Time to do the matcha swap? Replacing coffee with matcha is something to genuinely consider.
If you want to boost your energy, lose weight and look after your long-term health, it might be as simple as swapping your coffee for a cup of matcha green tea. Aside from its delicious taste, matcha is becoming more and more popular in Australia thanks to its fantastic health benefits.
So what is matcha and why’s it so incredible?
During the process of making matcha tea, the entire green tea leaf is stone ground into a fine powder, which is then dissolved in water to create a non-bitter green tea. Because you’re consuming the entire leaf, matcha has 137 times the antioxidants found in a standard cup of green tea, meaning you’d have to drink ten cups of green tea to enjoy the same health benefits.
So read on for our top five health benefits of replacing your morning latte with a cup of matcha green tea.
1. Matcha Boosts Energy and Increases Focus
Do you often find yourself feeling tired and run down, or like you can’t focus? If so, matcha could be the answer!
A single cup of matcha will release its energy slowly over a 4-6 hour period, but without affecting your sleep or making you jittery as can often happen with coffee.
Matcha only contains around a tenth of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee, but is packed full of amino acids. The amino acids release the caffeine into your body slowly, rather than flooding it quickly in the way that coffee does. Because of this, you’ll experience a steady energy boost, instead of the spike-and-slump that your flat white can cause. (1)
Matcha green tea is also well-known to improve memory and mood, as it’s a fantastic source of the amino acid L-theanine which works wonders for concentration. Because of this, people that drink matcha green tea often say they can focus better, that they forget less, and that they have a greater sense of wellbeing. (2)
2. Matcha Encourages Weight Loss and Weight Control
Do you find it tough to shed weight or maintain weight loss? Matcha green tea is natural, sugar-free and almost calorie-free. And it’s known for its metabolism-boosting properties, which helps burn fat and energy in the body too.
The antioxidants found in matcha also help lower the amount of fat that’s absorbed by the body, as well as helping to control the hormone Leptin to minimise hunger cravings. So if you want to achieve a healthy body weight and maintain it, a daily cup of matcha could be the answer.
3. Matcha is a Disease-Fighting Powerhouse
Antioxidants are an important part of our diet because they help protect us against disease. Matcha is incredibly high in antioxidants and has 137 times the amount found in standard green tea, so drinking just one cup of matcha per day will significantly increase the levels of antioxidants in your body.
Matcha is a great source of EGCG, which is one of the best disease-fighting antioxidants. There has been extensive research conducted on the benefits of EGCG, and it is one of only a few antioxidants proven to help your body defend itself against free radicals.
Free radicals are produced in our body because of the foods we eat, and the pollutants and chemicals that we’re exposed to everyday. They can be extremely harmful to the DNA in our body’s cells, and it’s this DNA damage which can lead to cancer and other diseases (4). So it’s imperative to fight the levels of free radicals in the body, and drinking matcha can achieve this.
Drinking just one cup every day ensures a steady supply of antioxidants which will ensure that our bodies are constantly being protected against disease.
4. Matcha Boosts the Immune System and Reduces Inflammation
Do you find yourself catching every cold going around? Or are you often under the weather? Matcha is proven to give your immune system a much needed boost to keep you healthy especially during the winter seasons.
It’s also known to reduce inflammation in the body, so if you suffer from arthritis or have an injury, give matcha tea a try.
What’s more, matcha contains antioxidants known as flavonoids, which have strong antibacterial properties. These flavonoids can help fight infections and illness, can soothe a sore throat, and can even help prevent bad breath. So just a daily cup of matcha can keep you healthy all year round and keep the nasty bugs away!
5. Matcha Helps Protect against Heart Disease
All across the western world, heart disease is a major concern, but the important fact to note is that it is completely preventable.
Matcha has been proven to help de-clog arteries which is critical, as clogged arteries (Atherosclerosis) are a major cause of heart disease.
The antioxidants found in matcha has been proven to lower inflammation in the arteries. This reduces the chances of cholesterol building up on arterial walls, and keeps arteries clear. This then helps to maintain a low blood pressure, as the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood around the body – as it would, if the arteries were inflamed.
Therefore just one cup of matcha per day can make a real difference in helping protect your long term heart health.
Totally swapping coffee for matcha may be a bit over the top, but by mostly replacing your daily cup of coffee with matcha tea, it can give you more energy, you might find it easier to lose weight, and generally feel healthier. To ensure that you receive all of the health benefits of matcha green tea, it’s important to buy high quality matcha. The most premium matcha comes from Japan, and has a better taste and a beautifully vibrant green colour.
Erin Young is a health writer and a tea expert. She owns two tea brands; Zen Green Tea Matcha in Australia and Evergreen Matcha in the USA. She partners with sustainable tea farms in Kyoto, Japan to source her premium matcha green tea powder. Click here for a free Matcha Recipe e-book with over 30 healthy recipes delivered straight to your inbox.