I was introduced to Matcha by a yogi friend of mine only two years ago. I actually never had the traditional brew experience, we often just added it to green smoothies and raw kefir smoothies for the health benefits.
The gorgeous green color is what had originally caught my eye some time ago. I also remember reading about the benefits of green tea as a child. And for those who do not know, Matcha is just a type of green tea. In fact, the best kind of green tea!
The tradition behind Matcha alone makes it worth trying. Any food that can serve as an experience is to me the best kind of food. I love food that tells a story, represents a culture or has some sort of love and care put into it. Matcha is one of those foods.
This vibrant green powder has a long standing tradition in the Japanese culture. Matcha Green Tea is the highest of it’s qualities in the green tea world. Unlike most teas, this particular tea is powdered from the nutrient-rich young leaves.
The leaves themselves are picked from the tips of Camellia sinensis plants (the plant that makes all teas). To keep the leaves young, they grow the plants in a shade covered area. The leaves for Matcha are steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder.
Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored securely away from oxygen and light in order to preserve its radiant green color and antioxidants. This is a miracle elixir in my book and you’ll find out more in a moment. It has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and is now gaining popularity, known as one of the most powerful super foods available.
The Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
- High in Antioxidants. We’ve all read this word before. Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, giving us younger-looking skin, and preventing a number of life-threatening maladies. Antioxidants are something that all health-conscious individuals seek from such foods as raw fruits, green veggies, and (let’s not forget) dark chocolate. The first amazing benefit of Matcha Green Tea is that just one bowl provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method. Furthermore, on that note…
- Loaded with Catechin, EGCg. You may have already heard that not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
- It’s Calming. For over a millennium, Matcha Green Tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now we know that this higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness caused by other “downers.”
- It’s Focus Food. Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration – something that can benefit everyone!
- The Original Pre-Workout. Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.
- Detoxifies the Body. During the last three weeks before tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia sinensis are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in Matcha Green Tea not only give this tea its beautiful vibrant green color. Matcha is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
- Fortifies the Immune System. The catechins in Matcha Green Tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health. Additionally, just one bowl of Matcha Green Tea provides substantial quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium. Further studies have even suggested that the nutrients in Matcha may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.
- Healthy Skin. Besides being a great detoxifying agent, Matcha is rich in chlorophyll, a great source of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It removes harmful toxins and fights free radicals that damage cells needed to protect our skin. Matcha is particularly good for acne because it has the ability to decrease sebum production. Anyone with concerns about fine lines and wrinkles will love the effects of matcha green tea too — matcha green tea protects our largest organ from harmful UV rays that encourage premature aging and hyper-pigmentation. Plus, matcha green tea dilates blood vessels, improving circulation, so it can stimulate and rejuvenate skin cells. Additionally, Matcha is anti-bacterial and great for balancing infections, a major cause of skin problems. The catechins found in Matcha may also slow down the aging process. You can also make a face mask out of the powder for topical benefits. I have a recipe in my Rediscover Your Skin course that I love, along with many more.
I told you it was miraculous. Oh and best of all, it’s actually delicious! It makes amazing hot lattes and cold smoothies like this one.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup of spring water
- 1/4 cup of young thai coconut meat (preferably fermented!)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tbsp Matcha powder
- 1 scoop Vitality SuperGreens
- 1 scoop Super Spirulina PLUS
- Stevia to taste
Here’s how you make it:
- Retrieving your coconut meat is the only part requiring any work here. If you have the muscle and courage, take a clever to a young thai coconut and scrap out the meat with a spoon. You can also purchase it frozen now at some health food stores.
- Pour your water into a high-speed blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth!