Mind Over Matcha: A Love Affair with Green Tea
By Natalie Carraneja
For me, the love affair with matcha tea began about 3 years ago. It was a time when I was struggling with anxiety & insecurity. My lifestyle needed to change and so did my diet.
My mind needed some serious TLC and as I started to clean up my diet I made the decision I needed to make changes to what I was drinking.
Coffee vs Matcha
Coffee was a major trigger for my day to day anxiety. It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong, but the caffeine content had me feeling jittery & scattered. I was lacking focus, clarity & calmness. We often set our sights on changing up what we eat when it comes to moving towards a healthier lifestyle but we tend to forget about what we are drinking. It all matters!
Coffee can contain up to 200mg of caffeine, sometimes even more (especially if you love that quad shot americano, like I used to!). It raises your heart beat, blood pressure & even stomach acid output! Putting your body through this regularly can be detrimental to your health and especially not great for anxiety sufferers.
Coffee can also inhibit the absorption of calcium. We know this mineral is necessary for healthy bones & teeth, but it is also a vital mineral needed to support our nervous system. In fact calcium helps to activate an enzyme system know as choline acetylase (3), which in turn helps to create acetylcholine, an extremely important neurotransmitter. As you can imagine the more coffee we drink, the more in interferes with the communication between our cells! Not ideal for those with anxiety or a lot of stress on their plate.
Matcha on the other hand has some amazing system supportive qualities.
Matcha is the ground up green tea leaf. Instead of steeping your water through a tea bag, you are consuming the whole leaf. This means we are gaining a boat load of nutrients including the catechins which are really powerful antioxidants studied for their anti cancer effects. But there’s another reason I started drinking this green goodness…
Recently science has discovered matcha contains the very rare yet powerful amino acid, L-theanine which promotes rest & relaxation. You see when we are very stressed or anxious, our body produces beta waves which trigger our state of excitement or can make us feel really uncomfortable and frustrated (which is exactly how my anxiety made me feel). L-theanine actually helps us to produce alpha waves (1), and these guys promote a state of relaxation AND alertness.
Furthermore the combination of caffeine and l-theanine gives us the ability to focus and concentrate without that jittery feeling that coffee can give us. (2)
So when it comes to anxiety & stress management being mindful about what we put into our bodies is key! Switch it up, after all, matcha is the new coffee!
1 tsp Lets Matcha premium grade powder
1 cup water
Juice of ½ lemon
Lots of ice
Method: SHAKE IT UP!! (Or blend it…) Enjoy on a summers day <3
BIO: Natalie is a holistic nutritionist & wellness coach who helps women struggling with anxiety, stress & worry. After spending many years battling herself, Natalie discovered holistic ways to keep her own symptoms at bay. This is has led to her now run a heart centred coaching business, providing busy women with their own tools to move through their internal struggles. Visit her website or follow along in her facebook community or instagram.
- Staying Healthy With Nutrition - Elson M. Haas - 21st Century Edition