In this fast-paced world, matcha has captured attention like none other. We dug deep into what makes this vibrant green elixir truly remarkable and discovered its most treasured secret:matcha is rich in antioxidants.
Because of its rich antioxidant content,matcha has the potential to boost your energy levels, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system in the fight against oxidative stress. Regular consumption of matcha can contribute to a healthier and more vibrant life.
Our favorite way to sip matcha in the morning is our mushroom matcha tea. This blend also contains Cordyceps militaris, a mushroom praised for its ability to enhance physical performance and calm the mind. There’s no better way than the powerful synergy of matcha and cordyceps to help you conquer the day.
Prepare to be amazed by the incredible potential of matcha.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that help shield our cells from free radical damage. Free radicals lead to oxidative stress, a harmful process in the body that can damage our bodies’ natural processes. We produce antioxidants naturally to keep free radicals in check, but these compounds are also found in food, mainly in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods.
How Do Antioxidants Fight Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also called free radicals, and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules whose excessive numbers can cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. They are produced during natural bodily processes like metabolism, but exposure to pollution, UV radiation, and toxins also contributes to their production.
Oxidative stress can lead to serious cell damage and the development of many cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, and others. Our body’s first line of defense against oxidative stress-induced damage is antioxidants.
Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. They can neutralize them directly by donating electrons or hydrogen atoms, stabilize them, and inhibit their development. By reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants help reduce inflammation, support immune function, and contribute to overall health. Research reveals that “supplementation with the antioxidant vitamins also protected immune responses in individuals exposed to certain environmental sources of free radicals.”
Consumption of antioxidants has been associated with reduced levels of oxidative damage to lymphocytic DNA. Similar observations have been made with polyphenol-rich food and beverages indicating the protective effects of polyphenols. There are increasing evidences that as antioxidants, polyphenols may protect cell constituents against oxidative damage and, therefore, limit the risk of various degenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress. (Pandey and Rizvi)
By combating oxidative stress, antioxidants help maintain cellular integrity, reduce inflammation, support immune function, and contribute to overall health and well-being. Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like matcha can provide the body with a diverse range of these protective bioactive compounds that offer benefits in preventing or mitigating the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
Antioxidants in Matcha
Matcha green tea is rich in antioxidants. Some well-known antioxidant compounds found in matcha are the so-called polyphenols.
Polyphenols are the most abundant type of antioxidant in matcha. The exact levels of polyphenolic compounds typically depend on the quality of the tea and the growing conditions, but matcha is generally considered to be a rich source of these powerful antioxidants.
With more than 8,000 types of polyphenols identified, matcha contains one of the largest polyphenolic groups, called flavonoids.
Flavonoids account for 60% of all polyphenols. They are a diverse group of antioxidants found in plants like Camelia sinensis which is the source of matcha and other types of green tea. The most abundant flavonoids are quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and catechins.
Catechins and EGCG
Catechins are a specific class of flavonoids known as flavanols. They have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular properties and may have a positive effect on our metabolism. One of the most studied catechins in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
In studies, epigallocatechin gallate demonstrated a significant role in cancer prevention and anti-cancer stem cell activity. In one study, EGCG led to a decrease in the size and number of tumors in the experimental rats. It also inhibited the expression of certain proteins associated with cancer growth while increasing the expression of the caspase-3 enzyme, which is involved in cancer cell death (apoptosis).
…the survival rate of malignant cells could be inhibited by EGCG through apoptosis induction of those malignant cells through the well-known mitochondrial signal transduction pathway. Previous animals, epidemiologic and human case-control studies have reported an axial role of both green tea and EGCG in cancer prevention.
A comparative study investigating the effects of EGCG on human endothelial cells came to a similar conclusion about its anticancer properties. The endothelial cells are involved in blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis. Tumors need fresh blood to grow and spread, so they rely heavily on angiogenesis. The researchers found that EGCG had inhibitory effects on the signaling pathways and growth of the endothelial cells.
