Western matcha fans owe a lot to the Japanese monk. Over 1000 years ago, matcha was first used as part of their meditative practice. It kept them alert yet calm. Focused and better able to remain present whilst meditating.
The science has since caught up and it’s thanks to an amino acid called L-Theanine. An amino acid is actually a protein and L-Theanine is one of the favourites used to manage anxiety. It promotes relaxation but also supports memory and learning. So the monks were right.
What is matcha?
It’s made from the whole leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant. Ours is grown in the shade to increase chlorophyll content and picked in the spring. The leaves are then ground on an ancient granite wheel to a delicate, fine powder. The brighter the powder the better the quality.
One of the most frequently celebrated properties of matcha is its antioxidant profile. Far from a slender connection matcha contains a class of antioxidants called catechins.
Way more than a buzz word – they’re one of our biggest HEALTH allies.
Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells caused by their evil twin oxidants. Oxidants, otherwise known as free-radicals, generally run-a-muck contributing to chronic health conditions, inflammation and accelerated ageing.
Just ONE cup of matcha contains the same antioxidants as TEN cups of regular green tea.
Where things get a bit topsy turvy is matcha’s ability to boost metabolism and sustain energy. Probably the opposite of what you’d expect from a powder packed with a mellow protein. Say hello to the caffeine conundrum.
Matcha is a source of caffeine but not the jittery, twitchy type. L-Theanine inhibits the mostly unwanted effects of caffeine leaving you sharp NOT stimulated.
For you sporty types, matcha boots metabolism and helps burn fat. It increases something called thermogenesis meaning you burn more calories.
Matcha is one of only a few dietary sources that can manipulate something called methylation. Methylation is a process of repair that happens in every cell and is determined by our genes.
As we age our cells work less efficiently meaning our tissues accumulate more rubbish. Optimal methylation means our cells receive better instructions and age more slowly.
Other good stuff
A source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium and calcium.