5 Health Benefits of Matcha, According to Science
Whether you’re new to matcha or a long-time fan, you’ve probably noticed that it’s everywhere these days. You can find the green tea powder in lattes, doughnuts, smoothies—even cocktails and burger buns (?!). But beyond its pleasantly earthy flavor and iconic green hue, there’s a lot more to matcha than its good looks. Here, we dive into the scientific health benefits of this trendy ingredient.
It reduces emotional and mental stress
Stress less with matcha. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid that decreases stress by regulating the central nervous system, according to a 2019 study in the journal Nutrients. Better yet, another 2019 study found that matcha can relieve stress even when it's used in baked goods (like cookies). Score.
RELATED: 18 Must-Try Ways To Cook With Matcha
It provides calm energy
If you’re looking for a boost of energy sans jitters, matcha has your back. It contains caffeine, but the L-theanine in it counteracts the edgy effects of caffeine, according to the above 2019 study on baked goods. Matcha tea might be just what you need to beat that afternoon slump. Sorry, coffee!
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It fights oxidative stress
According to a 2020 article in the journal Foods, matcha is full of antioxidants like vitamin C. Here’s why that’s awesome: “Antioxidants keep our cells healthy and protect them from oxidative damage,” says registered dietitian Colleen Christensen, RD. This reduces the risk of chronic conditions, like cancer and heart disease. If a boost of antioxidants sounds like your cup of tea, add matcha to fruit ice pops.
It manages blood cholesterol
Matcha contains antioxidants called catechins that prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in your arteries, says Christensen. This improves blood flow and reduces the risk of heart disease, according to a 2016 article in the journal Molecules. For a heart-healthy breakfast, mix matcha powder into oatmeal and top with berries.
It supports liver health
The antioxidants in matcha—and green tea in general—can also decrease your risk of liver disease. “Our livers are super important, [as] they naturally detox our bodies,” notes Christensen. A 2015 article also states that leafy greens are especially healthy for the liver, so whip up a green smoothie with matcha to enjoy these perks (and then some).