In other words, EGCG may be able to prevent the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors, making it “an attractive candidate drug to inhibit tumor angiogenesis.” EGCG was also able to suppress DNA synthesis, cell proliferation, the activation of specific protein kinases (like caspase-3), and the expression of genes involved in cancer cell growth.
It’s a good thing, then, that matcha contains a higher concentration of EGCG than other types of green tea. Read more about matcha’s cancer-fighting properties.
Quercetin is widely distributed in plant-based foods such as apples, onions, berries, and leafy greens, but herbs and teas like matcha also contain it. Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant; by lowering inflammation, it supports the immune system and boosts our cardiovascular health.
Quercetin and its derivatives lead to an enhancement in heart features, indicating the prospective for quercetin to be used therapeutically in the treatment of cardiac diseases. Several evidence-based studies suggest mechanisms to observe cardiovascular diseases such as aging effects, hypertension, angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and endothelial-dependent and independent functions. (Patel, et. al.)
Kaempferol is another flavonoid found in many fruits, vegetables, and matcha. Its antioxidant activity may support healthy blood sugar levels and help protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
Kaempferol also has potent anticancer properties.
In the highly invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, kaempferol has shown great promise in disrupting cancer metastasis. While secretion of MMP-3 was largely unaffected by flavonoid treatment, kaempferol did significantly inhibit MMP-3 protein activity in a dose-dependent manner. Most prominently, the presence of kaempferol blocked the in vitro migration of MDA-MB-231 cells, which proposes the use of kaempferol in managing tumor invasion. (Chen, et. al.)
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-binding metalloproteinases that play a significant role in cancer cell invasion. This research showed that kaempferol can impede the activity of MMP-3, effectively hindering the ability of cancer cells to invade neighboring healthy cells.
Myricetin possesses strong antioxidant properties that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Myricetin has also demonstrated potential in protecting against certain types of cancer, promoting heart health, and supporting brain function.
Matcha gets its vibrant green color from chlorophyll, a pigment and powerful antioxidant. The high concentration of chlorophyll in matcha not only enhances its visual appeal but also contributes to its nutritional value. Chlorophyll helps protect against free radical damage, aids in detoxification, and helps the body fight against cancer and inflammation.
Thanks to shade-growing, matcha tea has increased chlorophyll content, which is responsible for its unique vibrant colour. Chlorophyll and its derivatives exhibit strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. (Kochman, et. al.)
How Many Antioxidants Are In a Cup Of Matcha?
Matcha’s antioxidant content can vary depending on factors such as the matcha grades and quality. On average, a cup of matcha can provide a high concentration of antioxidants compared to other foods and beverages.
Antioxidants are primarily measured by their ability to neutralize or inhibit the damaging effects of free radicals. One common method is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay. The ORAC value of matcha can range from approximately 1,000 to 1,700 units per gram. The World Health Organization recommends a daily antioxidant level of at least 10,000 ORAC units. By drinking one cup of matcha tea, you can provide your body with 1,000 ORAC units.
In comparison, regular green teas also contain antioxidants, but the levels may be lower than those found in matcha. This is because with regularly brewed green tea, tea leaves are infused in hot water, and some of the beneficial compounds may not fully dissolve or be extracted.
Is Matcha Good For You?
While the main role of antioxidants is to reduce oxidative stress, the benefits of matcha and its powerful antioxidative properties extend beyond just combating free radicals. Antioxidants are also involved in many important physiological processes, such as:
- Reducing inflammation. Antioxidants can help lower inflammation in the body, which is a common underlying factor for many chronic diseases. According to Fan, et. al., “catechins can exert their significant anti-inflammatory properties by regulating the activation or deactivation of inflammation-related oxidative stress-related cell signaling pathways.”
- Boosting the immune system. Antioxidants support the immune system by protecting the immune cells and enhancing their function. A 2014 study found that “immune cells contain high levels of antioxidant vitamins due to their high polyunsaturated fatty acids content and sensitive to external ROS, which are probably providing protection versus lipid peroxidation and immunosuppression.”
- Promoting brain health. Matcha’s antioxidants have shown potential for supporting cognitive functioning and memory. One study proposes that matcha’s antioxidant composition may be beneficial for the brain—more specifically, for neurodegenerative disorders—by lowering inflammation and fighting oxidative stress.
