Tea is a staple in my every day – I frequently drink it all throughout the day. In addition to it helping keep me warm in the office, I also enjoy the health benefits provided by many different types of tea. There is one, however, that seems to stand out among all the rest when it comes to antioxidant, detox, and energy-boosting properties: Matcha Green Tea.
Matcha Green Tea originates from Japanese traditional culture, and was historically used during tea ceremonies and has been associated with Zen; it has been used by Buddhist Monks during meditation to keep them calm, yet alert.
Matcha comes in a powdered form – it is the actual leaves from the tea plant that are stone-ground into a fine powder. Traditionally, about 1 teaspoon of matcha is whisked together with water to create a paste prior to adding hot water. Be sure to check the ingredients of the tea – the quality can vary and additives, such as sweeteners or powdered milk, can be mixed in with it. Because it has a strong umami taste – which can be described as grass-like or spinach-like – individuals may prefer to add sweetener or milk to make it more palatable. I personally enjoy the strong flavor and prefer to drink it as is. High-quality, pure matcha does come with a high price tag, so a low-cost or “good deal” may be a red flag when it comes to choosing your tea.
Matcha tea has 5 times more antioxidants that any other food, and 137 times as many antioxidants as regular green tea. The bottom line: it is LOADED with antioxidants, specifically a particular type of Catechin (EGCg), recognized for its cancer fighting properties. According to matchasource, drinking one cup of matcha is comparable to drinking 10 cups of regular green tea.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, matcha is credited with boosting memory and concentration, as well as increasing energy levels and endurance. Although all green tea contains caffeine, the energy-boosting components of matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. Unlike other caffeinated beverages, individuals typically don’t experience the negative side-effects of stimulants, like hypertension and nervousness/anxiety. Energy without the jitters? Yes, please!
The bonus superpower of matcha is that it boosts metabolism by about four times faster than average. A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8% to 10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.
If you’re not sold on drinking a cup of this bright green elixir, matcha can be incorporated into sweet and savory recipes, as well, including brownies, soups, muffins, stir-frys, and even guacamole! A simple Google search will provide an abundance of matcha-centered recipes.
Do your body and mind a favor and relax with an indulgent cup of matcha.