This bright green drink is a real health dynamo!
Green glory: discover matcha and all its benefits
Matcha has been around for hundreds of years, but it's only recently entered the spotlight. You hear about it from your favorite health influencers, matcha stores are popping up in major cities and trendy matcha lattes are flooding your Instagram feed.
It's spread beyond the wellness world at this point and is finding its way into more and more items beyond the classic matcha latte: Matcha cookies, face masks and green tea ice cream - oh my!
The best part? Matcha has an incredible array of health benefits!
What is matcha?
Matcha, or matcha tea, is made from crushed green tea leaves.
In fact, the word matcha literally means "ground tea"
"Matsu" means to rub and "cha" means "tea". Put the two together and voila: matcha!
The history of matcha
Matcha has a long and rich history! The history of matcha begins with green tea, which originated in China. However, matcha as we know it today originated in Japan.
Japanese Zen monks discovered the powdered form of green tea and incorporated its consumption into their spiritual practices and ceremonies. They then discovered that drinking matcha tea stimulated alertness and simultaneously calmed the mind.
Monks usually drank matcha tea so they could sit for hours in a meditative state (which they still do today).
The main benefits of matcha
Improves concentration and focus
Matcha is packed with amino acids. The amino acid L-Theanine stimulates alpha wave activity in the brain. Alpha waves create a much sought-after duality of benefits: they reduce anxiety and relaxation while promoting alertness, focus and concentration.
Immune system support
A recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that daily consumption of matcha improved the overall immune system response.
Matcha's ability to ward off bacteria and viruses is largely due to its high levels of polyphenols, catechins (particularly EGCG, which reduces inflammation and fights pathogens), flavonoids and antioxidants.
Catechins have also been known to fight skin aging, reduce inflammation caused by UV rays and fight acne.
In case you thought it couldn't get any better, matcha helps with detoxification because it contains chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll helps the body excrete toxins by binding to heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as pesticides and drug deposits. These heavy metals are then removed from the body during elimination.
How to use matcha
Now that we've convinced you of matcha's superpowers, are you wondering how to incorporate more of it into your daily life?
You can incorporate matcha into just about anything!
Put a spoonful of matcha in a bowl with water and whisk it... well. Add your favorite organic plant milk (coconut milk is ideal) and devour. Or head to your local coffee shop; you're sure to find one that offers matcha on every corner these days!
Cooking with Matcha
There are thousands upon thousands of recipes that incorporate matcha, the most common being raw vegan matcha cakes. Delicious!
Check out our matcha!
Hodges, Romilly E, and Deanna M Minich. "Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application." Journal of nutrition and metabolism vol. 2015 (2015): 760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689
"Matcha: Understanding Japan's Powdered Green Tea: Live Japan Travel Guide." LIVE JAPAN, https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0001056/.
Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8. PMID: 18296328.
Sharma R, Sharma A, Kumari A, Kulurkar PM, Raj R, Gulati A, Padwad YS. Consumption of green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate enhances systemic immune response, antioxidative capacity and HPA axis functions in aged male swiss albino mice. Biogerontology. 2017 Jun;18(3):367-382. doi: 10.1007/s10522-017-9696-6. Epub 2017 Mar 24. PMID: 28341876.
Williams J, Kellett J, Roach PD, McKune A, Mellor D, Thomas J, Naumovski N. l-Theanine as a Functional Food Additive: Its Role in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Beverages. 2016; 2(2):13. https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages2020013