5 Reasons Why Matcha Green Tea May Be Healthier Than Coffee
The State of California’s harsh view on coffee made headlines this week. Meanwhile, health experts and celebrities are touting the benefits of matcha green tea as one of the world’s best beverages for your taste buds and your body.
1. Matcha’s Antioxidants vs. Coffee’s Acidity
Matcha green tea is loaded with antioxidants that are known to fight oxidative stress, and this tea is one of the few foods known to possess a special type of antioxidant: catechins. Harvard research concluded that green tea was the best food source of catechins, and matcha green tea ranked the highest of all in a University of Colorado Springs' comparison study between matcha and common green tea. Specifically, matcha was 137 times higher in catechins!
On the other hand, coffee has a very acidic reputation. This acidity can exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux. Contrary to popular belief, decaffeinated coffee can prove to be more acidic than regular coffee. One wonders if America’s love for coffee and overuse of antacids are related.
2. Matcha Lowers Cancer Risk vs. Coffee’s Acrylamide Carcinogens
Research shows that the consumption of matcha green tea may lower your risk for multiple types of cancer. In a study conducted on green tea in colon and rectal cancer, 69,710 Chinese women had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer. Another study showed that when Japanese men drank 5 or more cups of green tea per day they lowered their risk of prostate cancer by 48%!
The State of California keeps a list of chemicals that could cause cancer. Among them is listed acrylamide, a carcinogen linked to coffee. This chemical is produced when the coffee beans are roasted. California caused uproar recently when they began to require coffee retailers and businesses to warn customers that coffee contained acrylamide with potential carcinogens. Research does not show an association between cancer and the dietary consumption of coffee thus far, but the mere mention of the word carcinogen should be a cause for concern especially in a culture that consumes coffee on a massive scale.
3. Matcha Promotes Weight Loss vs. Coffee May Increase Belly Fat
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers wanted to analyze the effects of green tea upon weight loss. One group of participants was given 690 milligrams of green tea and another group was given only 22 milligrams. At the conclusion of 12 weeks, the first group of participants’ body fat was significantly lower than the other group after taking BMI and a variety of other factors into consideration. The researchers concluded that catechins are great at burning fat.
Unfortunately for coffee lovers, the caffeine in coffee increases stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol has been linked to an increase of visceral fat or what is also known as belly fat.
4. Matcha Boosts Immune Function vs. Coffee Decreases Immune Function
The high antioxidant content found in matcha green tea directly boosts your immune system. The EGCG found in matcha helps your body to produce more T-cells to fight infection. Matcha is also naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying.
We just finished discussing how caffeine can increase your stress hormones, but did you know that increased stress hormones result in suppressed immune function? Your body will get a kick from that coffee at first, but if you abuse caffeine it will deliver a swift kick to your pants when you’re not looking.
5. Matcha Calms Your Anxiety vs. Coffee Can Increase It
Matcha contains the amino acid, l-theanine, which promotes a sense of calm. Research has shown l-theanine to be beneficial to patients diagnosed with anxiety because it increases levels of dopamine and GABA in the brain.
In contrast, coffee actually interferes with GABA metabolism. This transmitter is crucial in the regulation of mood and stress management. Caffeine prevents GABA from binding to GABA receptor sites.
Keep in mind that matcha's health benefits can be negated by the addition of sugar. If you are looking for a quality matcha green tea mix you can make at home, I highly recommend Lakanto's Matcha Latte mix.
In conclusion, matcha green tea offers dozens of health benefits which is why we might want to go green in our choice of lattes from now on. Coffee is not all bad, it does have its own health benefits too, but based on the research I have compiled on this article I would not go so far as to say that coffee is inflammation’s best friend. It all boils down to what your body is dealing with, and I haven’t seen any negative side effects of matcha green tea published unlike coffee.
Check out these other great articles by EMaxHealth: Top 10 Herbal Teas That Provide Flavorful Alternatives to Coffee, Here's What Your Brain Really Wants More Than Coffee, and Does Coffee Give You Heartburn? Scientists Discover Why!