Matcha is an ancient Japanese green tea that has been steamed, stemmed, + ground to a fine powder. It is then stored away from light + oxygen to preserve the antioxidant properties + bright green color. Used in ancient tea ceremonies, this is another one of our *holistic* friends that doesn’t have a whole lot of scientific back up, but many people swear by it.
Here are some of the most common claimed health benefits…
Matcha is filled with phytochemicals + antioxidants [apparently 60.5 times that of spinach — #woah] that have amazing health benefits + cancer fighting properties. It is said to contain the most potent type of antioxidants – catechins. This also helps boost the body’s immune system + fight against sickness.
ACTS A NATURAL STRESS RELIEVER
Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that is said to promote relaxation [by promoting alpha waves in the brain] + is similar in structure to Tryptophan, the precursor to our feel good hormone serotonin. Matcha increases the production of not only serotonin, but also dopamine in the brain.
BOOSTS YOUR METABOLISM
Green tea – Matcha especially – has been known to slightly increase the body’s metabolism [through thermogenesis], making the body more effective at burning calories + fat. This may aid in weight loss.
ENHANCES ENERGY + CONCENTRATION
Matcha contains a small amount of caffeine, but L-Theanine also helps to promote alertness independent of these effects. This along with the high level of vitamins + antioxidants creates a *natural energy drink* of sorts, without the high blood pressure + mid-afternoon crash.
IS THE ULTIMATE DETOX
Matcha contains a high level of chlorophyll [responsible for the bright color], which has been found to act as a natural detoxifier in the body. It helps draw out heavy metals, poisons, + other toxins.
ACTS AS A NATURAL BREATH MINT
Matcha’s antioxidants – those catechins, have antibacterial properties that some people use to freshen their breath. Matcha can be used as a mouthwash or added to toothpaste for an extra fresh breath boost.
Just as a reminder – this isn’t the same Matcha you’ll find in a Starbucks Matcha green tea latte. You’ll want to find this online or buy it in a natural foods store for a higher quality product. + beware, the ingredients in sbux’s latte are questionable. Our favorite way to sip? Traditional style, whisked with hot water + a dash of Stevia – the natural flavor of the tea is amazing. You can also add the powder to baked goods or add it to your protein shake. The flavor is subtle, earthy, + slightly sweet.
So next time you need a pick me up, instead of reaching for the coffee beans – try out this Matcha Avocado Smoothie instead!
1 Frozen Banana
½ cup Almond milk
½ cup Ice
Stevia//Truvia [if needed — depending on how much of sweet tooth you have ; )]
Blend all ingredients until smooth + creamy – cheers! Don’t forget to PIN + SAVE for later ; ) [if you aren’t following our Pinterest, do so here!]
+ Alexa, RD [@lexx_inCHAARG], VirtCHAARG Girl From Cincy