health.
Research suggests that regular consumption of matcha can promote normal liver function.
- Studies show that matcha helps reduce the number of enzymes associated with liver damage leading to the conclusion that matcha can help repair damaged livers or promote healthy liver function in people with liver disease.
Further research indicates that even if you don’t already have liver disease or liver damage, drinking matcha can help prevent liver disease from developing.
Because matcha tea helps the oxidisation of fat cells, drinking matcha can also reduce liver damage caused by a fatty liver due to overeating.
Early research into this area shows that matcha extract could mitigate fatty liver disease by as much as 75%.
Anyone who is overweight or has diabetes could seriously improve their overall health by using Matcha to combat a fatty liver.
A benefit of drinking matcha tea is it can help prevent liver diseases, combat the signs of a fatty liver and promote your liver to function normally, and repair any existing liver damage. A healthy liver encourages overall health.
Increases focus and attention
There is also plenty of evidence that drinking matcha tea on a regular basis can help improve brain function by
- boosting attention and focus
- improving memory and reaction time.
So, if you find yourself feeling a little slow and sluggish; matcha could help restore of your flagging brainpower.
- One study found that just 4 grams of matcha a day were enough to make a noticeable difference.
The study suggested that ingesting matcha has a long-term effect.
And that is it boosts your brain function and improves your memory over an extended period of time.
A similar study found that matcha was particularly effective on elderly people.
It helped enhance brain functions dramatically during the 2-month experiment.
Participants involved in the study were more easily able to recall details from memory.
Furthermore, they displayed improved focus and attentiveness as the investigation continued.
The caffeine content
Matcha contains quite a lot of caffeine – much more than green tea.
Unlike coffee, matcha and green tea contain a compound called L-theanine that affects how your body ingests and processes caffeine.
This means that drinking matcha tea gives you the same mental boost and stimulation as coffee……without the crash.
The caffeine boost is sustained over a more extended period of time.
And your boss will LOVE this!
- This means you can be super productive and attentive at work without guzzling coffee all day.
L-theanine also helps regulate brain waves, meaning you are more likely to feel stable and less stressed after consuming matcha.
Combined with the increased levels of concentration and improved memory, matcha can improve mental performance both in the short and long-term.
Drinking Matcha regularly can improved long-term memory, increased attentiveness and focus, and improve reaction times. The caffeine in Matcha is more easily digestible than the caffeine in coffee, meaning you get the mental stimulation of caffeine without the post-coffee crash.
May improve digestion
Green tea, especially matcha, is a very popular drink for those looking to avoid digestive issues.
Matcha is abundant in a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which soothes an irritated digestive tract.
An inflammation digestive system can cause bloating, gas, and stomach cramps caused by inefficient and sometimes painful digestion.
As well as soothing your digestive tract and preventing uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion, drinking matcha tea can also help ease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
This is because it also helps soothe and calm your GI Tract.
- In addition, studies have shown that adding matcha to your regular diet can even help reduce your chances of developing bowel and colon cancer.
Studies show that EGCG is effective at killing cancer cells in the bowel, prostate, and stomach.
Matcha tea can help soothe an irritated digestive tract minimizing feelings of indigestion such as bloating, gas, and cramps. It can also prevent cancers from forming in the stomach, bowels, and prostate, as well as relieving symptoms of IBS.
May aid detoxification
Did you know that matcha has five times the amount of chlorophyll compared to regular green tea?
This makes it an important addition to your diet if you are looking to detox your body.
Chlorophyll forms bonds in your body with certain compounds which cause cellular damage.
These toxins can wreak havoc on our body, causing anything from premature aging and liver damage to cancerous tumours.
- By drinking matcha tea, the chlorophyll can bind with these cells, and you can eliminate them from your body more effectively.
Matcha tea is also a benefit due to its ability to help promote healthy liver function and a healthy digestive system.
Both these organs are crucial to help you process and eliminate toxins from your body.
This means that as well as explicitly removing certain toxins from the body, matcha can help your body effectively remove toxins without an extreme diet or detox products.
If you are looking for a way to stay consistently healthy without purchasing potential harmful detox products, matcha is the best thing you can buy.
Matcha promotes healthy liver and healthy digestive system, which encourages the natural removal of toxins. In addition, Matcha is packed full of chlorophyll which binds to toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals, making it easier for your body to eliminate toxins.
Revitalises dull, lifeless skin
Matcha isn’t only good for your insides; it has benefits externally, too.
It is very popular among celebrities to help them get glowing skin without using makeup.
Matcha is brimming with antioxidants and polyphenols, which encourage cell turnover leaving you with beautiful plump skin.
