5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Matcha Green Tea!
I recently got to taste an amazing new brand of matcha tea called Motion Matcha. Motion Matcha comes in easy to use packets in a powdered form. You can just add hot water and drink it as a tea or you can add it to anything and everything. Matcha smoothies (one of my favorites with rice milk, ice, matcha powder and vanilla whey protein), matcha green tea muffins, matcha green tea oatmeal, even matcha cookies!
So what exactly is matcha? Matcha is a unique green tea characterized by its vibrant color and promoted for its health benefits. It’s grown throughout the world – even in the US – but Japan supplies the abundance of high quality varieties available today (and it’s also where Motion Matcha gets theirs from).
The bright green color that sets matcha apart from other green teas is a result of the growing process. Matcha comes from nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of Camellia sinensis plants. The bushes are shaded from direct sunlight up to four weeks before harvest, boosting chlorophyll and L-theanine levels.
The best leaves are carefully picked, steamed, de-stemmed, de-veined and dried (whew!) to create tencha, the precursor to matcha. The final step is to stone-grind the tencha into a very fine powder. Simple enough, right?
The entire tea leaf is used in matcha. The benefits? More antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than traditional steeped green tea! Stone grinding also helps in preserving nutrients as it’s less heat intensive.
According to Jessica Romano, founder of MOTION MATCHA here are 5 reasons you should be drinking match today:
- It keeps you calm (L-theanine)
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found almost exclusively in tea leaves. Leaves used in matcha production have a higher level of L-theanine because of chemical reactions caused when sunlight is blocked during the weeks prior to harvest. L-theanine has been studied for its ability to alleviate stress, improve mood and boost cognitive performance, particularly when combined with caffeine. It promotes the production of the brain’s alpha waves, those associated with a wakeful relaxation.
- It’s loaded with antioxidants (Catechins and EGCG)
Catechins are a type of natural phenol and antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect us from harmful free radicals, those pesky molecules that can damage cells and may lead to disease and accelerated aging. Because of the high level of catechins in matcha, it boasts significant free radical scavenging ability.
Matcha should be stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties. One study showed that matcha contains up to three times more epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) than traditional steeped green tea. EGCG is the most prevalent type of four catechins present in green tea, making up 60% of the catechins in matcha. This is a good thing, because research suggests EGCG may contribute to an array of health benefits including:
- Thermogenic (fat burning) properties
- Increased metabolism
- Lowering blood sugar
- Cancer prevention
- Increased bone density
- Lowering cholesterol
Sounds good to me!
- It’ll keep you alert (Caffeine)
Do a quick Google search of the health benefits of caffeine and you’ll get a library of research. Matcha contains 40-80 mg of caffeine per 1-2 gram serving, which is approximately half that of a typical cup of coffee. Matcha is typically described as a milder, more sustained energy compared to the intense rush of coffee. And you get to skip the crash.
- It has even more detoxifying benefits (Chlorophyll)
In elementary school we learn that chlorophyll gives plants their green color. Matcha’s vibrant color reflects an abundance of it. Chlorophyll is believed to be a natural detoxifier, increasing the amount of oxygen and other nutrients delivered to cells within the body. Go green!
- It has immune boosting awesomeness (Vitamins and more)
Just one serving of matcha provides potassium, vitamins A and C, iron, protein, and calcium.
Matcha is awesome. If you can’t tell yet, I love matcha! Why? Because it makes me feel great. But don’t take my word for it. Try some for yourself. And if you’re afraid of the bitter flavor, Motion Matcha is the best way to begin, because it comes in 3 delicious flavors (in addition to just plain) orange vanilla, strawberry lemonade and pomegranate berry, just slightly sweetened and delicious! If you want 10% off of your first order of Motion Matcha, use kristin10 at checkout.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!