We’ve got matcha everything: quickie No-Bake Matcha Energy Balls, luscious Matcha Lattes, and even Matcha Superfood Pie (yes, really!). But, why? Why are we including matcha in loads of our recipes and even developed our own high-quality, organic, ceremonial grade matcha? Let’s get into it.
What is Matcha?
Simply put, matcha is green tea. However, instead of taking the leaves and steeping them in water (like any regular tea), matcha is a tea that’s been made by grinding the green tea leaves into a bright green powder, and then consuming that powder. With matcha green tea powder, you’re drinking the whole tea leaves. The matcha powder is typically whisked with hot water to make a beautiful, bright green cup of tea.
Both regular green tea and matcha green tea contain less caffeine than coffee or black tea. Matcha contains more caffeine than regular brewed green tea, because you are consuming that entire leaf. Because you are consuming the whole leaf, you also get in more powerful antioxidants – score!
So, is Matcha Good for You? Benefits of Drinking Matcha Green Tea
Did you know that 1 cup of matcha has over 10x the nutrients of normal green tea? Drinking matcha offers tons of benefits. Matcha health benefits range from being a clean, jitter-free caffeine source, to being full of antioxidants to help us fight off disease, to even helping us lose weight. The benefits go far and wide.
Here are the top 6 reasons why drinking matcha tea could make a huge difference in your wellness practice.
1. Major Antioxidants
Matcha, like other green teas, contains a class of antioxidants called catechins. Quality matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body. Studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and even encouraging weight loss.
2. Assists in Weight Balance
Our bodies have two types of fat: brown and white. White fat stores energy, and excessive white fat is linked to heart disease and other chronic illness. Brown fat burns energy, and individuals with higher metabolisms and lower BMI typically have more brown fat than those who are overweight or obese. Matcha tea has been shown to activate brown fat cells which help keep your weight balanced by increasing your caloric burn.
3. A Healthy Heart
A 2016 review of studies concluded that, thanks to EGCG, consuming green tea can result in a serious reduction in bad cholesterol (often called “LDL”). LDL is the type of cholesterol that leads to a buildup of fatty acids in the arteries, which some experts say increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. In addition, another large review of nine studies revealed that people who drank at least three cups of tea per day had a 21% lower risk of stroke.
4. Strong Bones
Green tea may increase bone mineral density (as in, how solid your bones are), in turn lowering your risk of developing osteoporosis, according to several studies. This is especially important as we age and naturally lose bone density. Our bones provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles and store calcium, so it’s critical that we keep them strong and healthy. PS! Another amazing way to increase bone density, is by lifting weights. Check out our Best tips for your apartment workout here.
5. Liver Function
The liver is our major detox organ. It’s essential that we treat it with some TLC. The liver plays an integral role in detoxification, metabolism, and protein synthesis, along with over 500 other tasks necessary for growth and survival. A sluggish liver can lead to weight gain, digestive distress, skin breakouts, and more. This is why you’ll find a liver support supplement in our 21-Day Clean Program.
One large meta-analysis demonstrated that drinking green tea was linked to a lower risk of liver disease. In another study, supplementing with green tea extract was found to improve levels of liver enzymes, which is a marker used to measure liver function, in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
6. Major Brain Power
More brain power – who doesn’t want that? A study actually found that consuming matcha helped improve performance on cognitive tasks used to measure attention and motor abilities. In addition, matcha is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that can enhance alertness and decrease anxiety while also protecting against some of the negative effects that come with caffeine consumption. L-Theanine, also raises our dopamine and serotonin levels, helping elevate our mood. No shaky caffeine crash here!
HOW TO PREPARE MATCHA GREEN TEA
Ready to become a matcha drinker? Here are steps to properly prepare your matcha green tea for optimal taste and efficiency!
- First, sift one or two teaspoons of matcha powder into a cup
- Next, add 20 oz of hot water, almond milk or steamed milk.
- Whisk is a zigzag motion with a matcha whisk until the substance is frothy
Now do you see why we are so obsessed with this gorgeous green powder? Try adding our ceremonial grade organic matcha into your morning smoothie or morning beverage and let us know what you think!
Recipe and photography by Hannah Aylward
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