Matcha is the finely ground powder from dried leaves of the camellia sinensis green tea bush. It is typically grown in the shade to keep the amino acid content in the leaves high and the caffeine content lower than other green teas. Upper echelons of traditional Chinese and Japanese society and religious sects revere matcha, making it part of formal tea ceremonies. Studies show drinking matcha tea can reduce anxiety by activating feel-good chemicals in the brain, promoting feelings of calmness and tranquility.
Drink Matcha for Reduced Anxiety
Dopamine and serotonin are hormones the body releases that create feelings of pleasure, a sense of wellbeing, and happiness. Theanine is a common amino acid that is abundant in matcha green tea. It works to increase dopamine and serotonin levels, which can reduce anxious behaviors.
In a lab study, mice fed matcha tea extract exhibited less anxious behavior compared to those that did not receive matcha. Doctors verify that matcha does indeed activate dopamine and serotonin receptors, which promote feelings of calm.
Caffeine is a known stimulant that can sometimes exacerbate feelings of anxiety. While there is caffeine in match green tea, the high levels of theanine work to counteract the effects of the caffeine. No jitters here!
Vegan Matcha Latte Recipe
- 1/2 t matcha powder
- 1/2 c almond milk or other plant-based milk
- Heat the milk in an electric milk frother or small saucepan over low heat
- Using a small mesh strainer, sift the matcha powder into a bowl. Pour heated milk over the matcha
- Using back and forth motions (not circular) and keeping the whisk in contact with the bottom of the bowl, vigorously whisk the matcha into the milk until fully incorporated.
- When it looks close to finished, slow your whisking and gently pull the whisk out of the liquid.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
Tip: Add some ice in the warmer weather!