One beautiful summer day my husband and I were driving through the marvelous land of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. On our way to the beach (ohhh the beach), out of nowhere, we passed a sign for an organic tea farm. After the quickest U-turn, we found ourselves in a blossoming wonderland of teas, herbs and flowers.
As we sampled delicious hot and iced teas, our attentions were placed on a unique green tea powder being patiently whisked into juice. The guide was so excited to tell us about this stuff, that one would have thought we were visiting Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence. The magic green powder was called (drumroll…) Matcha!
Within the next fifteen minutes we were gifted with tons of awesome information. Apparently, Matcha is a shade grown green tea leaves ground into fine powder. Unlike traditionally known green teas, which are steeped in a bag and thrown away, this powder is blended into juice, a smoothie, or water and consumed whole. This virtual “eating” of the green tea leaf results in a nutrient intake up to fifteen times that of a steeped cup of tea. What nutrients you ask? This is the best part!
As our jaws dropped, we were told that USDA has come up with a specific unit measuring something called Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (O.R.A.C). In simple terms, this measurement relates to the concentration of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. The winner? It wasn’t even close!
Here is a list of some of my favorite fruits and veggies rich in antioxidants and their ORAC units per gram:
|Fruit/Veggie||ORAC per gram|
You get the point. Are you as moved as I was when I first heard this? All this time I was searching for a way to pack the most antioxidants into my diet and I find it on a way to the beach by chance? Life is beautiful like that.
As you know, I am always looking to add new BC fighters to my diet and lifestyle. My previous research landed green tea as one of them. According to science I needed to take three to five cups of green tea per day due to its ability to kill cancer cells and change estrogen metabolism. But I was never a big tea drinker, so finding Matcha was a godsend. I stir this baby into coconut milk or coconut water, fruit juices or my favorite, blending it with smoothies. Consider this; one little serving of Matcha (1g) has the antioxidants of ten cups of green tea and 137 times more anti-cancer properties. Yay, no more chugging gallons of yucky green tea or taking green tea supplements!
When I sip on this divine beverage sometimes I think of this crazy Zen legend. One monk named Daruma, who brought Buddhism to Japan, was meditating for nine straight years while staring at a wall of a cave without blinking. Once he fell asleep during meditation and was so angered by this that he cut out his eyelids and threw them on the ground. In this very place, the very first green tea leaf began to grow. Matcha is still a very sacred part of the Zen ceremonies, for it is what the monks consume during their long fasts to stay awake and nourished. The Samurai were also known to treasure Matcha and sacredly use it before battles for strength and vitality. Many consider Matcha to be the most nutritious plant on earth.
It is funny how once something new is brought into your world, you start to see and hear of it everywhere. Here is a recipe for a quick Matcha fix. Hope you feel like a Samurai today! Cheers.
- 4-6 ounces coconut water
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.