Chances are you have seen a matcha latte on the menu in a coffee shop near you. These tasty drinks have taken the caffeine world by storm, and there is a good reason why! If you have heard about the health benefits of drinking green tea, matcha is like green tea on steroids. This is because matcha is a concentrated source of green tea, and the advantages of drinking it are plentiful. Before we dive into the health benefits, and my favorite latte recipe, lets level set on what matcha is.
As mentioned, Matcha is derived from green tea leaves. Unlike the tea leaves used to make traditional green tea, leaves used to produce matcha are shaded from direct sunlight for 3 to 4 weeks prior to harvest. This increases the amount of amino acids and chlorophyll present in the leaves.
Once ready for harvest, the leaves are ground into a fine powder that is bright green in color. The powder is then mixed into the desired liquid and consumed. This differs from tea which typically involves steeping the tea leaves with hot water and removing them before consumption.
So, what makes matcha such a healthy choice when looking to get your daily caffeine fix? See below for some of the sweetest benefits:
1. Great Source of Antioxidants
First and foremost, matcha is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals and chain reactions that may damage our cells. Therefore, the more antioxidants you consume, the better chance you have of fighting off various diseases and simply feeling better. The green tea leaves themselves are packed with antioxidants, so when the leaves are ingested in their powdered form, all the antioxidant goodness is consumed as well.
2. High in Fiber
Has your doctor ever told you to eat more fiber? Well thanks to matcha, you now have a way to drink part of your daily dose. Fiber is a critical part of our diets for many reasons. A diet high in fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. It also helps with the body’s natural detoxification process as it keeps things moving through our digestive systems. It also helps us feel fuller longer, reducing the calories we consume and helping us to maintain a healthy weight. Speaking of weight….
3. Supports Weight Loss
In addition to being very low in calories, studies also suggest that matcha may speed up the metabolism and boost our bodies fat burning abilities. In addition, matcha contains caffeine which tends to be an appetite suppressant.
4. Improves Brain Function
Due to the concentrated nature of matcha, it provides the same cognitive effects of drinking coffee, but without the crash. Caffeine has been shown to increase brain function, including alertness, the ability to concentrate, and overall activity in the brain. However, matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces the “crash” often experienced after consuming coffee.
An increase in energy without an afternoon slump? Sign me up!
5. Decreases Stress
Not only does L-theanine reduce the post caffeine crash, but it has also been shown to increase mood and reduce stress. Talk about having your cake and eating to. Matcha can help you feel more alert while simultaneously promoting relaxation. Who’s ready for a latte?!
6. Removes Toxins
As mentioned earlier, matcha is high in chlorophyll which is packed with health benefits. One of the most beneficial being its ability to bind to harmful carcinogens and prevent them from being absorbed into the body. Further, matcha supports liver health, and the liver is our best friend when it comes to detoxification. A healthy, functioning liver means less toxins left in our bodies.
7. Promotes Healthy, Glowing Skin
In addition to being packed full of antioxidants, chlorophyll and L-theanine, have I mentioned that matcha is also packed full of vitamins? Particularly those shown to contribute to healthy, glowing skin. Specifically, matcha contains vitamin C which increases the production of collagen. Collagen is another substance gaining a lot of attention recently, and rightfully so! It’s what helps keep our skin looking plump and wrinkle-free. As we age our bodies produce less collagen. Therefore, it’s important to add collagen containing foods, drinks or supplements to our diets to keep our skin looking and feeling its best. Interested in learning more? Check out my article on the benefits of collagen, linked here.
It’s time for a drink
Ok so now that you are convinced that adding matcha to your diet is an excellent choice, let’s talk about one of the most delicious and popular ways to do so. Behold the MATCHA LATTE.
I personally have developed a bit of an addiction for these tasty, frothy treats. However, they can be made guilt-free so this is one addiction I’m not upset about. As you will find there are hundreds of matcha brands on the market so it can be hard to choose the right one.
When purchasing pure matcha, you will need to whisk it into hot water, add your favorite milk or dairy free alternative, and will likely need to add a dash of cinnamon, honey or creamer to sweeten it up a bit. Matcha on its own can be quite bitter so I personally like to use vanilla flavored almond milk and a dash of cinnamon to pump up the sweetness.
My go-to matcha recipe
Not sure you’re cut out to be a barista? No problem! My go to matcha these days is the Primal Kitchen Matcha Collagen Keto Latte. This matcha is super simple to make, tastes amazing and it contains 10 grams of collagen peptides. The addition of collagen into the mix promotes healthy hair, skin and nails. Collagen is also hugely beneficial for gut health!
So, what’s the secret recipe? I combine one scoop (serving size calls for two scoops but I think one is plenty) of the matcha powder with 1 cup of vanilla almond milk and use this handheld milk frother or shaker bottle to mix it up. I typically top mine with a dash of cinnamon or add 1 tbsp on my favorite non-dairy creamer! Served hot or over ice, it’s the perfect addition to your morning routine or afternoon snack break.
Ready to see what all the hype is about? See link here for the Primal Kitchen Matcha that I’ve been loving! Plus, use code JUICED at checkout for 10% off your whole order!
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