Superfoods, such as apple, cocoa and green tea, contain a form of antioxidants known as polyphenol compounds. Of these, catechins are the most common, and the more catechins, the better. Green tea, especially matcha green tea benefits, are especially rich in catechins, which provide remarkable healing powers for those who consume it regularly.
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Catechins Are Super Heroes – Matcha Green Tea Benefits
The catechins found in green tea (EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC) are so incredibly potent that many believe they can actually help cure cancer, according to the the National Cancer Institute (NCI). What? Drinking something as common as green tea can lower your risk of cancer? How can that be? Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Here’s what the NCI has to say:
- For starters, the catechins in green tea can protect against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation as well as help improve the entire immune system.
- Catechins in green tea specifically push detoxification enzymes into action. These enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase, are known for their ability to prevent tumor growth.
- Laboratory animal studies have found that the polyphenols in tea slow cancer cell growth and actually create apoptosis (killing of cancer cells).
- Finally, the compounds, notably EGCG and ECG, are adept at scavenging for free radicals and are known to help cells avoid DNA damage induced by reactive oxygen species.
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Catechins and Weight Loss – Matcha Green Tea Benefits
One of green tea’s best-known purposes is that it can help with weight loss. This is thanks to the fact the matcha green tea is loaded with beneficial catechins. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of consuming one bottle of oolong tea with 690 mg of catechins with another bottle containing 22 mg catechins.
The 12-week study, which examined Japanese men divided into two groups by BMI and waist size, saw significant results. The body mass (BMI), body fat, waist circumference and subcutaneous fat areas were all reduced significantly in the group consuming 690 mg of catechins. And even more surprising is the fact that LDL chlorestrol levels also decreased significantly for this group.
“Daily consumption of tea containing 690 mg catechins for 12 weeks reduced body fat, which suggests that the ingestion of catechins might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity,” the researchers concluded.
Know Your Green Teas – Matcha Green Tea Benefits
We now know, thanks to science, that the catechins in green tea are extremely beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing. But interestingly, it wasn’t until about a decade ago that we discovered that certain green teas might be better than others.
In 2003, scientists at the University of Colorado Springs decided to look into the theory that matcha green tea contained more catechins that other green teas. Matcha is a powdered green tea that has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries.
The study used micellar electrokinetic chromatography, a procedure that divides compounds into individual parts using various mediums, to determine the chemical makeup of matcha.
The groundbreaking results, which were published in the Journal of Chromatography, said, “The concentration of EGCG available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.”
Since the results of this study were first published, numerous other studies have confirmed the findings. If you want to maximize the superfoods in your daily diet, matcha green tea benefits make this green tea a no-brainer.
Catechins Improve Athlete Recovery Time – Matcha Green Tea Benefits
Another important aspect of catechins is their ability to help athletes recover quicker. Clinical trials have suggested that catechins speed up the recovery time after high-intensity workouts, such as burst training, and can actually reverse any cellular damage resulting from oxidative-nitrosative stress.
Oxidative-nitrosative stress is just a fancy way of saying that you’re experiencing an imbalance in antioxidants and free radicals. This is bad because it can destroy cells and cause disease.
For example, research published in the journal Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology looked at lab mice suffering from chronic fatigue that were forced to swim six minutes a day for 15 consecutive days. This level of activity caused these animals to experience dramatic increases in oxidative-nitrosative stress as well as elevated tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, both of which are biochemical markers for cell death.
Shockingly, by giving the rats regular doses of EGCG, scientists discovered that both alterations were returned to normal.
In conclusion, drinking matcha green tea is highly effective at helping prevent serious diseases, such as cancer, helping athletes recover after intense workouts and building cellular strength. This is because matcha contains some of the greatest amounts of catechins of any antioxidant-rich foods or beverages.
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- Nagago, T. “Ingestion Of A Tea Rich In Catechins Leads To A Reduction In Body Fat And Malondialdehyde-Modified LDL In Men.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 81(1): 122-129.
- National Cancer Institute. “Tea And Cancer Prevention: Strengths And Limits Of The Evidence.” National Institute of Health. 2010 (Internet). Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea.
- Weiss, D.J. et al. “Determination Of Catechins In Matcha Green Tea By Micellar Electrokinetic Chromatography.” Journal of Chromatography. 2003; 1011(1-2): 173-180.
- Ichinose, T. et al. “The Effect of Endurance Training Supplemented with Green Tea Extract on Substrate Metabolism during Exercise in Humans. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.” 2011; 21(4): 598-605.
- Sachdeva, A. et al. “Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate in Murine Water-Immersion Stress Model of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2010; 106: 490-496.”