If you read my Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte post, you know that I gave up coffee earlier this year and switched to green tea. Many people, especially at work, thought I was crazy and asked me how and why I did it. I had a one word answer for them: MATCHA. Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea, usually in the form of a powder. I have listed the 10 benefits of this miracle powder below as well as my favorite Matcha Latte Recipe!
High in Antioxidants
In the last 10 years, substances containing antioxidants have become increasingly popular. Antioxidants are the magical little nutrients that are responsible for fighting off disease, UV radiation, and aiding in younger-looking skin. Antioxidants can be found in foods such as raw fruits, green veggies, and dark chocolate. The first amazing benefit of Matcha is that just one scoop provides 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food.
Sign me up! Drinking Matcha Green Tea has been shown to increase your metabolism which helps the body burn fat about 4 times faster than usual. Unlike many diet pills or stimulants, Matcha is 100% natural and doesn’t cause increased heart rate or high blood pressure.
Loaded with Catechin, EGCg
Not all antioxidants are created equally. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds called catechins. Catechins are the most potent and beneficial. EGCg (Epigallocatechin gallate), comprises about 60% of the catechins in Matcha which is the most known antioxidant for fighting cancerous cells. Scientists have found that Matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea.
Immune System Boost
The catechins in Matcha have antibiotic properties, promoting overall health. This is also caused by large quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium. Some studies have suggested that the nutrients in Matcha may actually have the ability to help the attacks of HIV.
For millions of years, Matcha has been used by Chinese and Japanese as a way remain alert during meditation. This is because of the amino acid L-Theanine that thrives in Matcha leaves. L-Theanine promotes the alpha wave production in the brain which therefore promotes relaxation without the drowsiness.
Increased Memory and Concentration
L-Theanine also increases the production of dopamine and serotonin – two chemicals that aid in mood enhancement, improved memory, and better concentration. This is one of the top reasons I drink Matcha at work and the coworkers that I’ve convinced are happily sold on the idea and appreciate the benefits.
Higher Levels of Energy
Samurai drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle and if that’s not reason enough to convince you – I don’t know what is! While every type of green tea contains natural caffeine, the Matcha energy boost is incomparable. The increased endurance from a cup of Matcha can last almost 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, you experience none of the usual side-effects of coffee such as jitters, dehydration and hypertension.
During the last three weeks before the tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, they are covered, depriving them of sunlight and increasing chlorophyll production. The high levels of chlorophyll give this Matcha its beautiful green color as well as naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
Researchers aren’t quite sure how Matcha has such a positive effect on cholesterol, however, studies have show that people who drink Matcha regularly have experienced lower levels of bad cholesterol and higher levels of good cholesterol. Men who drink Matcha are less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.
You might think that since this miracle tea is so beneficial, that it might not taste very good. I am happy to say that Matcha is actually delicious. I like to drink it in two different ways, as a Matcha Latte (recipe below) and with hot water and lemon. Whichever way you choose to consume it is up to you though, and I hope you fall in love with it just as I have.
Matcha Latte Recipe
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened for less sugar, but use vanilla if you like it sweet)
- 2 tsp organic Matcha powder (I order mine here)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp agave or honey
- Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy! Put on ice if you like it cold. Cheers!