October 17, 2018

Whatcha Drinking…… Matcha!

Being a nurse for over 10 years I have heard it all.  Every single way patients have tried to improve their health.  From different exercises, diet changes, life-saving pills, some even swear by the daily cigar and wine method… But one patient recently shared his story, one which I had never heard before.  

My patient was a relatively health middle-aged man who “did everything right” by exercising and eating a well balanced diet, however, he continued to have high cholesterol.  He had tried all of the doctor recommendations, but could not get his cholesterol levels to decrease. Meanwhile he discovered that he really like Matcha Green Tea Lattes from Starbucks and that became his daily drink.  

After several months of drinking these teas he had a follow up visit with his doctor to check his cholesterol levels.  Surprisingly his levels had decreased significantly. He swears by the fact that his daily Matcha Green Tea Lattes unknowingly decreased his cholesterol levels.  Now I have heard every trick in the book or so I thought….

Until this patient told me his story about changing his Starbucks drink is what actually lowered his cholesterol levels.  I was not sold. After some research this is what I found on Matcha Green Tea.

So What Exactly Is A Matcha Tea From Starbucks?  

Usually when we think of green tea we think of steeping the leaves in hot water and then removing the leaves to drink the leftover water.  Matcha, however, is made out of crushed up green tea leaves made into a powder. It is thought that by drinking the green tea powder you are ingesting the nutrients of the green tea leaf itself rather than throwing it away like you would with regular tea.  

Studies have shown that regular green tea has antioxidants called catechin that can decrease risks for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and promote weight loss.  

Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha Green Tea has a specific type of catechin that is slightly different than regular green tea.  It is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  This type of catechin shown to be linked to many added health benefits including:

  • Anti- cancer properties specific to prostate, skin, lung, and liver
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Enhances mood
  • Increases concentration
  • Is a natural detoxifier
  • Naturally calms and relaxes the body
  • Helps burn calories and boost metabolism
  • Protects the liver by helping to process medications and toxins
  • Enhances brain function including memory

And of course low and behold the EGCG in Matcha Green Tea protects your HEART!  Studies have shown it reduces LDL and triglycerides (the bad types of cholesterol).  There it is. My patient was correct. Perhaps his Matcha Green Tea Lattes had actually been the thing to decrease his cholesterol levels after all.

How To Prepare A Matcha Tea

When looking for Matcha choose a brand that is organic.  This will ensure that you are not ingesting chemicals that are on the green tea leaf.  If you are interested in learning how to make a Matcha Tea of your own here is how:

  • Sift 1-2 tsp of Matcha into your cup (for a thicker tea add an extra tsp)
  • Add 2 oz of hot water
  • Whisk together

So the next time you are feeling adventurous in the Starbucks line try a Matcha Green Tea Latte or their other various Matcha drinks.

Like my patient you may even boost your health!

About the Author 

Jessica is a mom to four kids under the age of nine.  She has worked as an ICU nurse for a decade and also teaches nursing students.  She loves to be outside, especially in the summer when she can spend time swimming and gardening. Always an avid reader and writer, Jessica enjoys embracing her creative side, a welcome reprieve from way too much medical terminology. 

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