Health Benefits & Recipe for Bulletproof Matcha Latte
Matcha is taking the internet by storm. Suddenly, you can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing matcha everywhere: matcha lattes, ice cream, smoothies, and so much more. Its distinct beautiful green color is hard to miss. For a long time, most people thought of it as “the green Starbucks Frappucino”, which is true, but smothered in that much sugar and mixed with so many flavors - it probably isn't delivering too many health benefits.
So what’s the big deal with matcha?
Matcha is a bright-green colored, powdered tea that is primarily grown in Japan. This distinct green tea grows shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth, increasing its chlorophyll content and creating a gorgeous green. After harvesting, the whole leaf is carefully stone-ground to produce a very fine powder.
This powder can be used to brew an antioxidant rich green tea, but what makes it unique is that you are consuming the entire tea leaf without any straining which increases its potency and health benefits.
Matcha provides a hit of caffeine much like coffee, but without the jitters that some people get. Because it is partially shade-grown, there is a high content of L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps balance the caffeine, creating a calming, focused effect. Apparently, drinking matcha will increase your levels of L-theanine and promote alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness. This specific amino acid, L-theanine, has been shown to benefit patients diagnosed with anxiety.
Everyone knows that antioxidants are where its at. Some of the most delicious foods contain high amounts of antioxidants, like goji berries, blueberries, dark chocolate, and yes, coffee! But Matcha puts them all to shame, with about 130 times more antioxidants than average green tea. Not only do antioxidants mean a healthy heart and a good complexion, but there is some evidence that these polyphenols may have a protective effect against certain forms of cancer. Additionally, regular green tea consumption has been linked to lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of strokes.
Because matcha is shade grown, it has high levels of chlorophyll which contributes to its beautiful green. Chlorophyll is a known detoxifier that helps rid your body of chemicals and heavy metals. Whats more, “Chlorophyll increases the blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to cells within the body, which helps the body regenerate and cleanse itself at the cellular level”. (Dr. Axe)
As if there wasn't enough to love, matcha has been said to combat free radicals and help improve aging skin. What’s more, science has shown that matcha provides a huge boost to the metabolism and helps with weight loss. It can even improve recovery from exercise!
As someone who has long been a coffee addict, I love to start my day with caffeine. It helps me feel focused and energized, and gives structure to my morning routine. However, consuming large amounts of coffee in the morning without much food was hard on my stomach (since I am rarely hungry in the morning). It gave me acid reflux, and I tended to crash mid-afternoon. This is not to disparage coffee because I still drink it and LOVE it, but I simply decided to switch to matcha in the AM as a way to give myself a caffeine boost that was simultaneously calming, without the acidity.
Plus, I mean… the boost to the metabolism & immune system doesn’t hurt anything!
Switching from coffee to matcha in the morning has so many obvious health benefits you’ll probably wonder why you didn't do it sooner. The price tag is definitely a little higher than coffee, but you only use about 1 teaspoon per serving, so it doesn't add up too quickly. One matcha latte at a coffee shop can be anywhere from $4.00 to $7.50, which is much more per serving than if you buy it in bulk and make it at home.
When choosing your matcha, you want to be 100% sure that it comes from Japan. Often the ones labeled ‘organic’ are actually from China, and can actually contain pesticides. I don’t drink organic matcha because the traditional high-grade matcha from Japan is not certified organic, although it is 100% pesticide free and shade farmed. Japanese standards are much more stringent and strict which is reflected in a higher price tag. However, the quality and health benefits are absolutely worth it.
It is not recommended to consume matcha on an empty stomach since it can cause feelings of nausea and unease. Because I am personally extremely sensitive to feeling nauseas from green tea, I have formulated a recipe inspired by Bulletproof that incorporates fats and protein into my morning drink to give my brain a boost of healthy fats, while helping my stomach feel full and satisfied without the nausea.
After experimenting with different ways of making matcha, I have come up with two excellent and delicious recipes that I make every single morning, and I love how calm and focused I feel. These are absolutely delicious, and a great way to start your day.
MY ULTIMATE MATCHA LATTE
In a blender, combine the following, in this order:
2 cups hot water (almost boiling)
2 tablespoons high-grade matcha powder (use a sieve)
2 tablespoons vanilla ghee (or plain ghee with VanillaMax)
2 tablespoons grass-fed collagen
2 teaspoons sweetener such as birch hardwood xylitol or honey (optional)
Blend together on medium for 15-20 seconds, not more. It will damage the structure of your collagen protein if you blend too long.
If you wish, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of grass-fed cream, or replace one cup of hot water for one cup of hot nut milk, organic milk or coconut milk.
Pour into a mug, and enjoy!
ICED MATCHA LATTE
Serves two. In a blender:
1 cup hot water
1 cup room-temp milk of choice (coconut is preferred)
2 tablespoons matcha (with sieve)
1 tablespoon ghee or grass-fed butter
1 tablespoon collagen powder
½ teaspoon vanillamax
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Add the matcha and the butter/ghee to the hot water. Then add collagen, and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend on medium for 15 seconds. Pour over ice into a tall glass. Enjoy!
How do you like your matcha? Do you want to try adding it to your morning routine?
Let me know!