- The antioxidants fight skin damage at a cellular level which combats fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with plump, youthful skin.
In addition, researchers know polyphenols help to protect the skin from sun damage and UV rays.
This means fewer wrinkles and dark spots. It also prevents environmental stresses and pollutants from damaging your skin cells, so you will have bright, glowing skin.
Green tea leaves also contain a compound called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is proven to
- prevent signs of aging
- protect cells from damage
- control hormonal breakouts.
The compound is anti-androgenic, so any breakouts caused by the androgen hormone will be minimised.
If you still get a breakout or are prone to acne, matcha contains methylxanthines.
These improve blood circulation in the skin, promoting clear skin – another matcha tea benefit.
Any acne you do experience will likely be less inflamed and won’t last as long due to the anti-inflammatory properties in the matcha.
The tea’s antioxidants are great to soothe irritated skin and can calm swelling and redness caused by acne, eczema, or rashes.
Matcha tea is packed full of compounds and antioxidants which help protect skin cells from damage from pollution, stress, and the sun. Another benefit of Matcha tea is that it can help fight signs of aging and encourage clear skin with fewer breakouts.
Adding matcha to your diet
With so many proven health benefits, you should definitely think about adding matcha to your daily routine.
Alongside a healthy diet, matcha can work wonders for your health.
Particularly for those looking to slow down the effects of aging.
Thanks to its popularity and the sudden increase in demand for matcha, you don’t have to travel to the Orient to get your hands on some.
- However, because so many people want to consume matcha, you should be careful about where you get your matcha from or risk getting a low-quality product.
The green tea plant needs to be properly grown in the shade.
Only the young leaves harvested, or your matcha won’t taste as good, and you’ll miss out on some of the health benefits.
You should also look for responsibly-sourced, organically grown matcha to avoid contamination from chemicals and pesticides.
Responsible matcha producers will also use a slow grinding method, so heat caused by friction doesn’t alter the compounds in the leaves.
That unique flavour
The flavour of matcha is quite distinct and potent, which means some people don’t like the taste.
If you are someone who doesn’t particularly like the taste of matcha tea on its own, you can add other flavors that complement the tea. In particular, lemon, honey, and jasmine pair very well with matcha green tea powder.
You can add a small amount of the matcha green tea powder to another tea to get the health benefits without the overpowering flavours.
- If you don’t particularly take to the taste of matcha powder, you can use just one teaspoon added to other teas or drinks.
You can even add matcha green tea powder to smoothies and other beverages.
Don’t be surprised if, when you add it to a drink, the matcha makes it turn a funny colour.
Matcha contains high amounts of green chlorophyll, which gives it a rich color that may turn others a similar color.
- Make traditional matcha tea by using two teaspoons of matcha green tea powder with around 60ml of hot water. Make sure you give the water time to cool so it isn’t boiling.
- Steaming hot, boiling water can damage some of the compounds in the powder. You can play around with the amount of matcha and the amount of water to find a strength and consistency of your liking.
Because the matcha is dissolved in the water, matcha tea is slightly thicker than other herbal and fruit teas.
You can also add matcha tea to food – a bonus benefit.
- The light flavours make it a great addition to most desserts and puddings.
Adding something so healthy to your dessert can also make you feel less guilty about all the sugar!
You can even add a small amount to coffee if you prefer coffee to tea.
Our favourite matcha recipe is a simple matcha green tea powder “Cake in a Mug”. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes delicious.
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp matcha tea
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- vegetable oil
- 1 pinch baking powder
- Mix ingredients together in a mug.
- Once mixed thoroughly, add a dash of milk and a tiny drop of vegetable oil.
- Stir thoroughly, and then pop the mug in the microwave for one minute on full heat.
- Let the cake cool for a few minutes before eating.
- If you want to keep your matcha to your tea, this recipe is a twist on classic matcha tea.
- Sift two teaspoons of matcha through a small sieve into a mug.
- Add a small amount of hot water, whisking the entire time in a fast, zig-zag pattern to prevent clumps from forming.
- Once the matcha tea starts to foam a little, add a splash of warmed coconut milk.
The coconut milk makes the tea super creamy, and the coconut compliments the matcha flavours giving you an unusual but delicious tea.
You can also use regular milk, oat milk, or almond milk to suit your taste.
If you want to add matcha to your favourite breakfast smoothie for a morning boost, we recommend this recipe.
Unsurprisingly, matcha pairs very well in smoothies with other green foods.
- In a blender, add one handful of kale and one handful of spinach.
- Chop up and add one banana and several chunks of pineapple.
