Updated: May 8, 2019
What is Matcha?
Matcha, a superfood, is a stoneground green tea that is carefully grown in the shade. Since it is grown in the shade it has a dark green color caused by the reduced photosynthesis increasing the amount of chlorophyll. I’ll be honest the first time I tried matcha I did not like it. It has a very robust earthy and vegetal flavor. It wasn’t until I was drastically searching for an energy boost without a crash that I completely fell for matcha. I noticed that after drinking matcha I didn’t find myself craving another or feeling sluggish until my next cup like I do with coffee. I now have a delicious recipe in my hands, seen below, and finding out the following benefits are also in its favor.
Matcha is full of antioxidants. In fact, it is considered a ‘powerhouse’ of antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural defense chemicals that protect our body from aging and disease. You can put me down for wanting to live a long healthy life so I can see my baby grow up. Any other mamas with me on that?
Detoxifying gets rid of toxins from the body. The process that matcha is grown in, noted above, provides an abundance of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier. It can help with fatigue, allergies, menstrual problems and much more. Check, check, check, and…check for me!
3. Relaxation and Mood Booster
Buddhist monks drink matcha before they meditate. Why? There is a rare amino acid called L-Theanine in matcha. This promotes a calm alertness allowing you to focus. Matcha has 5x more L-theanine than any other tea! This astounding amount incidentally produces serotonin and dopamine, ya know, those chemicals that help us feel motivated and happy. Ohh, I so need a little of all of that after chasing a toddler around.
That brings me to…
4. Boost of Energy
Matcha has a unique form of caffeine called theophylline. The natural combination of ingredients in matcha provide a steady boost of energy. One cup of matcha has about the equivalent amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee, but unlike coffee you will not be getting the caffeine jitters. Consequently, you won’t be getting that dreadful caffeine crash! YAS! THIS is exactly what I was looking for in the opening of this article.
5. Increase of memory and focus
Back to L-theanine, out here doing its thing, it also enhances brain function. It provides clarity, focus, and an increase in memory. Ok, so mama brain is a real thing, right? You agree, great! So, we totally need this.
6. Promotes Heart Health
Catechins, specifically EGCG, is another antioxidant in matcha. Did I mention that matcha was a total superfood? This antioxidant has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. As mamas our hearts are so full with so much love for our little ones we definitely need to keep it healthy.
7. Increase Metabolism
Matcha’s ingredients increase the body’s metabolism. Burning fat calories 4x the average rate! Wow! This is wonderful for mamas looking to lose their baby weight. Even though, you are beautiful the way you are. Give yourself a break, you grew a HUMAN for ten months!
8. Cook with it
There are a ton of recipes out there that contain matcha. They probably use the culinary grade matcha. If you’re hungry you can always eat and reap the benefits.
I like to keep things local. Here are some things I have tried at Culprit Café:
Honey Matcha Cake, Matcha White Chocolate Donuts, Matcha Mille Crepe, AND wait for it…a Matcha-rita! Check out their Instagram for mouth watering photos.
9. Easy to make
Matcha is quick and simple to make. I use a local Jade Matcha brand by Artemis Teas. I love this tea because it is organic and the tea is grown in the local Midwest region. Fun fact, if you’re into Greek Mythology like myself, Artemis is a Greek Goddess of hunt (hence the herbal huntress in Artemis Tea's bio) , the moon, chastity, and childbirth. I mean, c'mon all of that screams teas for mamas.
Artemis Tea recommends that you make matcha with 1tsp of their matcha, 2-4oz hot water then channel your inner Goddess and whisk vigorously until disolved, add 4oz of warm milk, or milk alternative, and 1tsp of honey for a latte. That’s it!
*Dislaimer* I am not a doctor. Certainly, do your own research. Also, keep in mind that drinking or eating matcha alone will not lead to a complete healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet and lifestyle will most likely amplify the benefits of matcha. Quality of matcha is essential. If it is pricey there is a reason!