The Benefits of Matcha and How it May Help You Lose Weight
We live in a world with an expanding source of medical technology and pharmacology designed to tackle some of the worst health issues in existence. While these advancements in medicine are extremely important, they can occasionally be excessive when dealing with mundane issues. We face multiple health issues and struggles that can manifest independently of a major illness. While they are usually manageable, overcoming them without help from something with medicinal traits can be difficult.
Fortunately, holistic medication still exists and serves a purpose despite what some people might think. Before modern medicine, we relied on plants and herbs to keep us healthy, and those same substances are still available in modern markets.
One of the lesser-known tools for holistic health is matcha green tea, a special variant of traditional green tea originating from China. Despite coming from the east, matcha has become a superstar in holistic lifestyles. Furthermore, modern research has confirmed that several alleged benefits of matcha consumption have scientific merit. This confirmation comes in the wake of matcha skyrocketing in popularity in modern society, with people outside traditional holistic lifestyles consuming it.
Matcha shots, lattes, teas, and even ice cream have become common purchases in the western world. While this is good news, there is some confusion surrounding matcha's benefits, especially concerning weight loss. Fortunately, these details can be easily addressed once we look into the research surrounding matcha consumption.
Benefit #1: Matcha is High in Antioxidants
This is one of the more mundane benefits matcha offers, but it remains an extremely important tool for those seeking a healthier lifestyle. Matcha provides antioxidant benefits when consumed, protecting the body from oxidative damage by stabilizing free radicals. The tea is not an antioxidant but has a high concentration of catechins.
A catechin is a special compound found in plant matter and a natural antioxidant extending to matcha byproducts. Adding matcha powder to hot water to create a cup of matcha tea will disseminate all the nutrients from the original leaf and imbue the tea with them. Therefore, matcha products will contain the same nutrients as the matcha block used to create them.
The same principle applies to the catechins found in matcha and, by extension, their antioxidant effect on the body. Matcha is particularly valuable as an antioxidant host since it boasts 137 times more catechins than traditional green tea. An animal study was conducted on mice that had suffered damage from free radicals in their system. The study involved administering matcha supplements to the mice in the test group to see if it would reduce the damage caused by the free radicals. Unsurprisingly, the mice in the test group enjoyed reductions in free radical damage and also showed signs of increased antioxidant activity.
For now, animal studies seem to be the only source of confirmation for matcha's antioxidant effects, but the results are extremely promising. It remains promising when we consider that catechins do not discriminate based on species and will function similarly, if not identically, in human physiology.
Benefit #2: Matcha Can Help With Weight Loss
While it might sound strange, matcha has benefits that can help people struggling with weight loss. Losing weight is one of the hardest things people go through since the market is saturated with fast food and processed snacks that prey on our taste buds. Contrary to popular belief, food addiction can be as severe as an addiction to nicotine or narcotics in terms of craving.
As a result, we often sabotage our weight loss efforts by indulging those cravings in moments of distress or weakness. While there is no substitute for exercise and a proper diet, adding certain supplements to our routine can enhance the overall results. Matcha is one of the supplements demonstrating benefits for weight loss regimens.
Green tea has long been cited as a tool for enhancing weight loss by supercharging the metabolism and increasing the rate at which we burn fat. Matcha is green tea that is more potent and has gone through a different refinement process. Therefore, the benefits for which green tea is lauded in weight loss regimens are amplified with matcha. One study discovered that administering green tea extract could increase the rate at which we burn fat by 17%. While that might not seem like much, 17% can be a drastic increase for certain people.
Another study was conducted where 14 individuals were divided into a test and control group, with the former being given a green tea extract supplement. The subjects in the test group experienced a significant increase in their 24-hour energy expenditure, while the control group's placebo offered no change. An increase in energy expenditure can help advance our weight loss since we burn up more calories and fat as we expend energy. Our bodies naturally break them down to restore energy we lose because of the expenditure, so being able to expend more is a major advantage.
Finally, there was a review of 11 separate studies that further reinforced matcha's capacity to help with weight loss. These studies all found that consuming green tea extract reduced body weight and helped us maintain that weight loss. These studies help reinforce the significance of green tea extract for people trying to lose weight, and matcha is from the same plant and has the same effects, albeit multiplied.
One of the main reasons green tea, and by extension matcha, can improve our metabolic rate is due to the caffeine concentration. Caffeine is primarily linked to coffee but is present in green tea, too, making it easily accessible. Caffeine energizes the body on multiple levels, including metabolism, and the caffeine concentration in matcha is fairly substantial. A normal cup of green tea has an average of 20 to 90 milligrams of caffeine, making the concentration somewhat low. A cup of matcha tea has between 38 and 176 milligrams of caffeine, making it significantly more potent than its common cousin. Matcha also has more caffeine than the average cup of black coffee, which averages 95 milligrams of caffeine a cup.
