Matcha for Gut Health
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
The function of the gut is not just limited to the digestion of food but it also affects your immune system, brain, and heart. Therefore, a healthy gut is essential for the optimal functioning of the body.
The Internet is flooded with countless tips, and remedies for keeping your gut healthy but some of them are quite expensive and some require a lot of effort. However, using matcha in your daily routine is super easy and inexpensive. The cherry on the top is that it tastes yummy.
Let’s begin with what actually gut health is and how matcha can help you keep your gut healthy.
WHAT IS GUT HEALTH?
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic organisms are collectively known as microbes. These microbes are present in different parts of your body including your gut.
The gut microbes are mainly present in the part of the large intestine known as the cecum. It includes hundreds of species of different bacteria each playing their individual role.
While some of these microbes are necessary for the normal functioning of your body others may be harmful. The balance of these good and bad microbes within the gut defines the health of your digestive system.
IMPORTANCE OF GUT HEALTH
The primary function of the gut is to digest the food and absorb the nutrients to be used by the body. When your gut is not healthy it neither digests nor absorbs properly. Consequently, you are deprived of many nutrients leading to impairment of different body functions.
An unhealthy gut affects your endocrine and immune system negatively. You become more vulnerable to different diseases and your hormones don’t work properly either.
The gut is also important to remove toxins from your body. When your gut health is compromised harmful toxic substances begin to retain in your body. It can then lead to chronic fatigue, inflammation throughout the body, and other diseases.
FACTORS AFFECTING GUT HEALTH
Three common factors that contribute to poor gut health are:
- Stress – It makes your intestinal cell membranes leaky leading to an imbalance between healthy and harmful bacteria within the gut.
- Poor nutrition – Diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of your gut. When you eat natural and healthy foods, good bacteria in your gut flourish.
On the other hand, when your diet is composed of processed food and sugars then it harms the beneficial bacteria within the gut. As a result, gut health is compromised leading to inflammation throughout the body.
- Prolonged use of antibiotics and antacids – The long-term use of antacids and antibiotics can kill the good bacteria present in your gut. It also decreases the level of vitamin B12. Both these effects compromise the health of your gut.
Hence, it is advised to use antibiotics and antacids as per the instructions given by your healthcare provider.
SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY GUT
The signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Chronic pain
Apart from the above symptoms, the onset of autoimmune disorders like diabetes type1, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis can also be a sign of poor gut health.
WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH
In many cases, you can improve your gut health by eating healthy foods, managing your stress levels, and practicing mindfulness techniques. A good 7-8 hours of sleep and regular exercise can also prove to be beneficial for your gut health.
However, if you find it difficult to adapt to the above-mentioned ways or your gut health is not improving despite trying quoted ways to maintain good gut health then you should consider additional help like matcha supplements to boost the health of your gut.
WHAT IS MATCHA?
Matcha is a type of green that has its roots in Japan. People in Japan used to hold tea ceremonies but nowadays matcha is gaining popularity all over the world and is not only used in tea but also in different beverages and desserts.
Matcha is made by grinding the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. These leaves have polyphenols and amino acid L-theanine which are beneficial for your health.
There are three grades of matcha available in the markets. The highest grade is used to conduct tea ceremonies. Premium grade is the one that people consume on daily basis. Cooking matcha is the cheapest grade of matcha available across the markets.
HOW IS MATCHA BENEFICIAL FOR GUT HEALTH?
Matcha is a superfood for your gut. It doesn’t only maintain gut health but can also heal the damaged gut. Below is a detailed description of the benefits that matcha provides for your gut.
ACTS AS PREBIOTIC FOR GUT MICROBES
Matcha is rich in compounds known as polyphenols. These compounds are found naturally in plants and have antioxidant properties.
Polyphenols act as prebiotics for beneficial microbes residing in your gut.
Prebiotics are plant-based fibers that cannot be digested by humans but the bacteria present in our gut can break them down to obtain nutrients for their growth.
When you consume matcha, polyphenols present in it act as fuel for good bacteria. These polyphenols acting as prebiotics not only increase the number of good bacteria present in your gut but also keep the bacteria healthy.
A leaky gut is also one of the common problems that affect your gut health. Consumption of polyphenols can maintain the health of the gut by preventing this leakage of intestinal membranes.
STIMULATES GOOD BACTERIA
Apart from increasing the number of good bacteria, matcha can also stimulate gut-friendly bacteria like lactobacillus. These bacteria then help our gut to break down food products, absorb nutrients and fight off bacterial infections.
PREVENTS THE GROWTH OF BAD BACTERIA
Matcha can acts as an antimicrobial for disease-causing bacteria present in your gut. Polyphenols in matcha can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria like Clostridium species and H.pylori.
Polyphenols bind to the bacterial cell membranes and destroy them. These compounds can also inhibit the enzymatic activity in bacterial cells. By these mechanisms matcha can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and prevent diseases like stomach ulcers, acid reflux, gastroenteritis, tetanus, infections of soft tissue, and other diseases.
INCREASES GUT MICROBE DIVERSITY
Matcha doesn’t only support the growth of healthy gut bacteria but also increases the diversity of microbes within the gut.
The diversity is important because if one type of bacteria is unable to perform a particular function then another kind of bacteria can take over and perform that specific function.
REDUCES INFLAMMATION IN GUT
Polyphenols in matcha also act as antioxidant and reduces inflammation of gut wall.
Gut can become inflamed if your diet is high on processed foods and refined sugars and low on fibers. A stressful lifestyle can also cause gut wall inflammation. In the worst-case scenario, someone can also develop inflammatory bowel disease.
Match has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and reduces diarrhea and other symptoms of gut wall inflammation.
OTHER BENEFITS OF MATCHA
Apart from your digestive system matcha is also beneficial for maintaining blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol levels. The health benefits of matcha include:
- Lower blood pressure – Catechins in matcha may lower high blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
- Maintains oral health – Matcha helps to keep your teeth in good shape.
- Fights inflammation – Matcha is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It can battle the signs and symptoms of inflammation.
- Reduces cholesterol – Catechins in matcha can also help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL and total cholesterol.
Matcha is safe to use and provides multiple health benefits but excessive use of matcha can cause the following side effects:
- Sleeping disorders
IN A NUTSHELL
A healthy gut is essential not just for the digestive system but also for the endocrine and immune system. It also prevents bacterial infections and inflammatory conditions of the bowel. Therefore, the health of the gut must not be neglected at any cost.
Eating natural and healthy foods along with an active lifestyle keeps your gut healthy but if you often face digestive issues and needs extra care for your gut then incorporating matcha in your daily routine can be the answer to your gut-related issues.
Matcha helps good bacteria to flourish, inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria, increases the diversity of gut microbes and reduces gut wall inflammation. To put it simply, matcha act as a magical food for the health of your gut.
It is recommended to consult your physician before starting matcha supplements especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
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