Matcha tea benefits for hormonal health and PMS

Matcha tea benefits for hormonal health and PMS

What is matcha?


Matcha is Japanese green tea that’s been finely ground into a powder. It tastes a little bitter and colored a beautiful, vibrant green due to the high chlorophyll content in its leaves. Matcha tea has a lot of benefits and is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s often made into a tea but can be incorporated into delicious recipes such as matcha smoothies, bliss balls, chia puddings, muffins, and smoothie bowls. Taste-wise, it’s earthy, slightly bitter, and a tiny bit nutty.

 

 

What’s the difference between matcha and coffee, don’t they both have caffeine?

 


Coffee provides an energy hit due to its high caffeine content however its effects are short-term and often followed by an energy crash. The caffeine in coffee is incredibly stimulating and causes our body to produce stress hormones like cortisol which can worsen PMS symptoms and leave us feeling run down in the long term.

Whilst matcha still contains caffeine, its caffeine content is lower and less stimulating. Matcha contains L-theanine which has a relaxing effect to counteract the stimulating effects of caffeine and allows for a slower release of caffeine resulting in more sustained energy. To describe how matcha makes me feel is ‘alert but relaxed’.


Can you tell me more about the hormonal benefits of matcha?


Matcha tea has mood-boosting benefits


Matcha increases the brain chemicals (“neurotransmitters”) GABA, serotonin, and dopamine (“happy” hormones) which are often low in the week leading up to our periods. Several studies have linked low serotonin levels to worsen PMS symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, and low moods. Additionally, matcha has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce inflammation which is one of the major drivers of depression.


Matcha tea reduces anxiety


L-theanine in matcha reduces anxiety and increases feelings of relaxation by increasing alpha brain wave levels. Alpha brain waves are linked with a relaxed state of being and are often present when we’re practicing meditation or other mindfulness activities. Other beneficial effects of L-theanine are its ability to improve cognition and focus which allows us to feel alert.


Matcha tea eases period cramps


Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that cause the uterus muscles to contract and constrict resulting in painful period cramps. Matcha contains anti-inflammatory catechins which have shown to inhibit prostaglandin production and reduce painful periods. In contrast, coffee can often worsen our period cramps as it causes vasoconstriction and reduces blood flow to our uterus. Less blood flow to our uterus equates to more painful period cramps.


Matcha tea improves PCOS symptoms


PCOS is a hormonal condition and often women with PCOS present with elevated free testosterone levels and fasting insulin levels. A 2017 study found consuming 500mg of green tea extract twice daily for 12 weeks resulted in reduced weight, fasting insulin levels, and free testosterone in overweight and obese women with PCOS. By reducing fasting insulin levels and elevated free testosterone levels in women, matcha can improve PCOS symptoms such as excess body hair, acne, and irregular periods.


Matcha tea reduces risk of endometriosis


Matcha contains EGCG, a type of antioxidant, which has shown to prevent the formation of endometrial lesions. Endometrial lesions (or nodules) refer to the tissues that grow outside the uterus and are responsible for causing crippling period pain and infertility. Thus, matcha shows promise in assisting in the treatment and management of endometriosis and its related symptoms. Furthermore, a high intake of antioxidants may prevent cell proliferation and has been associated with a reduced risk for developing endometriosis.


Matcha tea improves skin complexion


The antioxidant content in matcha has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects which can help prevent any hormonal breakouts. A 2016 study found adult women who took green tea extract daily for 4 weeks had significantly less acne on their nose, chin, and around their mouth.


Moonbox Recommendations


I hope you feel encouraged to make the switch from coffee to matcha after reading its incredible benefits. To obtain the most optimal benefits, switch out coffee altogether for our Luna Matcha in the week leading up to and during your period. Your PMS symptoms, energy, mood & skin will thank you! 

 

References



Allahdadian, M., Tehrani, H., Zarre, F., Ranjbar, H., & Allahdadian, F. (2017). Effect of green tea on metabolic and hormonal aspect of polycystic ovarian syndrome in overweight and obese women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome: A clinical trial. Journal Of Education And Health Promotion, 6(1), 36. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_67_15


Bin Mahmoud, A., Makhdoom, A., Mufti, L., Alreheli, R., Farghal, R., & Aljaouni, S. (2014). Association between menstrual disturbances and habitual use of caffeine. Journal Of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 9(4), 341-344. doi: 10.1016/j.jtumed.2014.03.012


Jakubczyk, K., Kochman, J., Kwiatkowska, A., Kałduńska, J., Dec, K., Kawczuga, D., & Janda, K. (2020). Antioxidant Properties and Nutritional Composition of Matcha Green Tea. Foods, 9(4), 483. doi: 10.3390/foods9040483


Halaris, A. (2019). Inflammation and depression but where does the inflammation come from?. Current Opinion In Psychiatry, 32(5), 422-428. doi: 10.1097/yco.0000000000000531


Know the signs and symptoms of endometriosis. (2019). Retrieved 17 January 2021, from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/signs-symptoms-endometriosis


Laschke, M., Schwender, C., Scheuer, C., Vollmar, B., & Menger, M. (2008). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits estrogen-induced activation of endometrial cells in vitro and causes regression of endometriotic lesions in vivo. Human Reproduction, 23(10), 2308-2318. doi: 10.1093/humrep/den245


Lu, P., & Hsu, C. (2016). Does supplementation with green tea extract improve acne in post-adolescent women? A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 25, 159-163. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.004


Mirza, B., Ikram, H., Bilgrami, S., Haleem, D., & Haleem, M. (2013). Neurochemical and behavioral effects of green tea (Camellia sinensis): a model study. Pakistan Journal Of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 26(3), 511-516.


Nathan, P., Lu, K., Gray, M., & Oliver, C. (2006). The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine). Journal Of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 6(2), 21-30. doi: 10.1080/j157v06n02_02


Sacchet, M., LaPlante, R., Wan, Q., Pritchett, D., Lee, A., & Hamalainen, M. et al. (2015). Attention Drives Synchronization of Alpha and Beta Rhythms between Right Inferior Frontal and Primary Sensory Neocortex. Journal Of Neuroscience, 35(5), 2074-2082. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1292-14.2015


Saric, S., Notay, M., & Sivamani, R. (2016). Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris. Antioxidants, 6(1), 2. doi: 10.3390/antiox6010002


Zhang, X., Zhang, R., Chen, D., Huang, R., Tian, Y., Zhang, P., & Zhang, J. (2019). Association of tea drinking and dysmenorrhoea among reproductive-age women in Shanghai, China (2013–2015): a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 9(4), e026643. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026643