The benefits of drinking matcha daily for gut health

The benefits of drinking matcha daily for gut health

Matcha is a potent natural powerhouse of health that when consumed regularly has immense health benefits, including it's potential to promote a healthy gut microbiome. The gut microbiome refers to the vast community of microorganisms, including bacteria, living in the digestive tract. Maintaining a balanced and diverse gut microbiome is crucial for overall health and wellbeing.

Polyphenol-rich matcha

Matcha is packed with polyphenols, which are plant compounds known for their antioxidant properties. One specific type of polyphenol found in green tea, called catechins (epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG), is particularly abundant in matcha. These catechins can have prebiotic-like effects, meaning they can serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, helping them to thrive.

How polyphenols positively impact the gut;

+ Supports beneficial bacteria/Reduces harmful bacteria

Studies have shown that the polyphenols in matcha can enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. These bacteria play essential roles in maintaining gut health and are associated with various health benefits, including improved digestion and a stronger immune system. Matcha's polyphenols also possess antimicrobial properties, which can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. This balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria is critical for a healthy gut microbiome.

+ May improve gut barrier function

The gut lining acts as a barrier, preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream while allowing beneficial nutrients to be absorbed. Matcha's polyphenols may help strengthen the gut barrier, reducing the likelihood of "leaky gut" – a condition in which the gut lining becomes more permeable, potentially leading to inflammation and other health issues.

+ Anti-inflammatory effects
Chronic inflammation in the gut can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome. The antioxidants in matcha can help combat inflammation, thereby promoting a healthier gut environment for beneficial bacteria to flourish.

+ Supports digestive enzymes
Matcha contains compounds that may stimulate the production and activity of digestive enzymes. These enzymes aid in the breakdown of food, making it easier for the gut microbiota to digest and ferment the nutrients, thus fostering a more diverse microbial ecosystem.

+ Influences short-chain fatty acid production
Some research suggests that matcha consumption may influence the increased production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the gut. SCFAs are beneficial compounds produced by certain gut bacteria during the fermentation of dietary fibres.

According to the world’s leading expert on the cutting edge of microbiome research, Tim Spector's twenty tips to keep you and your gut microbes happy and healthy is to consume plants that are high in polyphenols and fibre. Here is his recommendation in liquid form;

'Green teas have higher polyphenol counts than black tea, but for higher fibre intakes aswell as polyphenols, a ground matcha green tea is the best and tastes delicious when whisked in the traditional way.'

— Tim Spector, Food For Life - The New Science of Eating Well