…in addition to the direct induction of oxidative stress, metabolic disorders underlying every single disease can also indirectly generate an oxidative microenvironment, for example via the induction of a local immune response. On this basis, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as polyphenols and non-steroidal antinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), have been proposed in the treatment of different neurodegenerative diseases. (Brambilla, et. al.)
- Supporting heart health. Antioxidants in matcha green tea can help protect against cardiovascular diseases by fighting oxidative stress and reducing its damage to blood vessels.
- Boosting energy. Matcha's antioxidant activity contributes to increasing energy levels in a healthy way. Antioxidants promote a sense of alertness, which makes matcha ideal for sharpening focus and mental clarity. Matcha also contains caffeine, but unlike other caffeinated beverages, it does not produce caffeine-induced jittery sensations. Instead, matcha gives a natural and sustained energy boost without the nervous energy.
- Aiding in weight management. Matcha's chemical composition, along with its catechins and EGCG content, may support metabolic processes, potentially aiding in weight loss and maintenance. These compounds may help increase the body's calorie-burning processes, called thermogenesis and fat oxidation. So next time you’re on a weight loss journey, start preparing a nice cup of matcha tea in the morning.
- Supporting skin health. Matcha is extremely beneficial for the skin. It’s no secret that antioxidants and other bioactive compounds found in matcha tea give the skin a nice glow, reducing UV-induced damage and signs of aging.
Did you know cordyceps is also fantastic for promoting healthy skin? This fun fungus is high in anti-inflammatory compounds that provide moisture to the skin. Cordyceps mushrooms also contain antioxidants that contribute to reducing signs of aging.
Side Effects of Matcha
Matcha has no long-term negative side effects. Due to its high caffeine content, drinking too much matcha can cause a headache or insomnia, but these effects will fade after the caffeine wears off. If taken in excessive amounts, matcha might cause diarrhea or an upset stomach, but these side effects are also temporary.
Most concerns about drinking matcha arise from the fact that it contains caffeine. High caffeine content at night can disrupt sleep. The caffeine in matcha can make you feel antsy and keep you from falling asleep. The best time to drink matcha is in the morning, when it will give you the most energy.
If you’re a beginner to matcha, start with smaller amounts. 1–2 cups of matcha per day is a great way to reap the benefits of matcha tea. Once your body adjusts to the effects of matcha, you can increase the number of cups per day.
How To Drink Matcha
The best way to consume matcha is to prepare a traditional matcha tea from powder. Our matcha powder comes from the highest quality, organic ceremonial matcha in Japan. Sourced from an eco-heritage, family-owned farm located at the foothills of Mt. Fuji, our matcha leaves are grown with care and centuries-old tradition. That’s why choosing Hone matcha powder is a great way to reap all the matcha health benefits.
There’s nothing easier than making a nice cup of matcha tea. Just pour hot water over our matcha powder and stir it up. You can use our magic beverage wand to make your fragrant tea quicker.
Our matcha powder comes in two sizes—a 10-serving mushroom matcha box and a 30-serving mushroom matcha jar. You can bring them with you to work or on vacation, and you can definitely enjoy our matcha at home every day.
Does matcha have more antioxidants than green tea?
Matcha contains significantly higher levels of antioxidants compared to regular brewed green tea. The unique cultivation and preparation method of matcha, which involves shade growing and grinding the whole tea leaves into a fine powder, helps retain and concentrate the antioxidants.
Is it OK if I drink matcha every day?
It is perfectly safe and beneficial to consume matcha every day. Its rich antioxidant content and potential health benefits make it a great addition to a regular routine. Individual tolerances and preferences vary from person to person, and some people may be sensitive to caffeine or other compounds in matcha.
Is matcha a superfood?
Matcha is often considered a superfood due to its exceptional nutritional profile, including its high antioxidant content, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant compounds that offer various health benefits.
Matcha is also an adaptogen, a type of natural substance that helps the body adapt to and cope with various stressors. Adaptogens can support your overall well-being by promoting a balanced stress response, enhancing resilience, and optimizing physiological functions. Read more about how matcha can take your anxiety away.
