Superfoods can tend to have a bit of a buzz around them these days! Generally, when I think of superfoods, I think of foods that assist the body to reach optimum levels of health and radiance by providing a powerful source of vitamins and minerals in a concentrated form. Superfoods contain extraordinary properties and offer an abundance of rare nutrients that assist the body to thrive. Superfoods such as cacao, maca, acai and goji berries are becoming more and more common in this day and age and ‘new’ superfoods seem to be sprouting up month to month as our thirst and passion for vibrant living expands. And there is a new superfood that has recently been introduced to the Western world, even though it has been around in Japan for a very long time.
Matcha green tea has a long-standing tradition in Japanese culture. This well renowned elixir has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and has recently experienced a revival to be considered as one of the most powerful superfoods on the market.
This high quality powdered green tea is made from the nutrient-rich young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It offers a powerful arsenal of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids and the exceptionally high level of antioxidants in matcha helps to prevent aging and protect the body against illness and chronic diseases. Matcha has been proven to boost metabolism and assist with detoxification as well as remove heavy metals and toxins from the body.
While the concept of antioxidants may be relatively new, for over a millennium, Matcha Green Tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now, modern science has recently confirmed the lessons of this very old tradition. Matcha is rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being. While stress can induce beta waves- an excited, more agitated state- L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness. And while L-Theanine is common in all tea, matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas.
As an additional benefit, L-Theanine can help memory and learning while inhibiting any possible side-effects from the caffeine naturally found in green tea. Therefore, matcha promotes concentration and clarity of mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee. Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals not only assist memory and concentration, they also serve to enhance mood and feelings of general wellbeing!
So, if you are looking for a way to step away from a coffee habit or are seeking a way to easily add some extra nutrition into your day, try adding Matcha Powder to your morning smoothie, dessert recipes or even latte style.
Try this simple recipe below for a tropical green smoothie with a green tea twist!
Tropical Thailand Green Smoothie
• 1 ripe banana
• ¼ cup of mango
• ¼ cup of pineapple
• A small slice of ginger
• 1 teaspoon of matcha powder
• 5 spinach leaves
• ½ cup of coconut milk
• ½ cup of ice
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!