Health Benefits of Matcha: My Favorite Morning Drink

A few years ago I decided it was time to make a serious change to my morning routine, and by that, I mean switching from coffee to matcha. Matcha is a powdered green tea that has grown in popularity worldwide.

This green powerful drink has one of the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) ratings, which measures the total antioxidant power in foods and beverages. Not only do antioxidants help protect the body against aging and disease, but it boosts powerful health-promoting properties, from increased memory to reduced stress, inflammation, and the antiviral compounds it contains bolster the body’s immune system.

Since rising in popularity, we are seeing matcha lattes available at nearly every coffee shop. While they aren’t bad for you, be cautious about the amount of milk you are adding as those calories can add up. I prefer to use a milk alternative when making a matcha latte. Additionally, using principles of TCM, we should drink it either hot to warm and not cold, since cold drinks can deplete your digestive system.

Here are several health-promoting substances in matcha and why I love it:

  1. Catechins act to neutralize free radicals in the body as well as increase the detoxification activity of enzymes. The most active catechin in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may help people lose weight.
  2. Quercetin is a neuroprotective phytochemical with antiviral properties. It helps regulate carbohydrate metabolism and may act with EGCG to prevent cmatchaancer. It also helps support the immune system and protect again colds.
  3. L-theanine is a superstar amino acid that increases levels of serotonin and boosts alpha waves in the brain. When combined with caffeine, L theanine creates a sense of calm alertness, plus it also protects your body against aging and other diseases.
  4. Remember that matcha can go bad; it has an average shelf life of six to 12 months, so pay attention to flavor, color and appearance. It should be a technicolor green color and not taste bitter. You should purchase small amounts and store in an airtight refrigerated location to avoid oxidation. For peak flavor and nutritional value, it is best consumed within a month after opening. Good matcha is from the Uji region of Japan and the leaves are the first harvest of the camellia Sinensis plant.

Matcha is safe to drink daily, but make sure you’re drinking matcha that has a Certificate of Analysis confirming it’s lead-free. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine I recommend starting with smaller amounts to see how you do with it.

It is important to remember that matcha and green tea are not the same things. Matcha has 10 times more antioxidant power than regular green tea. Matcha uses the whole tea leaf versus tea which is less potent and steeped in water.

Matcha is a simple drink that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will have you looking and feeling great, healthy, and calm from the inside out. Since adding it to my morning ritual I feel calmer and focused; versus when I was drinking coffee which left me feeling jittery and wired followed by a hard crash in the afternoon.

My personal favorite is this matcha. Click here to shop my favorites!

 

I specialize in women’s health, weight management, allergies, autoimmune diseases and environmental illnesses. I help patients improve and take control of their health and maintain their optimal weight.

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