While the steaming of tea leaves dates back to the imperial Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China, matcha is unique to Japan beginning with its cultivation by Buddhist monks. It plays a long-standing & important role within Japanese culture –specifically in regards to traditional tea ceremonies.
Today, its gaining popularity in the Western world with health-conscious consumers flocking to matcha, hailing it a “superfood in a cup” due to its numerous reported health benefits.
This superfood Energizing Breakfast Matcha Smoothie showcases the health benefits of matcha.
What is Matcha?
The word “matcha” literally translates to “powdered tea”, and is a dark-colored, finely-ground green tea powder from whole ground tea leaves that are specially farmed and prepared: Camellia sinensis (matcha tea plants) are shade grown and hand-picked, culitaved this way to maximize its benefits.
Traditional matcha is often prepared ceremonisly with a bamboo whisk, hot water and a tea bowl.
What are the health benefits of matcha?
Matcha is a potent source of nutrients and antioxidants with a long list of amazing benefits, but here are our top four reasons you should look into making matcha part of your health regimen:
1. Matcha Green Tea is LOADED with antioxidants. Not all teas are created equal and matcha is case in point, as it contains unparelled amounts antioxidants. The concentration of these antioxidants is more than 100 times that of other green teas.
According to a study published by the Journal of Chromatography A, matcha contains unequaled amounts of a specific antioxidant property – cachetins (EGCg), a powerful polyphenol that aids in prevention of potential cancers and heart diseases.
2. Matcha green tea induces a sense of calm. Buddhist monks of the past and modern health consumers recognize matcha for its meditative properties, a result of the high concentration of amino acid L-Theanine. Activitating alpha waves, L-Theanine promotes alertness while stimulatenously enhacing your mood.
3. Matcha green tea is energizing. All green teas contain caffeine, but the Theanine content of matcha means it is energizing effect lasts for several hours sans the caffeine crash often synomous with highly-caffeinated beverages.
Another perk? Consumption of matcha (green tea and caffeine specifcally) triggers thermogenis (heating within the body) to stimulate your metabolism and allow the body to burn fat up to four times faster.
4. Match green tea detoxifies the body and kick starts metabolism. As matcha tea plants are shade grown, they contain high levels of chlorophyll – a powerful detoxifier that works to remove chemicals and toxins from the body. Matcha’s bright green hues are attributed to the chlorophyll levels within the plant leaves.
How to use matcha?
Matcha offers an earthy flavor when consumped in its traditional tea form, and can be (some what) of an aquired taste.
We encourage you to use as a booster within smoothies or freeze as ice cubes to later pair with sparkling water for the ulimate mid-day refresher!