Curious how to reduce your anxiety without giving up caffeine? Let me introduce you to your new bff: Matcha Green Tea!
A Buddhist monk, Myoan Eisai, discovered Matcha back in the 12th century and soon realized its incredibly powerful health benefits!
Since then, many studies have shown some of the chemical compounds in Matcha may help to improve sleep, sustained energy, focus, clarity, and naturally detoxify the body!
What is Matcha?
Matcha comes from the species of an evergreen shrub called Camellia sinensis, which also produces other popular tea varieties. The variations in color and taste are the result of their unique processing methods. The leaves used to produce Matcha are shade-grown for about 2 weeks, to help increase chlorophyll levels, and then harvested and ground into a fine, delicate powder.
Matcha contains the entire tea leaf, making it more nutrient dense than other teas. You may notice it has a stronger, slightly bitter taste, too. FACT: I did not enjoy the taste of Matcha at first. Luckily, my recipe below is a total game changer for this superfood!
Matcha vs. Coffee
We all can’t deny a good cup of joe, but, if you’re looking for ways to reduce your anxiety, your cup of coffee may be part of the problem. Good news! Matcha can be part of the solution.
- Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps to support relaxation, focus, and sleep! Since it slows down the absorption of the natural caffeine in Matcha, you will have more sustained energy without the crash, and relaxation without the jitters. Coffee, on the other hand, causes spikes in your insulin which is what can inhibit anxious feelings.
- When you heal your gut, you’ll find your anxiety begins to dissipate, too! Matcha contains high amounts of Chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants, that has tons of detoxifying benefits. Helping to naturally eliminate harmful toxins in the body, Chlorophyll can improve liver health, digestion, and has even been known to bind to carcinogens and disrupt their absorption in the GI tract.
- Did you know Matcha contains higher amounts of antioxidants than blueberries, by 17 times?! A group of antioxidants in Matcha, called Catechins, have been studied to play a huge role in protecting the body from free radical damage which can lead to various chronic conditions. Catechins also contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. If you suffer from IBD or IBS, drink some Matcha!
Where to Find Matcha
Not all Matcha is created equal. Just like you can choose between a cheap bag of Folgers Coffee or fair-trade, Costa Rican imported beans, pure Matcha must be carefully selected. Many Matcha powders contain added sugar and artificial flavors. Make sure to the check the ingredients label and look for powders that only contain Matcha. Ideally, you will also want to look for organic and non-GMO. My favorite brand is Sunfood Superfoods.
5-Minute Morning Matcha Latte
Matcha can be used in replace of your morning cup of coffee, and, I’m betting you probably don’t have time for a traditional Matcha tea ceremony! That’s why I love my 5-minute Matcha Latte recipe:
Organic Almond Milk
Organic Vanilla Extract
Fill a small saucepan with 1 cup almond milk* and heat on medium-high until it is just short of boiling. Add 1 tsp Matcha powder and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk (can use a bamboo brush or regular whisk) until blended and creates a light, frothy consistency.
*I began making my own almond milk when I discovered it actually saved me money and I could control the added preservatives most brands contain. Simply soak 1 cup of organic almonds overnight. Place in a blender with 5 cups distilled water and add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tbsp date syrup (omit if you prefer unsweetened), and a dash of salt. Blend for 2 minutes. Use a nut milk bag or cheese cloth to strain.
Looking for more healthy alternatives to reduce your anxiety? Head over to my health coaching programs and choose your path!