Drink Matcha Green Tea to Combat Heart Disease
4 Reasons Why a Special Cup of Green Tea Can Improve Your Heart Health
Of all the health scares out there, if there’s one that we should really take seriously, it has to be heart disease. Resulting into no less than a quarter of the total deaths in the United States annually, most of us have already lost someone to it, or at least know someone struggling with symptoms related to heart health. The good news is, there are things we can do to prevent heart disease, and one of them is merely changing how we eat and drink.
While we may not be able to easily quit our vices, or find the time to exercise regularly, it should be simple enough to make a few changes to what’s on our plate or in our glass.
Adding a little matcha green tea powder into our daily diet can make a world of difference in protecting us from a stroke or heart attack.
Continue reading to learn how...
What exactly is matcha green tea?
Matcha green tea is a form of green tea that is made from tea leaves which are stone ground into a fine powder and dissolved in hot water. Less than a teaspoon produces a delicious, natural flavor similar to green tea, without the bitterness.
When you drink matcha, you are practically ingesting the whole tea leaf as opposed to just brewed water, which is the case for most standard green teas. This is why a single cup of matcha is known to contain 137 times the antioxidants of typical green tea.
Matcha green tea also contains a high level of the antioxidant and flavonoid, Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG. Sounds familiar? That’s because flavonoids help improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of clot formation and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries), and prevent inflammation in the vascular system, all common culprits of heart attack and stroke.
These antioxidants in matcha green tea help keep the heart healthy and are why it’s recommended by so many doctors.
Below are 4 reasons why matcha green tea is worth trying if you want to improve your heart health:
1. Matcha prevents heart attacks
One of the largest studies ever conducted proved green tea to be able to prevent heart attacks. This took place in Japan, where over 40,000 healthy Japanese adults between 4-79 were monitored for 7-11 years.
"The most important finding is that green tea may prolong people's lives through reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Shinichi Kuriyama, who led the research.
Similarly, a study in Holland found that drinking 375ml or more of tea daily may reduce the risk of having a heart attack by 43 percent. More significantly, it may cut your risk of dying from heart attack by a whopping 70 percent!
One of the reasons green tea is so beneficial in preventing heart disease is because it contains flavonoids. These are antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. They help to enhance the lining of blood vessels and keep the cholesterol low, which regulates blood pressure and prevents clotting.
And matcha green tea contains more flavonoids than standard green tea, so one cup of matcha a day can do wonders for the heart.
2. Matcha helps expand your heart arteries and improve blood flow.
Studies have shown green tea to help improve blood flow by expanding the heart arteries.
A study in Greece compared the effect of drinking green tea, caffeinated water, and hot water on the arteries of 14 healthy adults. The results showed that after 30 minutes, those who drank green tea experienced 3.7 percent dilation, whereas those who drank caffeine or water did not show significant change.
The scientists speculated that this is because green tea works as an antioxidant and helps prevent inflammation in body tissue. This keeps blood vessels flexible and relaxed, and improves their ability to withstand changes in blood pressure.
And as matcha green tea is known for having 137 times the antioxidants of standard green tea, that’s why matcha can be so effective in improving cardiovascular health.
3. Matcha can prevent blood clots.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of it, but Atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) is a leading cause of heart disease. It’s a predominant problem in the Western world, with our poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, but unfortunately some of us are also vulnerable to it due to genetics.
As we grow older, our arteries naturally harden. Fats, cholesterols, and blood platelets accumulate in the artery wall, forming a layer of atherosclerotic plaque. When this plaque thickens and blocks the entire artery, a heart attack or stroke occurs.
It has been found that green tea may keep your arteries clear by:
- Reducing LDL, the bad cholesterol, while leaving HDL, the good cholesterol, alone. HDL is good cholesterol and has been found to remove atherosclerotic plaque.
- Reducing blood level triglycerides, the chemical from fat that exists in our blood. Too many triglycerides in the blood can cause heart disease.
- Reducing lipid peroxides, free radicals that can cause cellular damage to LDL cholesterols and other lipids or fats. These have been linked to heart disease.
- Reducing fibrinogen, a protein found in blood involved in the formation of blood clots.
As one cup of matcha green tea is the equivalent to 10 cups of standard green tea in terms of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, drinking one matcha a day will flood your body with all the goodness to help keep your heart and arteries in good shape.
4. Even in recovery, matcha can help.
While there’s still much to be researched, there is emerging evidence that green tea compounds EGCG and gallic acid (GA) may help reverse cell damage after the occurrence of a heart attack or stroke.
A study in the UK found that drinking green tea after a stroke may speed up the recovery process by blocking the action of a protein called Stat 1, which plays a part in inducing cell death.
So while green tea—and especially matcha green tea—can be helpful in preventing heart disease, it can also be successful in helping your body recover too.
The studies mentioned above, while promising, are still part of an early and exciting attempt by scientists to discover the true potential of matcha green tea as a heart-healthy food.
The American Heart Association has yet to include this miraculous beverage in its dietary recommendations, but more studies may change that. Until then, let’s continue working towards healthy, well-rounded lifestyles to keep heart disease away, shall we? Cheers to your health!