It was once the drink of choice for 11th Century Zen monks. But now Matcha, a concentrated Japanese tea, has taken over the health world as the number one alternative to regular tea and coffee. This potent green powder was first created when the Japanese were producing green tea and didn’t know what to do with the left-over leaves. After grinding them down, they were left with this fine substance which it turns out, is the equivalent of ten cups of green tea. Now it’s been embraced by the West, we have Matcha bars popping up all over the US and recipe books dedicated entirely to Matcha-infused food. Noticed everyone’s morning latte has turned a bright shade of green? That’ll be the matcha.
But what’s in it for we brides?
Due to its range of health benefits, Matcha is a fantastic thing to have in your cupboard whoever you are. But if you’re at a particularly busy time of your life where you’re feeling like you’re being dragged from pillar to post, yet still want to look and feel your absolute best (ie. during your wedding planning) a little pot of this magic green stuff could be your number one best friend.
I’ve been trying out BLOOM – a brand who produce Matcha tea bags and pure Matcha powder by the pot. Each pot has a different combination of added plant extracts and herbs aimed at promoting various different health benefits, from supercharging your energy levels, to boosting your concentration. Brides looking for that pre-wedding boost may like to try the Ultra Cleanse Matcha, the Mindpower Matcha or the Timeout Peppermint Matcha.
But first, let’s tell you why you need some of this ‘magical’ Matcha in your life:
1. It provides a natural energy boost
Many believe that L-Theanine (a type of amino acid found in certain plant species) provides a natural energy boost which has a slower release than other types of caffeine. Some say that the energy release you get from Matcha is different in that you don’t get those caffeine lows you may get an hour or so after a strong coffee. Great news for those of you who feel you need a super human amount of energy in the lead up to your wedding.
2. It helps reduce stress and anxiety
There’s been some evidence that unlike other types of caffeine, the L-Theanine just mentioned doesn’t stimulate cortisol, our stress hormone. So if you feel like you’re glugging buckets of coffee just to help you get through those late night wedding planning sessions (that just makes you feel more jittery and stressed) perhaps try the calming Timeout Peppermint Matcha. It has both the energy boosting effects of caffeine but also a high dose of calming properties, which is just what you need.
3. It slows down ageing and gives you a glow
Thanks to the concentrated amount of anti-oxidants (SIX times more than goji berries apparently), Matcha can reduce tissue damage caused by free-radicals and reduce the ageing effects of pollutants. For brides-to-be who want to look youthful and glowing, this is music to our ears.
4. It strengthens the immune system
Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E and K are all said to be present in Matcha Tea. Plus it’s been suggested that catechins found in Matcha have powerful antibiotic properties, resulting in a stronger immune system. When we’re planning a wedding, stress, lack of sleep and working over-time can all pose a threat to our ability to stay well. This extra pressure on our bodies can increase our susceptibility to picking up bugs and colds. Think of this as your pot of disease-fighting armour.
5. It boosts your ability to burn calories
I reckon the jury’s out on this one but research has shown that Matcha may increase themogenesis – the rate at which our body burns calories – from 10 to 40%. Need I say any more?
6. It boosts memory and concentration
At a time when I feel like my mind is packed with a never-ending to do list, dates to plan and deadlines to meet, this is one of my favourite health benefits. Again, it’s thanks to the L-Theanine which apparently helps increase the production of dopamine and serotonin. This enhances mood, and is said to promote better memory and concentration for up to four hours. I’m sold.
Thanks to BLOOM Tea for providing Oh So Hitched with a pot of Mindpower Matcha to give this bride a little energy boost of her own. Any opinions expressed here are my own and Matcha facts are based on information provided by Matcha Tea. For your little pot of Matcha, visit Bloomtea.co.uk, where you can order yours online or find a list of stockists. Mindpower Matcha is available for £16.99 and other pots start from £10.99. Follow BLOOM on twitter @BloomteasLondon and find them on Facebook.
Until next time x