What’s all the hype around matcha tea and is it really that good for you? Healthista’s Nutritional Director Rick Hay explains its benefits, in our Trendy Nutrients A – Z series
‘Matcha is a powdered green tea,’ says Healthista’s nutritional director Rick Hay. ‘Its traditional use is in Japanese tea ceremonies.
High in antioxidants
‘Matcha is packed with antioxidants including EGCGs, the cathechin which has been found to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Nutrients from the entire tea leaf is contained in matcha, which means a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants are found in matcha than typical green tea.
Promotes brain function
Matcha tea contains the amino acid L-Theanine which improves creativity, memory and learning. In 100 grams of matcha, there is 2.41 milligrams of L-Theanine, which is five times more than typical black and green teas.
Although matcha contains caffeine, it will boost your brain function without the side effects (such as nervous energy) of coffee. Therefore, matcha is a great afternoon pick-me-up if you need that extra energy.
Helps you burn fat
‘Matcha is a great addition to your diet for weight loss or weight management. As well as containing almost no calories, matcha can boost metabolism and therefore helps burn fat.
Indeed, one study, conducted by the University of Birmingham, found that taking green tea extract supplements while exercising increased fat burning by 17%.
Improves immune function
The cathechins and other antioxidants found in matcha have antibiotic properties which protects your body against free radicals that come from the pollution in your air, water and foods. Matcha can also reduce inflammation.
Boosts heart health
As well as its other benefits, matcha helps with cardiovascular function. It can reduce the risk of a heart attack, heart disease or a stroke.
This is due to the cathechins found in matcha, which helps you maintain a lower level of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher level of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Looking for a nutrient powder that contains matcha? Try a scoop of the Healthista ‘Body Food’ nutrient powder daily in a little water or juice, before and during exercise.
Matcha tea can come in powder, capsule or tablet form. Try adding the powder to boiling water to make tea or blend it into a smoothie or juice. Try Bloom Nutrifusion Matcha Powder £16.99 from Healthista Shop.
Rick Hay is an Anti-Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at rickhay.co.uk. Follow Rick on Twitter @rickhayuk