Ultimately, the caffeine concentration in matcha capitalizes on the caffeine found in green tea. This gives it the potential to supercharge our metabolisms, albeit temporarily, and improve our ability to lose weight.
Benefit #3: Matcha Protects the Liver
One of matcha's lesser-known benefits relates to an extremely important internal organ. Our livers are crucial to our survival since they are responsible for over 500 vital functions, including purifying our blood. Without our livers, we would suffer toxic shock and likely die within a day, so preserving the organ is fundamental to our survival. Unfortunately, our livers are susceptible to damage and disease that might make it difficult to protect them. Sometimes, extra help from substances with natural healing qualities can reinforce the liver against these hazards. Once again, matcha meets these criteria and can help protect your liver's health.
There was a study conducted on diabetic rats (diabetes being one of the illnesses that adversely affect liver function) that tested matcha's benefits on the issue. As with every major study, the study divided the rats into test and control groups. The rats in the test group were given matcha for 16 weeks to determine whether it could treat the effects diabetes had on their internal organs. The study found that the matcha was able to reduce the risk of damage to the liver and kidneys despite diabetes.
Another study was conducted on humans to assess matcha's role in protecting organs like the liver. This study involved 80 people who had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which, like the rats, were divided into groups:
- Test Group: The test group was given 500 milligrams of green tea extract daily for 90 days.
- Control Group: The control group was given a placebo daily for 90 days.
After 90 days had passed, it was discovered that the green tea extract significantly reduced the concentration of liver enzymes. When liver enzymes are high, it usually indicates liver damage, which warrants immediate correction. This was further reinforced by an analysis of 15 studies that determined drinking green tea was associated with a decreased risk of developing liver disease. All this is to say that matcha can help protect the liver by offering the same protection standard green tea does.
Benefit #4: Matcha Promotes Heart Health
Keeping with the theme of vital organs in the previous section: there are few organs as important as the heart, which is the linchpin of our circulatory system. Without our hearts, we would simply not be alive since it pumps blood to the rest of the body and keeps us moving. Unfortunately, the importance of the heart has not gifted it with immunity from disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, due in no small part to the poor dietary habits humanity has adopted over the years. Heart disease accounts for an estimated third of all deaths in people aged 35 or older, making it a major concern for almost every adult. While diet and exercise are important in preventing heart disease, there are other factors that certain supplements can help modify.
The main point of concern insofar as heart disease is concerned is cholesterol, which has become a major issue worldwide.
There are 2 types of cholesterol:
- High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL): This cholesterol is colloquially referred to as the "good cholesterol." We need a high concentration of HDL to process the fats we absorb better and keep the liver functioning.
- Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL): This cholesterol is colloquially referred to as the "bad cholesterol." We need a low concentration of LDL to minimize the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.
Cholesterol management is not easy for everyone and requires dedication to a healthy lifestyle, but additional options exist. It is possible to further reduce the levels of LDL by introducing certain substances to our diets that are natural LDL antagonists. Green tea is an excellent example of an LDL antagonist since studies have shown that green tea consumption can reduce total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. Considering these 3 things are major contributors to heart disease, green tea's ability to reduce their concentration in our bodies is a serious advantage.
Green tea also prevents the oxidation of LDL, which further protects us from heart disease. When LDL oxidizes, it can trigger an inflammatory response in the circulatory system and prevent the blood from flowing properly. This can manifest in the arteries closest to the heart and further compromise cardiovascular health.
Finding the Right Blend
Matcha is a growing sensation in western society due to its range of health benefits and agreeable flavor. While you might not necessarily enjoy the taste of matcha, it remains a powerful tool in your holistic arsenal. Weight loss is one of its potential benefits, but it is important to remember that there are no shortcuts to losing weight.
Matcha must be combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise to lose weight and maintain the results. Otherwise, you will find matcha to be a stopgap measure that offers no lasting benefits to you or your health. Nevertheless, matcha's other benefits can boost your overall health and leave you feeling better than before. Unfortunately, finding quality matcha can be troublesome since it comes in 3 grades, and you must ensure it is manufactured safely.
We at Teami fully endorse the potential of natural products in a world where pharmaceuticals reign supreme. We have dedicated ourselves to providing natural supplements that address health and cosmetic issues by creating a catalog of natural products. Our product line includes our Matcha Powder, made from ceremonial-grade matcha (the highest grade) and manufactured without artificial additives.
Like all matcha, it is easy to use and can be easily mixed into your morning beverage to enjoy the benefits at the beginning of your day. We encourage you to visit our website and look through our products directly so you can make the best decision for yourself. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort!
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