Have you heard? Matcha is the new green juice.
Sometimes I think what everyone needs in life is just a really great smoothie. Like if we were to go back in time and hand all the megalomaniacal world leaders a smoothie, we could re-write some serious history. Everyone just chill. Drink your smoothie.
Whether you’re in a frumpy mood, have a case of the Mondays, feel like your life is in shambles all because of a little low blood sugar, a smoothie can perk you up, brighten your day, or prevent some seriously damaging words said out of hunger.
While I was in the Dominican Republic, I had mangoes at just about every meal. They’re a completely different animal (fruit) over there. Deep orange flesh, ripe, sweet, tangy, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been craving the foods I enjoyed in the DR, so I picked up a couple of mangoes to re-live the divine experience.
Needless to say, the mangoes I brought home from my local grocery store paled in comparison to the ones in tropical paradise, but they made for an excellent smoothie.
In my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, I have a similar smoothie recipe using matcha, which contains yogurt. Since I’ve had a cold, I skipped the yogurt and added some orange juice, which made for a wonderful tropical flavor.
If you’ve been pitter pattering around The Roasted Root, you know I’m a big fan of matcha. I buy my matcha green tea powder over the internet, and because a little bit goes a long way, a 1-pound bag lasts me about a year. During the winter, I make matcha lattes with almond milk and honey, and enjoy adding it to my smoothies in the summer for an antioxidant and energy boost. I love the way it tastes, and I especially enjoy Green Tea Coconut Milk Ice Cream.
Because matcha is trending right now, I figured I’d take a hot minute to explain its health benefits (they’re a-plenty!)
But first…What is matcha? It’s straight-up stoneground green tea leaves. Using this green tea powder for your smoothies, lattes, baked or raw treats, results in a higher concentration of health benefits than you’d get from steeping green tea.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Antioxidants: Green tea leaves are rich in antioxidants, which help rid your body of damaged cells. They protect your healthy cells from the effects of pollution, UV radiation, and tobacco smoke, helping your body stay strong. Matcha contains 7 times the amount of antioxidants in dark chocolate, 6 times the amount of antioxidants found in goji berries, and 20 times that of blueberries. One mug of matcha tea gives you an equal amount of antioxidants to ten mugs of regular green tea.
While you can get antioxidants from a variety of sources, not all antioxidants are created equal, and the antioxidants in green tea leaves are particularly healthful. Green tea leaves contain catechins, which are one of the most potent antioxidants and are particularly helpful in fighting and preventing disease and cancer.
Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K as well as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and zinc are all found in matcha.
Amino Acids: L-theanin is an amino acid that helps you feel calm, alert, and relaxed. It helps reduce stress and makes you feel happy!
Fiber: Matcha is a good source for dietary fiber and helps to relieve constipation. When you consume matcha, you’re digesting the actual green tea leaves, which give you more fiber than steeping green tea bags (or any other tea).
Increases Your Metabolism: Catechins (metions above) help oxidize fat and boosts the rate at which you burn calories. Studies show that those who drink matcha prior to exercising may burn up to 25% more fat those those who don’t.
Increases your energy level through the slow release of caffeine into your system. Instead of a sudden jolt of awakedness, you feel steadily energetic.
What all this means:
Increased focus and memory, enhanced mood, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, healthy cell function, high immune system.
So for your afternoon pick-me-up, a mango matcha smoothie is a great way to go! It will help keep you focused and energized for the rest of the day.