Meet Dr. Kakuko
Dr. Kakuko is a leading orthopedic surgeon, sports therapist and physiatrist, she is well recognized in Japan as an authority in the field of sports medicine. Her impressive career includes many magazine features, numerous TV appearances and she is also a member of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) medical team. A best selling author, her book “Otona no Rajio Taiso” (Radio Exercise Program for Adults) has sold nearly one million copies and counting. She is a healthy living advocate and is here to give us her expertise on the health benefits of matcha.
Dr. Kakuko’s 10 Health Benefits of Matcha
Where do these nutritional benefits come from? Ancient practice and care is taken from the careful nurturing of the leaf to the moment the matcha touches your lips. The entire process culminates in the intense flavor and superfood goodness. Matcha leaves are specially grown with limited exposure to sunlight and lightly steamed to lock in all the beneficial compounds. Whereas other teas are made from steeping the leaves, Matcha powder is made from the entire ground tea leaf. Consuming the tea leaves in their entirety carries over the nutritional components and benefits to your body. Here are ten health benefits of matcha:
- Antioxidants. Matcha is most often praised for its abundance of antioxidants, which are unique components that fight free radical damage. We encounter free radicals daily in our environment and they can damage the cells in our body, causing them to age. Matcha is rich in chlorophyll as well as polyphenols and catechins, the most famous being epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Matcha has about 100 mg of EGCG per serving. Antioxidants can help your skin glow while also strengthening the body’s immune system to fight off illness.
- Fiber. The fiber found naturally within matcha can help regulate the digestive system for a happy tummy. Regulating the digestive system can mean less bloating, gas and discomfort on a daily basis as well.
- Amino Acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and matcha is full of them. The most famous is l-theanine, which has a calming effect without making you sleepy (more on that below). These amino acids will help you feel more alert and focused, while simultaneously remaining calm and relaxed.
- Energy. If you’re a morning coffee drinker, consider making the switch to matcha for the energy boost without the crash. Matcha tea does contain caffeine (about 25 mg per serving). This is only a quarter of the caffeine found in an average cup of coffee but, more than the average cup of tea. The caffeine content in matcha will perk you up, but thanks to the amino acid l-theanine, you most likely won’t experience a sudden drop in energy levels.
- Weight Management. Drinking matcha regularly may also help aid the body’s metabolism, burning more calories throughout the day. The caffeine and EGCG within matcha have been credited with supporting weight management as part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
- Vitamins. Drinking matcha also provides vitamins A and E, which are especially beneficial to the tissues of the body (skin, muscles, eyes, etc). Matcha also helps strengthen the immune system.
- Concentration. If you have trouble concentrating, matcha may help you focus. The caffeine and amino acids within the tea will energize you while the l-theanine will stop you from feeling jittery and scatter brained.
- Detoxification. The high amount of chlorophyll within matcha assists in the body’s natural cleansing and detoxification process. Removing toxins from the body helps maintain overall health and wellness.
- Cardiovascular Health. The fiber and amino acids within matcha can both contribute to the health of your heart. The fiber may help lower bad cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, while the amino acids support the actual tissue in the heart muscle.
- Blood Sugar Regulation. The fiber found within matcha also helps keep blood sugar levels stable. When your blood sugar drops suddenly, you can feel fatigued and weak. The fiber allows you to remain energized longer without a crash.