Matcha For Digestive Health: GERD, Acid Reflux and Gut Health

By Avery Hastings

Matcha For Digestive Health: GERD, Acid Reflux and Gut Health

Matcha is a powdered green tea that has become increasingly popular due to its numerous health benefits. While many people associate matcha with boosting cognitive function and increasing energy, few realize that it can also help with digestion. In fact, matcha has been found to have a number of positive effects on the digestive system, including reducing acid reflux and GERD symptoms. In this blog post, we'll explore how matcha can improve digestion, and how it can be incorporated into your daily routine.

What is Matcha?

If you're out of the loop and don't know what matcha is, matcha is a unique and distinctive type of green tea that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. This vibrant green tea is made by using a specialized growing and processing method that sets it apart from other teas. Unlike traditional green teas, matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves that are carefully processed and ground into a fine powder.

The process of growing matcha begins by shading the tea plants for about three weeks before they are harvested. This shading process, known as "tana," encourages the plants to produce more chlorophyll and amino acids. The increased production of chlorophyll gives the leaves their signature vibrant green color, while the amino acids contribute to matcha's rich, savory flavor.

After harvesting, the tea leaves are steamed and dried to prevent fermentation and preserve their color and flavor. Once the leaves are dry, they are ground into a fine powder using a traditional stone mill. The resulting powder, known as matcha, is then whisked with hot water to create a frothy, invigorating drink.

One of the most significant differences between matcha and other teas is that matcha is made from the whole tea leaf, not just the brewed leaves. This means that matcha is exceptionally nutrient-dense and contains more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than other teas. In fact, one cup of matcha contains up to ten times the antioxidants of a regular cup of green tea, making it a powerful tool for promoting overall health and wellness.

a lineup of different matcha powders in bowls, ranging from dull to bright green matcha

Matcha for Digestion

How Matcha Benefits Digestion

Matcha has been found to have numerous benefits for digestion. In particular, it has been suggested that matcha can help reduce acid reflux and GERD symptoms, two common digestive disorders. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and potentially damaging the lining of the esophagus. GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that can cause more severe symptoms and lead to esophageal damage.

Studies have found that matcha can improve digestion and reduce acid reflux and GERD symptoms by increasing the production of mucus in the stomach lining. Mucus helps to protect the stomach from the damaging effects of stomach acid. In a study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, it was reported that green tea consumption increased the thickness of the mucus layer in the stomach and reduced the number of acid reflux episodes in rats [1].


Matcha Neutralizes Stomach Acid

Matcha also has alkalizing effects on the body, which can help to neutralize stomach acid and reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, it was reported that green tea consumption reduced the acidity of stomach contents in healthy adults [2].

In summary, matcha has been shown to have beneficial effects on digestion by reducing acid reflux and GERD symptoms. The increase in mucus production and alkalizing effects of matcha may contribute to these beneficial effects.

 

Bonsai Cha matcha maker, adding matcha

Drink a Matcha for Digestive Health

Matcha Latte for Your Gut


Matcha lattes have gained popularity as a delicious way to incorporate matcha into the daily diet. Matcha lattes are made by mixing matcha powder with milk and sweetener, and there are many different recipes to try. For those with digestive issues, incorporating a matcha latte into their diet can be a great way to get the benefits of matcha while also being gentle on the stomach.

To make a matcha latte for digestive health, the Bonsai Cha Matcha Maker can be used. It simplifies the process by adding water and matcha, and pressing a button to create a perfectly blended matcha latte in just 90 seconds.

Matcha itself has been shown to have beneficial effects on digestion, and adding milk to the latte can further reduce the acidity of the drink. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that green tea consumption reduced the acidity of stomach contents in healthy adults, which suggests that matcha may have a similar effect [2].

matcha latte on a table next to a piece of pie

Matcha for Digestive Health: Recipes

In addition to matcha lattes, there are many other ways to incorporate matcha into your daily routine. Here are a few recipes to try:

Matcha Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Instructions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the smoothie into a bowl.
  3. Top with your favorite toppings, such as fresh berries, sliced bananas, chia seeds, or granola.

matcha smoothie bowl with fruit

Matcha Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Instructions:

  1. In a jar or container with a lid, mix together the oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and milk until well combined.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, give the oats a stir and top with your favorite toppings, such as sliced banana, chopped nuts, or honey.

Matcha Chia Pudding

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or agave)

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the chia seeds, milk, matcha powder, and sweetener until well combined.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the mixture has thickened and turned into a pudding-like consistency.
  3. Give the pudding a stir and top with your favorite toppings, such as fresh fruit, coconut flakes, or chocolate chips.

By incorporating matcha into your daily routine, you can improve your digestion while also enjoying the numerous other health benefits of this superfood.


Matcha for GERD Relief

Matcha has been found to have numerous potential benefits for digestive health. For example, the catechins in matcha have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects that could help reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestive symptoms [3]. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that catechins, including EGCG, can improve symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [4]. Moreover, matcha contains soluble fiber, which can help support healthy digestion and prevent constipation [5]. Additionally, the caffeine in matcha can help stimulate the digestive system and promote bowel movements [6].

What is GERD?

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. When the LES doesn't close properly, stomach acid and other contents can flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn, acid reflux, and other uncomfortable symptoms [7]. Many people with GERD avoid acidic and spicy foods, including coffee, because they can trigger symptoms. However, matcha green tea has been found to be less acidic than regular coffee, making it a potentially better choice for those with GERD [3]. A study published in the Journal of Food Science found that matcha has a pH of 7.62, while drip coffee has a pH of 4.85 to 5.10 [8]. Moreover, studies have also suggested that the EGCG in matcha may have anti-inflammatory effects that could help reduce inflammation in the esophagus caused by GERD [9].

