Matcha green tea has been a revelation. How or why hadn't I been introduced to it before is beyond me. Already I have a plethora of green tea in my kitchen, and well with all my research on health and nutrition matcha somehow escaped my field of recognition. How did this happen? At any rate I owe this all to the world of social media. Flipping through my Instagram feed I became inspired by one of the various healthy food gurus I follow. They were using it in their smoothies praising a long list of it's health benefits and also highlighting how it makes for an excellent replacement for coffee. The timing couldn't have been better because over the past month, finally with some resignation, I have come to the conclusion that coffee is simply not good for me.
I know, I know, the famous ashtangi saying, "no coffee, no prana," has been touted with pride around the community. But seriously, for me longterm coffee consumption meant a big time depletion of prana. Through other research I have also found this to be true from other resources in regards to yoga practice. Not only does coffee deplete our adrenal glands but it is dehydrating as well as depleting for the body of valuable minerals and taxing on the nervous system. Now, I'm not saying every once in a while having a cup of joe is a bad thing I just came to the conclusion that for myself drinking it daily was doing more harm than good overall. And let's face it, it's a drug! One that once you quit will leave you with withdrawal headaches lasting for a number of days. Now, I don't mean to badger coffee because sure it gives a nice kick in the morning. The smell. Well, that is what always got me. Oh that smell! There is nothing quite like it. But let's look at an alternative that garners even more benefits and brings a state of alert and calm centered wellbeing at the same time. No jitters.
My new found favorite beverage of choice. It adds to, instead of takes away. One important note in regards to what we choose to consume daily. Does it add to our overall long term health and well being? Or does it simply give the illusion that it's what is needed to get through the day. Remember, if there is one thing yoga practice teaches is what we do today will affect our tomorrow.
A Background ...
Match has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East starting with Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and Chinese Daoist who recognized the benefit of matcha supporting a calm energy in the body while remaining alert for meditation practice. This comes from the compound L-Theanine which promotes the production of alpha waves which in turn induces relaxation without drowsiness. Also, L-Theanine activates concentration, memory and boosts one's energy and endurance. Samuri warriors would also drink matcha before their battles.
Matcha gives a high does. Topping the ORAC scale you can rest assure along with a healthy diet that making room for more antioxidants is a good thing while also containing a few components that play a key role in cancer prevention. It fortifies the immune system providing abundant quantities of Vitamin A and C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.
Is that all?
NO! Not only does matcha give a high dose of antioxidants, improves concentration and endurance it boosts metabolism and detoxifies as well. High in chlorophyll drinking matcha plays a hand in removing heavy metals and chemicals from the body. Because the tea leaves are stone ground and you are essentially drinking the ground tea leaves themselves you receive a more effective bang for the buck when it comes to obtaining these essential nutrients versus steeping the tea leaves.
Give it a try!
One of these days I'll make a video on how to make it. That's a promise. However, in the meantime if you are curious, the below video with give some insight on how to prepare it. There are also other creative ways to consume matcha by making lattes as well as adding it to smoothies. I'm sure the possibilities are endless. However, the best way to drink it is straight up!