Does matcha boost immunity?
Matcha contains certain compounds that can support immune function. Thanks to its rich antioxidant content, including catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), matcha can help support and strengthen the immune system. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can contribute to overall immune health.
Matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been linked to enhanced immune function. By consuming matcha regularly, you may help protect against harmful pathogens, reduce the risk of infections, and promote a healthy immune response. Including matcha as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet and regular exercise, may contribute to supporting immune function.
How much matcha is healthy per day?
1–2 teaspoons (about 2–4 grams) of matcha powder per day is generally considered a healthy amount. Our matcha tea powder box contains 3.5 grams of matcha per packet. That means you can make one, two, or three cups of matcha deliciousness per day, depending on how strong you like your tea.
Individual needs and sensitivities may differ, so it's always best to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.
Why is matcha healthier than coffee?
Matcha offers a unique combination of health benefits that differentiate it from coffee. While coffee provides a quick burst of energy, matcha provides a more sustained energy boost without the jitters. Additionally, matcha is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and other beneficial plant compounds, offering a range of potential health benefits.
Which plant does matcha come from?
Matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same tea plant that is used to produce other types of tea. The Camellia sinensis tea leaves are harvested, steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder to create matcha. This makes matcha unique in its nutritional composition and rich concentration of plant compounds.
Unlike other teas where the leaves are steeped and discarded, matcha is consumed in its entirety, allowing for maximum absorption of its beneficial components. The tea leaves used to make matcha are shade-grown, which enhances the production of chlorophyll and amino acids, resulting in a unique flavor profile and increased nutritional value. It’s also important to choose organic matcha when preparing matcha tea to ensure that the tea leaves are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemicals, preserving the purity and quality of the final product.
Is 2 teaspoons of matcha a day too much?
Consuming 2 teaspoons of matcha per day is generally considered a healthy daily intake of matcha. However, individual tolerance, caffeine sensitivity, and overall dietary habits should be taken into consideration.
Is too much matcha unhealthy?
While matcha is generally safe, consuming excessive amounts of matcha can lead to an excessive intake of caffeine and may cause caffeine-related side effects. These include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Digestive problems
Moderation is key. Remember that in order to experience the ultimate health benefits of matcha, you should stick to the recommended daily dosage.
Is matcha anti-inflammatory?
Matcha contains certain compounds, including catechins and EGCG, that possess anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body and improve your health.
Is it OK to drink matcha on an empty stomach?
Drinking matcha on an empty stomach is generally safe for most individuals. However, some people may experience stomach discomfort or increased sensitivity to caffeine when consuming matcha without food.
We think the best way to enjoy a cup of the best matcha tea is in the morning, with breakfast, or immediately after, as it provides a gentle and sustained energy boost without the crash often associated with other caffeinated beverages.
Whether you prefer to savor its rich umami flavor on its own or incorporate it into decadent matcha lattes or healthy smoothies, matcha can be enjoyed in a variety of delicious ways.
Do black teas and green teas come from Camellia sinensis?
Black tea and green tea, like matcha, both come from the Camellia sinensis plant but undergo different processing methods. The main differences between matcha, regular green tea, and black tea are the processing methods, the growing conditions, and the oxidation levels. The oxidation process is crucial because it determines the teas’ characteristics and flavor profiles.
- Black teas are more oxidized, which gives them a stronger flavor and darker color compared to the fresher and more vibrant characteristics of green tea.
- White tea is the least processed, with minimal oxidation.
- Oolong tea also comes from Camellia sinensis, and it is partially oxidized, offering a range of flavors.
- Green tea also undergoes minimal oxidation.
- Matcha tea is the only product of Camellia sinensis that doesn’t undergo any level of oxidation.
Is matcha a loose-leaf tea?
Matcha is not typically considered a loose-leaf tea since it is in powdered form. Loose-leaf tea generally refers to the loose leaves of tea that are steeped in hot water. Matcha, on the other hand, is a finely ground powder made from shade-grown tea leaves.
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