Looking for an energy boost sans jitters? Try Matcha. The chosen brew of Buddhist monks and Samurai warriors to enhance their mental focus… and we’ve only gone and found a Matchæologist to convince you of its benefits.
From boosting the immune system, to reducing stress and even diminishing wrinkles. Here’s a crash course on the brew they call a ‘natural panacea’ for modern times…
What is Matcha?
Matcha (抹茶) is a type of green tea that originated in China and was brought over to Japan in 1191. It is a finely ground powder made from stone-ground green tea leaves grown in unique conditions. Matcha is shade-grown for 3 weeks before being harvested to encourage tea plants to produce more chlorophyll and amino acids into their young shoots. These are then hand-picked to create matcha.
Brewing matcha involves whisking it into warm water, as opposed to steeping. The entire leaf is consumed, carrying with it a more complex flavour profile as well as greater nutritional properties than any other types of tea. It is for this reason that matcha has been considered both as a gourmet delicacy as well as a ‘natural panacea’ of modern times.
Why is it good for you?
As the purest and most potent form of green tea, matcha has long been consumed as natural medicine. Eisai, a famous Japanese Buddhist monk, described matcha as a ‘healing medicine for a healthy life’ (Kissa Youjyouki, 1211).
Modern scientific research has also confirmed matcha as a great source of naturally occurring antioxidants (approximately 137 times that of regular green tea), amino acids, vitamins, flavonoids and essential minerals. Due to its L-theanine content, matcha also contributes to the state of ‘calming alertness’ that lasts for hours without the “lull” that usually follows a strong coffee after an hour or two.
Because of this effect, matcha has historically been used by Zen Buddhist monks and samurai warriors to enhance their mental focus before practising meditation sessions or stepping into arenas.
What are the wellness & beauty benefits?
There is a wide variety of studies attesting to the various benefits of matcha…
Boosts the Immune System
Studies have shown that matcha contains approximately 137 times the catechins – a type of flavonoid and antioxidant – found in regular green tea. These catechins are shown to have an antiviral and antibacterial effect on a variety of sickness-causing microbodies. Therefore, drinking matcha can help curb infections, clear up free radicals, and reduce oxidative damage to our bodies.
Improves the Heart
Researchers from around the world have found that the catechins in matcha help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and can help combat atherosclerosis. Matcha can help to protect your heart by relaxing blood vessels to allow a less constricted flow, reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.
Promotes Healthy Weight
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men taking green tea extract burnt a significantly larger number of calories in 24 hours than those either taking coffee or no additive.
Components in matcha can increase thermogenesis (the rate at which your body generates heat) by over 40% without any of the negative side effects that can be found in other fat oxidising agents.
Researchers have established that L-theanine, a type of amino acid found in matcha, stimulates the body’s production of dopamine and tryptophan. Both found to reduce stress and anxiety and contribute to a state of ‘calming alertness’ that can last for hours.
While coffee may be better known for its stimulation benefit, it can result in a ‘lull’ which is not experienced after drinking matcha.
Matcha is also well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The EGCG (one of the most beneficial catechins found in matcha) can decrease the direct effects of sunburn and is also known to reduce the metabolic changes in the skin that can lead to ageing and wrinkles!
Can you give us top 3 recipes using Matcha?
Matcha is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be added to a wide variety of culinary creations for an additional boost of antioxidants and gorgeous flavour. Some of our favourite matcha recipes are…
Matcha Coconut Overnight Oats
A healthy and easy-to-make recipe that combines oats, coconut shreds, and matcha into a gorgeous breakfast jar!
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Coconut / Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Coconut Plain Yogurt
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tsp Matchaeologist Midori™ Matcha
2 Tsp Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Shreds
– Put all dry ingredients in a jar then add liquids (almond/coconut milk, vanilla, & yoghurt) and stir.
– Cover and put in fridge overnight. Top off with more coconut shreds, raw cashews, and raw cacao nibs.
Bullet Proof Matcha
Simple, beautiful, effective drink that gradually releases ‘calm-alertness’ energy into your body!
Ingredients & Directions:
– Put 1 Tbsp of raw coconut oil in a small blender
– Add one small glass hot water to melt the oil
– Add 1/2 Tbsp Matchaeologist Matsu™ matcha
– Blend on a high heat for a few moments
An amazing Summer Matcha Concoction!
– Matchaeologist Matsu™ matcha (1 Tbsp)
– Honey (1 Tbsp)
– 1 Cup of Almond Milk
– Half a Banana
– Handful of Ice
Simply mix everything in a blender and enjoy!
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