There are so many ways we can use self-care to improve our mental and physical health. Everything from exercise to what we put in our bodies is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. “Superfoods” are foods that not only nourish our bodies with necessary nutrients but also have properties that can protect our bodies from chronic disease and improve our physical and/or mental wellbeing. In this article, I’ll share with you the top 5 benefits of matcha green tea, a powerful superfood that should be a part of your everyday self-care routine.
So, sit back, relax, and sip this informative tea.
What is Matcha:
Matcha is a potent, caffeinated, vibrant green tea that is grown in Japan. It has been a part of Japanese culture for over the past 800 years. Matcha comes from Camellia Sinensis. However, the difference between matcha tea and conventional green tea Is how Japanese farmers harvest it. Plants are shaded from sunlight typically for 3-4 weeks. This process gives the tea its unique flavor and color. Shading also increases the production of chlorophyll, antioxidants, and amino acids.
What are the benefits:
1. Improved skin appearance and elasticity:
If you want your melanin to shine even brighter, adding matcha green tea to your daily routine is a must. Matcha is high in catechins. These powerful antioxidants help to fight free radicals in the skin, helping skin to look younger, by improving the elasticity, and brighter, by evening out blemishes and dark spots. Matcha also has anti-inflammatory properties. So, if you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, or dermatitis, matcha can help reduce flare-ups. Tannins, another component of this tea, works as an astringent. So, if you have oily skin, matcha can help with that too! You can reap the benefits of matcha by drinking it, or using it to make a face mask.
2. Improves mood and brain function:
High amounts of the amino acid L-theanine is in matcha Japanese green tea. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine helps to improve cognitive performance, improve memory, and has calming effects which improve mood. Other mental benefits include better focus, concentration, and mental clarity. Unlike coffee, matcha tea is not likely to cause the jitters or cause you to crash and be irritable, or unfocused.
3. It may help protect the body from cancer:
As I’ve mentioned above, the high concentration of antioxidants in this tea is helpful in fighting inflammation and free radicals in the body. These same properties combined with another ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), give matcha its anti-cancer effects. Specifically with cancers that can develop due to diets, such as colon or gastrointestinal cancer. Due to these facts, researchers believe that Matcha may be valuable to cancer patients.
4. Helps with maintaining a healthy weight:
If you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight, adding matcha Japanese green tea to your regimen could benefit you. Green tea is effective in weight loss according to research. One study that reviewed 49 different weight loss and weight management studies where green tea was used as a supplement showed that green tea did slightly improve weight loss and weight management outcomes. The catechins from green tea can also enhance the loss of belly fat when paired with regular exercise. Since low belly fat is associated with better health, matcha is an excellent addition to your health care and weight control regimen.
5. May boost heart health:
A 2018 study cited that African Americans overall are 30 times more likely to die from heart disease than white men. This same study cited those African American women were 60 times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure when compared to white women. Not only has green tea been shown to protect against heart disease, but studies also highlight that the properties of matcha Japanese green tea likely reduce cholesterol. Catechins in green tea are associated with lower blood pressure and reduced blood clotting related to stroke.
In Japan, Matcha Japanese green tea has been enjoyed for centuries. Its calming effects and healing properties make it a wonderful addition to your daily routine. You may even want to replace your morning coffee with matcha to help relax you in preparation for your day. Matcha tea has a unique sweet, earthy, savory flavor that tastes great mixed with your favorite milk for a delicious latte. No matter how you decide to enjoy matcha, you can be sure that it’s a great habit to include in your daily routine. If you’re looking for more ways to be healthy, check my latest blog post 10 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Health.
I’m in my 4th-year of dietetics undergrad at Life University in Atlanta Georgia.I am also certified with Spencer Institute as a wellness coach and a student member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics so I can stay up to date on all the latest nutrition news and research. I’m dedicated to sharing what I have and am learning both personally and professionally with women seeking to lose weight and improve their lifestyles.