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So MATCHA To Talk About!

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

May 31, 2022

Green tea comes in a variety of forms, including loose leaves, teabags, and powder. Matcha is a crushed version of green tea leaves, which contains a higher concentration of some of green tea’s main minerals and antioxidants. Matcha is the finest quality tea due to its unique biological ingredients and flavor.

Potential Anti-Cancer Properties of Green Tea

The main polyphenol responsible for green tea’s anti-cancer benefits is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Although additional human research is needed, multiple epidemiological studies and meta-analyses have found that higher and consistent green tea consumption reduces cancer risk. Green tea is believed to have anti-cancer properties. These include: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, inhibition of cancer cell growth and proliferation, inhibition of new blood vessel growth, reduction of cancer cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and activation of programmed cell death. This is through modulation of signaling pathways, enzymatic activity, and protein kinases. Several human studies have discovered cancer risk reductions in the bladder, breast, prostate, and colorectal malignancies, among others.

Potential Cardiovascular Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea consumption has been found to be negatively linked with all-cause mortality among stroke or MI survivors. This negative causation was identified in a cohort trial that involved 46, 213 patients who were followed for 18.5 years. Reduced cholesterol absorption, avoidance of LDL-C oxidation, and improved nitric oxide generation are all proposed pathways for cardiovascular protection. 

Potential Health Benefits of Green Tea in Autoimmune Diseases

According to a 12-week randomized controlled experiment of 68 lupus patients, green tea extract supplementation significantly lowered disease activity, overall health, and quality of life (as measured by the systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index). 

Green tea and EGCG have been linked to many other health advantages, but much of the research has been conducted on animals or in lab models rather than humans. We can’t prove cause-and-effect, because many epidemiological studies involve several confounding elements. To give more clear proof of the health advantages of green tea and its bioactive components, further randomized controlled trial studies in people are needed.

 A Word of Caution

Green tea extract appears to lower atorvastatin levels and clinical effects, which may raise the risk of stimulant side effects from ephedrine, and lower nadolol levels and clinical effects.

Fun Facts

  1. 10 cups of green tea are equal to 1 cup of matcha!
  2. Shading of matcha plans during the growth period enhances the concentration of beneficial compounds. These include theanine, caffeine, chlorophyll, and polyphenols such as the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
  3. The amount of health-promoting active substances contained in tea depends on the type of tea, the amount of tea leaves per portion, brewing temperature, and time.

Iced Matcha Latte Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tsp of matcha tea powder

2 oz. hot water

6 oz. almond milk

Ice cubes

Optional: maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc.

Directions:

  1. Sift the matcha powder into a cup.
  2. Add 2 oz. very hot water (almost boiling water) and stir until no lumps remain for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 6 oz. of fluid (hot water or steamed milk) and whisk again.

Note: In order to enhance the extraction of health-beneficial compounds use very hot water, almost boiling water, and brew for about 3 minutes.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796401/pdf/molecules-26-00085.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464620303960
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577676/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16311246/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17548688/
  6. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/167/1/71/185454
  7. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032273
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224414002179
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317386435_A_Randomized_Double-blind_Placebo-controlled_Clinical_Trial_Examining_the_Effects_of_Green_Tea_Extract_on_Systemic_Lupus_Erythematosus_Disease_Activity_and_Quality_of_Life
  10. https://www.oncologynutrition.org/member-benefits/nmcd

 

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