Healthy Living: Matcha

If you’re addicted to caffeine like we are, you might want to consider switching your usual morning coffee to a cup of matcha. Packed to the brim with health benefits, this super drink has ancient beginnings and so many modern uses.

Matcha, created from powdered green tea leaves, can be traced back centuries. The method commonly used today of whisking powdered matcha in a bowl of hot water began in 12th century China. Zen Buddhists used this tea to help them focus during their meditations and maintain a steady energy throughout the day. Matcha spread from China to Japan in 1191 when a Japanese monk named Eisai witnessed the health benefits from this drink on an excursion into China. Eisai brought matcha back to Japan and declared the drink to be an “elixir of the immortals.”  

Intense care and attention are given to the tea leaves used to make matcha. Prior to harvesting they are covered with a cloth to shade them from direct sunlight, which intensifies their chlorophyll and vitamin levels. The leaves are then de-veined and dried before being carefully stone-ground into powder.

Unlike traditional green tea, where tea leaves are steeped and then discarded, when drinking matcha you are ingesting the entire leaf along with all of it’s numerous health benefits. Matcha has twenty times more antioxidants than any other “super food” (for example: spinach, pomegranate, goji berries). Antioxidants aid your body’s defense system and help fight infections and disease. Matcha contains a specific type of antioxidant, catechin EGCg, which has been shown to counteract the effects of free radicals, which can lead to cell damage. 

Matcha also helps increase your energy and metabolic rate, helping you to stay alert and burn calories. While matcha helps you avoid that mid afternoon slump, it also doesn’t give you the typical anxious, stressful energy that some experience with a cup of coffee. It’s packed with L-Theanine, an amino acid that relaxes your brain and helps promote clarity and focus. This focused energy boost along with numerous health benefits make matcha a perfect alternative to coffee.

Even if you’re committed to your coffee and not looking to switch up your morning caffeine routine, matcha can be enjoyed in so many other ways! Add in steamed milk and honey to create a sweet latte, pour over ice for a refreshing summer drink or use it in your favorite cake recipe.

Not only is matcha a powerhouse of body loving benefits, but it's also highly beneficial in  skincare. Matcha helps soothe irritated skin and the antioxidants help to detoxify your skin. Try out our Lavender Matcha Mask for a soothing experience or our Green Glow Mask to super charge your skin!

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