Last week, I mentioned in a blog post that I often drink matcha tea as part of my morning routine. Today, I want to dive deeper into all of the reasons I love matcha and why I recommend it as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Truth be told, I fell in love with matcha well before I was seeking health or knew about any of its benefits. Bored with my go-to Starbucks order a few years ago, I ordered one of their green tea lattes and was hooked. Eventually, I became more health-conscious and gave up the sugary Starbucks drink, opting instead to make my own version of a matcha latte at home.
Keep reading to learn all of the reasons why I love matcha and you should too.
Matcha Is Nutrition-Packed and Full of Antioxidants
Matcha is a special type of tea that is far more nutrition-packed than regular green tea, and this has a lot to do with how it is harvested and prepared. This specific type of tea is grown in a unique way so that the leaves can be stone-ground into a fine powder. Rather than steeping the leaves and then discarding them, as you would with regular tea, matcha powder is completely dissolved into your drink with nothing to discard. This means that you are ingesting the entire leaf and, therefore, absorbing all of its nutritional benefits.
And what are these benefits, exactly?
Most notably, matcha contains antioxidants that – in population-based studies – have been shown to fight diseases like cancer and heart disease, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and fight inflammation. Matcha has also been shown to boost metabolism, making it an excellent drink to start your morning with if you’re on your own weight loss journey like me.
Matcha Is Stimulating AND Calming
Sometimes we like to snuggle up with a cup of tea on the couch to relax. Other times, we down a cup of coffee on our way out the door just to have enough energy to feel like we can function. Thankfully, matcha would be a great option to have in both of the situations.
Matcha is naturally higher in caffeine than regular tea, while not being quite as high in caffeine as a cup of coffee. What causes the simultaneous feeling of alertness and calm that matcha can give you is an amino acid in the tea called l-theanine. L-theanine promotes relaxation and can relieve stress without making the person ingesting it feel sleepy. Thanks to this and the caffeine, matcha can make you feel refreshed, energized, and mentally focused while also helping ease some stress you may be dealing with.
Matcha Is a Great Part of a Meditation Ritual
In Japan, matcha has traditionally been used for many, many years as part of a meditation practice or ceremony. Because the preparation of matcha is more involved than the preparation of regular teas, it is seen as a perfect time to practice mindfulness and be present in the moment.
I’ll be honest with you. Most days, I whip up my matcha in the blender for the sake of convenience and time. I don’t even own the traditional bamboo whisk used in the preparation of matcha (although I keep meaning to find and order one!). However, I do like to find some alone time here and there to sit with my matcha tea and meditate on my thoughts as I drink it. I feel that the calm focus matcha tea can cause puts me in the right state of mind for a mindful and present mediation.