The Benefits of Matcha

Matcha has become mainstream in terms of popularity lately and has quickly won over the hearts of health enthusiasts. It has become such an “it” drink that even die hard coffee drinkers are making the switch.

Tealightful But First Matcha

Why? Matcha is incredibly beneficial. Truly. The benefits of matcha are not just hype — they are backed by sound research. Quite literally, it means “powdered tea.” It is so much more, though.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a powdered green tea. Green tea is so healthy. Science has shown us that. It is rich in protective antioxidants. Think of how you prepare your regular cup of loose leaf green tea. You steep the leaves and then you discard them. You are not actually consuming the leaves. With matcha, the leaves have been finely powdered.

Did you know? Interesting to note is that matcha is prepared a bit differently while grown. The plants are shaded in order to grow leaves with improved flavor and texture before they are dried and ground.

The connection between matcha and improved mental clarity

Matcha was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai, a Buddhist monk. Eisai is believed to have planted the first green tea seeds in Japan. He is even more well known for having developed the philosophy known as Zen. Since that time, matcha and Zen meditation have been intertwined through the tea ceremony. It is believed that Buddhist monks drank matcha to help them feel grounded and calm with a sense of clarity while meditating for long periods of time. The tradition has continued centuries later.

Matcha is not your typical green tea — it may take ten cups of green tea to give you the benefits of just one cup of matcha. What is unique about this drink, as opposed to a cup of coffee, is that it is believed to increase your mental clarity while making you feel at peace. Next time you head to the yoga studio, try sipping matcha — it will allow you to be in the moment while being better able to concentrate on each pose.


matcha benefitsMatcha is an antioxidant powerhouse.

Antioxidants help to fight damage from free radicals. There is likely no better drink than matcha to provide your body with antioxidant protection. In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Chromatography, researchers found that matcha provides 137 times more EGCG than traditional green tea leaves. EGCG stands for epigallocatechin gallate, which is the health boosting compound found in green tea.

Matcha may help you burn more calories.

Research shows that EGCGs help boost the process of fat metabolism. This helps you burn more calories more quickly. In fact, you may be able to burn 25% more calories because of the EGCGs in your cup of matcha.

Matcha may help you feel more energetic.

We all could use a bit more energy from time to time, but it is important to choose wisely when fueling our bodies with energy sources. For example, some of the energy drinks on the market can make your heart race and have been linked to serious health conditions. Matcha, like coffee or energy drinks, does contain caffeine. What is unique, though, is that matcha contains something called L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that is believed to work in harmony with the caffeine in matcha.

This is important because you won’t get that dreaded “crash” feeling. Have you ever had espresso or cup after cup of strong coffee in an effort to stay awake longer? At first, you feel energetic and then, WHAM, you feel groggy and exhausted. You are no longer energized. That is because the caffeine comes all at once.

Matcha, though, provides you with a gradual release of energy so the feeling is sustained without that “crash.”


The Benefits of Positive Thinking

Are you a Negative Nellie? Do you look at a glass as being half empty instead of half full? Do you choose to dwell on things you cannot control rather than focusing on the good? Whether you realize it or not, YOUR frame of mind impacts others. People who tend to be “glass half full” types of people tend to draw like-minded people. That positive attitude radiates and attracts others. On the other hand, people tend to avoid toxic personalities — the types of people who are energy drainers. In all honesty, those who dwell on negativity really aren’t that fun to be around.

Being an optimist or a pessimist affects more than just your social relationships.

According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers have been able to determine that optimists may enjoy several different health benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Less likely to experience depression
  • Lower rates of cardiovascular disease
  • Longer life span
  • Increased resistance to viruses such as the common cold
  • More likely to be in better physical and mental health
  • Better able to cope with the times when life “gives you lemons”

Why is this? Is it just a fluke or is there science behind this?

There was a wonderful article in The Atlantic concerning this very topic. There are over three thousand published papers citing groundbreaking research from 1985 done by psychologists Michael F. Scheier and Charles S. Carver. What did their research tell them?

“We also know why optimists do better than pessimists. The answer lies in the differences between the coping strategies they use. Optimists are not simply being Pollyannas; they’re problem solvers who try to improve the situation. And if it can’t be altered, they’re also more likely than pessimists to accept that reality and move on. Physically, they’re more likely to engage in behaviors that help protect against disease and promote recovery from illness. They’re less likely to smoke, drink, and have poor diets, and more likely to exercise, sleep well, and adhere to rehab programs. Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to deny, avoid, and distort the problems they confront, and dwell on their negative feelings. It’s easy to see now why pessimists don’t do so well compared to optimists.”

In the Netherlands, there was a cardiovascular health study conducted over nine years revealing that negative people die sooner than their optimistic counterparts — not just of heart issues, but in general. Being a pessimist may also increase the chances of suffering from dementia later in life.

So what can you do if you are a pessimist?

1. Start with gratitude. If you sit down and think about all of the amazing things in your life that you feel grateful for, it may help put things into perspective. Perhaps that will help you get into the frame of mind that you are a LUCKY person.

2. Establish healthy rituals. Good habits — whether it’s meditation, daily yoga, or going for a morning run — are stress relievers linked directly to better coping skills and reduced anxiety. Taking a mini tea break can be one ritual that you can enjoy as part of a healthy ritual.

3. Eliminate negative self-talk. Don’t self sabotage! Think about your inner dialogue. Are you respecting yourself or putting yourself down? No one is perfect, so do not be so hard on yourself. There is an expression “You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind” and I firmly believe this to be true. Be more conscious of the way you speak to yourself.

Can aromatherapy help you be a glass half full type of person?

There has been some very promising scientific research on the relationship between essential oils and mood. Perhaps the most cited study is one published in the International Journal of Neuroscience back in 1998 which showed how certain essential oils promote mental alertness and relaxation.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are mood-boosting benefits of aromatherapy. According to the NCI, studies “show sedative and stimulant effects of specific essential oils as well as positive effects on behavior and the immune system… Functional imaging studies in humans support the influence of odors on the limbic system and its emotional pathways.”

You may find that certain teas can be uplifting, too.

  • There was a recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry which showed that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, may help improve mood. Try: Tealightful Turmeric Tulsi
  • Peppermint tea also may have mood-improving benefits, according to published research out of Northumbria Univeristy. Try: Tealightful Peppermint
  • In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is often referred to as the “universal” medicine, while Lemon is believed to be a spirit booster, with its bright aroma. Try: Tealightful Lemon Ginger Green

Find the good each day.

Consider a gratitude journal or a page in your bullet journal to jot down what you are grateful for. It is something all of us can do.

We leave you with a favorite quote: “Every positive thought propels you in the right direction.”




Diego, M., Jones, N.A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., McAdam, V., Galamaga, R. & Galamaga, M.(1998). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 217-224.

Buckle, J. (2007). Literature review: should nursing take aromatherapy more seriously? British Journal of Nursing, 16(2), 116-120.

Edris, A. (2007). Pharmaceutical and therapeutic potentials of essential oils and their individual volatile constituents: A review. Phytotherapy Research, 21, 308-323.