- Add two teaspoons of matcha powder and a generous splash of coconut water.
- Blend until smooth, and then enjoy the benefits of a matcha tea smoothie.
What does matcha taste like?
Since it is made of green tea leaves, matcha tastes a lot like green tea.
However, because you consume the actual leaf, not just an extract, it is much more potent.
Matcha is often described as having a strange taste because it does have slightly bitter flavours but an underlying sweetness.
It is often described as tasting like grass or hay without the taste of earthiness.
Other people say matcha tastes a bit like spinach, other leafy greens, or umami.
The quality of the matcha green tea powder you use will have a considerable impact on how it tastes.
How much matcha should I drink every day?
Depending on how strong you like to make your matcha will impact how much you can have.
If you want your matcha relatively weak using just one teaspoon, you can drink up to 5 cups a day.
However, for regular strength matcha, you should try to have just 1 or 2 cups a day.
This will ensure you are getting all the matcha tea benefits without over-consuming.
Does matcha have any side effects?
Because matcha is packed full of so much goodness, it has very few side effects.
The only real thing to watch out for is over-consumption which can lead to digestive problems and constipation.
However, you would need to be drinking a lot of matcha to experience this.
Another thing to keep an eye on is your caffeine intake.
Although matcha doesn’t give you the same caffeine buzz as coffee, it is still packed full of caffeine.
Too much caffeine can cause headaches, dizziness and lead to dehydration. It can be especially dangerous for pregnant women.
However, the most common issue with matcha doesn’t come from the plant itself.
Matcha, which can be grown using chemicals such as pesticides, may have residual traces remaining in the powder.
Ingesting too many chemicals can cause all sorts of adverse side effects.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure you only buy high-quality, responsibly-grown, organic matcha.
Is matcha healthier than green tea?
Yes! Matcha and green tea leaves come from the same plant, which means they are both super healthy and good for you.
However, matcha plants are grown in the shade, so they develop extra chlorophyll and antioxidative properties.
This makes them additional beneficial.
With matcha, you actually consume parts of the leaves as matcha is just ground-up tea leaves.
Green tea is drunk with the leaves removed, so some health benefits will remain in the leaf.
This is why matcha is the healthier version of green tea.
Can matcha help me relax?
Matcha green tea powder contains compounds that affect the nerves and signals in your brain.
It does this by keeping them regular and stable, leaving you feeling calm and less stressed.
However, as matcha contains caffeine, you will still feel alert which isn’t ideal before bed.
If you are stressed and super busy, matcha can help you relax and prepare to tackle your day calmly.
However, if you are looking to relax before bed, you would be better off drinking chamomile or lavender tea.
Is matcha good for weight loss?
Matcha tea is great if you are trying to lose weight.
Matcha not only boosts your metabolism so you can naturally lose weight more efficiently, but it also helps oxidise and burn existing fat cells helping you reach your target weight.
Another great benefit of matcha tea is that it can help with sustained weight loss, meaning that once you’ve lost the weight, you are less likely to put it back on again.
Does matcha contain caffeine?
Yes, matcha is made from green tea leaves.
Tea leaves contain a lot of caffeine so it can give you a huge boost of energy, similar to drinking coffee.
However, matcha also has properties that help slow down the break down of caffeine in the body.
So another benefit of matcha green tea is you don’t get a crash of energy like you get with coffee.
The caffeine in matcha is much slower acting, so you get an extended energy boost.
When is the best time of day to enjoy matcha?
It’s fantastic if you can wake up and start your day with some matcha, either as a herbal tea or blended a matcha smoothie.
Consuming matcha green tea powder on an empty stomach means your body can get all the goodness from the matcha before it digests other foods.
Drinking more matcha throughout the day and especially before a large meal because it can aid with digestion.
Because matcha is packed with caffeine, it isn’t ideal for drinking before bed as it can keep you awake.
Matcha is a superfood for good reason.
It really is a wondrous little powder which could have a significant impact on your health because it…
- helps you detox
- improves digestion
- promotes weight loss
- fights cancer
- keeps your liver healthy
- lowers your heart disease risk.
Matcha has grown in popularity over the years because it’s so healthy.
You can now enjoy matcha at home, or in a variety of drinks and foods out and about.
It is instantly recognisable by its bright green colour and can be used in sweet or savoury recipes.
The robust flavour doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, but it is easily masked using other ingredients if you would like.
We absolutely love matcha and know you will love it too; if not for its taste, then definitely for its exceptional health properties.
Try drinking one cup of match tea when you wake and another at lunch to get the all of the matcha green tea benefits, and let us know if you notice any changes.