Calm Alertness in a Cup- Matcha Green Tea
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
There are so many incredible benefits of Green Tea Matcha for your mind and body!
Known for its vibrant green color, rich taste and numerous health benefits, Matcha is the powdered form of green tea that is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Zen monasteries favored Matcha because of its ability to help enhance mental alertness and presence of mind, while promoting a calm, meditative state at the same time. Matcha increases alpha waves in the brain which are the same alpha waves activated during meditation.
The Numerous Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea:
1. Excellent Source of Antioxidants- Matcha contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a catechin (a specific set of organic compounds), that may help fight the negative effects of free radicals to protect your cells and tissues against damage, it's also found to be helpful in reducing inflammation. Scientists have found that Matcha contains over 100 times more EGCG than any other tea on the market.
2. Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced- Randomized controlled trials have indicated that green tea may be effective in decreasing blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidative stress, and a marker of chronic inflammation.
3. Enhances Mental Clarity and Alertness- Matcha contains high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that may help improve your memory and concentration by increasing the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain- two chemicals that serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration. Moreover, L-theanine was found to lead to relaxation by reducing caffeine induced arousal.
4. Boosts Energy Levels and Stamina —Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine, which may help improve energy levels and endurance without any adverse side effects like energy crashes or jitteriness often caused by coffee. The increased endurance from a cup of Matcha can last up to six hours, thanks to its catechins and L-theanine content.
5. Strengthens the Immune System — Aside from being rich in antioxidants and L-theanine, Matcha also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Collectively, these nutrients may help boost your immune system and protect your body against bacterial infections and viruses.
A few more things to note about Matcha:
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, animal research also suggests that Matcha green tea can help fight different illnesses, including heart diseases, Type 2 diabetes, liver disorders and several types of cancer.
Drink Matcha in moderation of course, no more than 5 cups of matcha tea a day to keep within the NHS recommended daily caffeine limits, but realistically you only need 1-2 servings a day to get all the benefits.
There are generally two types of Matcha green tea, ceremonial and culinary grade. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality green tea powder available, blended exclusively for whisking with hot water and drinking on its own. It will typically be a brilliant green color and should smell fresh and slightly grassy. Culinary grade is most often used for cooking and baking, and also for smoothies and lattes. It’s also fine to drink culinary matcha as a hot tea, which is still a very high quality tea, just with a slightly different flavor profile than ceremonial grade matcha. Culinary grade matcha isn’t necessarily a lower quality product, it’s just prepared differently for a different use – and it features different characteristics. Try to buy organic Matcha from Japan (not China) to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides and possibly lead.
Upgrade Your Matcha- (a few ways my family likes to drink Matcha)
1. I add just a 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha with a lemon wedge to my children's water bottles (32 oz.) they take to school. Calm alertness is something everyone at school, from the students to the teachers can benefit from. Adding lemon to Matcha may boost the bioavailability of catechins/antioxidants.
2. When I'm not feeling like my Brain-Fire coffee in the morning, my go to is harmonizing Matcha-Maca Latte. *Maca has been found to have hormone balancing effects for both men and women.
Two tsp. of Matcha powder (my preferred brand)
Two tsp. of gelatinized Maca (my preferred brand)
Two cups of an unsweetened nut milk of your choice
One tsp. vanilla extract
Drops of stevia to your preference
Two tbsp collagen peptides (optional)
Stir/wisk all ingredients together in a small pot on the stove until warm
3. I add one teaspoon of Matcha to our Amanda Saffer Smoothie every morning.
Matcha powder is investment in your health, and little goes a long way. Keep your Matcha stored in an air-tight container, in a cool place and away from light.