What is matcha? So hot right now.
Matcha is to the health world what Beyonce is to… well, everyone. It’s even spreading beyond the wellness world at this point and finding its way into more and more items, beyond the classic matcha latte.
Matcha cakes, smoothie, and green tea ice cream - oh my!
Its trendy, Pantone green color may take credit for its unprecedented claim to fame, but we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Matcha is endowed with an incredible array of health benefits. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "drink your greens."
What is Matcha?
You might not have heard about matcha, but you most definitely will have heard about green tea. Matcha, or matcha tea, is ground up green tea leaves. In fact, the word matcha literally means ground tea: ‘matsu’ is to rub, ‘cha’ is ‘tea’. Put the two together and voilà: matcha!
The History of Matcha
Matcha has a long, rich history. With so matcha to do and so little time, here is the short version.
The history of matcha begins with green tea, which originated in China. The matcha as we know it today, however, originates from Japan. The Japanese Zen Monks discovered the powdered form of green tea and embraced its consumption into their spiritual practice and ceremonies.
The Zen Monks found that drinking matcha tea stimulated mental alertness and simultaneously calmed the mind. The monks typically drank matcha tea to enable them to sit for hours in a meditative state (and still do to this day).
Top Health Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is so packed with health-promoting nutrients its matchabilities are endless! We guarantee that by the time you’ve finished reading this list, you’ll be incorporating matcha into just about anything. After all, the best things in life are tea.
1. Enhances Concentration and Focus
Matcha is packed full of amino acids. The amino acid L-Theanine stimulates alpha wave activity in the brain.
Alpha waves create a highly sought after duality of benefits – promoting reduced anxiety and relaxation, while simultaneously promoting alertness, focus, and concentration.
2. Boost Metabolism
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a catechin found in matcha that has been shown to boost the metabolism and halt the growth of fat cells. In a study of EGCG in the Journal of Endocrinology (2000), it was found that daily injections of EGCG into lab rats caused a 21% loss in body weight within one week.
Similarly, a 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who drank green tea extract daily over the course of 12 weeks dropped almost twice as much weight as participants who didn't. This makes matcha an ideal alternative to coffee which can impact blood sugar levels leading to weight gain. But first, Matcha!
3. Supports the Immune System
A recent study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that drinking matcha everyday enhanced the overall response of the immune system.
Matcha’s ability to ward off bacteria and viruses is largely due to its high levels of polyphenols, catechins (in particular EGCG which reduces inflammation and fights pathogens), flavonoids, and antioxidants.
4. Cancer-Fighting Properties
The magical EGCG is also widely recognized for its cancer-fighting properties. EGCG makes up 60% of the catechins in matcha green tea, 100 times more EGCG than any other tea on the market!
5. Skin Protection
6. Natural Detoxification
In case you thought it couldn’t get better, matcha assists in detoxification because it contains chlorophyll. Chlorophyll assists the body in the excretion of toxins by binding to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, as well as pesticides and drug deposits. These heavy metals are then swept from the body during elimination.
Take that six-day juice cleanse!
How to Use Matcha
So now that we’ve convinced you of matcha’s superpowers, wondering how you get your mitts on this trendy tea? Actually, you can incorporate matcha into pretty much, well, anything!
Place a spoonful of matcha into a bowl with some water and simply whisk it...whisk it real good. Add your favorite organic, plant-based milk (coconut milk works a treat), and proceed to devour. Carry the lazy gene? Just visit your local café.
Baking with Matcha
There are thousands upon thousands of recipes that incorporate matcha, the most common being raw, matcha vegan cakes. Delicious!
Check out our Organic Pre-Workout Fuel which harnesses matcha’s superpowers to provide you with a jitter-free energy boost before you get them gains. Goes well with smoothies.
Quite literally everything you can think of… matcha flavored popcorn, matcha donuts, matcha popsicles, matcha chia pudding, matcha cookies, matcha overnight oats, matcha facemasks, matcha martinis.
Eat the matcha, be the matcha, you are the matcha.