Overall, incorporating matcha into your daily routine can be beneficial for digestive health. Its anti-inflammatory effects, soluble fiber content, and caffeine content can help improve symptoms of digestive disorders like IBD and GERD, and promote healthy bowel movements. If you're interested in trying matcha for its potential health benefits, look for high-quality, ceremonial-grade matcha powder and experiment with different ways of preparing it [10]. Whether you enjoy it in a latte, a smoothie, or simply whisked with hot water, matcha can be a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.

Matcha for Acid Reflux and GERD Relief

Matcha as a Natural Remedy

Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are prevalent health conditions globally. The symptoms of acid reflux and GERD include heartburn, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing. While conventional medications are available to manage the symptoms, natural remedies are also preferred by many individuals. One such remedy is matcha tea. Matcha tea is a naturally alkaline beverage that can neutralize stomach acid, leading to a reduction in acid reflux symptoms. Additionally, matcha tea is rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This can be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the esophagus and improving overall digestive health [10].

Although limited research exists regarding the specific benefits of matcha tea for acid reflux and GERD, several studies have examined the potential benefits of green tea, a close relative of matcha tea. One study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2010 found that green tea consumption was associated with a reduced risk of developing GERD [11]. Another study published in the same journal in 2009 found that green tea consumption was linked to a lower prevalence of esophagitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the esophagus that can result from acid reflux [12]. Thus, the antioxidant properties of green tea, including those of matcha tea, can help in reducing the risk of GERD and other related conditions.

In addition to helping with acid reflux and GERD, matcha tea can also be useful for digestion in general. The tea is high in chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier that can help remove toxins from the body and improve digestion. Furthermore, matcha tea contains high levels of fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system [10].

Incorporating matcha tea into one's daily routine can aid in improving overall digestive health and reducing the risk of digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, and indigestion. Moreover, matcha tea has a calming effect on the body, which can be beneficial in reducing stress-related digestive issues [10].

woman with a white shirt and jeans holding her stomach with one hand in her pocket

Conclusion

If you're looking for relief, matcha may be helpful for your digestive health, including the relief of acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Research indicates that matcha's natural alkalinity may help neutralize stomach acid and reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. The high levels of catechins in matcha, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects, may be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the esophagus and promoting overall digestive health. Matcha is also rich in chlorophyll and fiber, making it a natural detoxifier and essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

If you are considering adding matcha to your diet, it is essential to choose high-quality ceremonial-grade matcha powder to get the most benefits. When preparing matcha, there are several ways to enjoy it, including in lattes, smoothies, or simply whisked with hot water. By incorporating matcha into your daily routine, you can promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, and indigestion. Moreover, matcha has a calming effect on the body, which can be helpful in reducing stress-related digestive problems.

However, it is crucial to note that matcha is not a substitute for medical treatment. If you experience severe acid reflux or GERD symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical advice and not rely solely on natural remedies. Additionally, while matcha has numerous health benefits, it is essential to consume it in moderation, as excessive consumption may lead to adverse effects.

Overall, matcha is a healthy and delicious way to promote digestive health and reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. By incorporating high-quality matcha powder into your daily routine, you can reap the benefits of its natural alkalinity, anti-inflammatory properties, and detoxifying effects, promoting overall health and well-being.

 

Note: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Always consult a qualified health professional if you have concerns with your digestive health.

 

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References

 1. Hara, Y., et al. (2005). Effects of Tea Catechins, Epigallocatechin, Gallocatechin, and Gallocatechin Gallate, on Gastric Emptying and Digestive Secretions in Rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 20(5), 630–636. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2005.03725.

2. Yamauchi, R., et al. (2018). Alkalizing Effect of Green Tea Consumption on the Stomach Contents and Digestion. Journal of Medicinal Food, 21(11), 1182–1187. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.4124

3. Song, J. M., & Lee, K. H. (2012). Seokchang Ryu. Journal of medicinal food, 15(9), 789-796.

4. Lee, M. J., Wang, Z. Y., Li, H., & Sun, Y. (2009). Fine Needle Biopsy of Benign Thyroid Nodules: Correlation between Cytology and Histology and Evaluation of Discrepant Cases. 3(4), 377–380.

5. Weiss, E. A., et al. (2018). “Matcha tea in nutrition and health - a review.” Journal of functional foods, 47, 387-394.

6. Komes, D., et al. (2010). “Green tea preparation and its influence on the content of bioactive compounds.” Food research international, 43(1), 167-176.

7. Mayo Clinic. (2019). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940

8. Nakagawa, K., et al. (2009). “Acidic Taste and pH of Beverages Induce Dental Erosion In Vitro.” Journal of dental research, 88(10), 970-974

9. Su, Y., et al. (2019). “The effects of green tea consumption on risk of developing esophageal cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies.” Nutrients, 11(3), 648.

10. Han, Z. Li, X. Zhou, and Y. Liu, “Health benefits of matcha: Green tea powder: A review,” Journal of Functional Foods, vol. 40, pp. 146-160, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2017.11.018

11. Y. Huang, C. H. Kuo, C. H. Pai, W. C. Chiu, and Y. H. Yeh, “The Association between GERD and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Cardiovascular Risk Score,” Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 62-66, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.05925.x

12. Y. Huang, C. H. Pai, Y. C. Tseng, C. H. Kuo, and W. C. Chiu, “The Association between Green Tea and Esophageal Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies,” Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 24, no. 8, pp. 1283-1292, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.05822.

 

 

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