If you’ve ever stumbled upon a weirdly green pastry, nice cream or macaroon on Instagram, there’s a high probability one of the main ingredients is matcha. Today I visited Matcha House Tea and Sweets for a green tea matcha (with almond milk), and it did not disappoint. I love starting my day with matcha because it lends me a very necessary pick-me-up in the morning, and because I know I’m doing wonderful things for my body. ‘What’s matcha,’ you ask?
Many, many moons ago, the Japanese were the first on record to invent the act of drinking whole green tea leaves. After the stems and veins are removed from whole leaves, the leaves are then stone-ground. This leaf powder, matcha, is commonly added to a heated bowl with hot water and whisked with a bamboo whisk until froth forms at the top. The amount of water used depends on the desired thickness of the tea and personal preparation preferences.
Benefits of Matcha Tea
A much more concentrated source of nutrients, matcha tea is said to contain over 100x more antioxidants than traditional steeped green tea. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, stimulate the release of toxins in the colon, and reduce allergic responses. The EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate – a powerful antioxidant) in matcha tea penetrates the blood brain barrier, which boosts the immune system to fight viruses like HIV. EGCG also reduces inflammation to protect your arteries against degeneration.
The active ingredients and compounds in matcha fight bacteria and fungi, prevent and/or slow the progression of cancer, reduce high blood sugar levels, and even protect the brain against degeneration – thus lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Your body will burn fat faster as a result of an increased metabolism, you may experience a more relaxed mood, and you might catch yourself retaining information a bit better. Green tea boosts eyesight, reduces the damage caused by UV rays, and can stimulate mineralization of weak bones.
Simple Tea Prep
A simple preparation consists of 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to 2 ounces of hot water.
Possible Side Effects
Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. For the caffeine sensitive, it’s important to know that matcha tea has slightly higher caffeine content than regular green tea. Also, because you are ingesting the whole leaf, you are at greater risk for liver toxicity if matcha is consumed in too large a quantity over an extended period of time. Depending on your personal tolerance level, you may experience nausea, diarrhea or kidney toxicity. As a general rule, no more than 2 cups of matcha tea should be ingested if you plan to add this powerful plant to your daily health regimen or morning routine.
Pretty amazing! Do you drink matcha?