Matcha While Breastfeeding
In the world of tea, matcha is the popular kid at school. Although around for centuries in China, it gained worldwide popularity over the last several years, and with good reason. Matcha is easy to prepare, delicious and can be used in different ways. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be wondering if you can continue with your weekly matcha lattes and ask yourself if it is safe to consume matcha while breastfeeding. Below we will talk a bit about matcha, its benefits, and safety while pregnant and breastfeeding. There are even a few fantastic and easy recipes to make with this green powdered tea.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a high-grade green tea. It is ground into powdered form. The powder is whisked into hot water to form a frothy drink. Before there were teapots to steep tea leaves, the whisking of ground tea was an early Chinese custom. The act of preparing, presenting, and sipping matcha is the cornerstone of the Japanese tea ceremony and is thought to be meditative.
Matcha has become increasingly popular worldwide, and it is now seen in tea lattes or boba tea and an ingredient in ice cream, salad dressings, and other dishes. There are two types of matcha: ceremonial and culinary grade. They both are very healthy and the difference between them is in the way they are intended to be used.
Matcha Health Benefits
According to Medical News Today, there are many benefits to incorporating green tea into a healthy lifestyle. Matcha is a super-concentrated form of green tea, so not only are the benefits there, but they may be more substantial. The scientific research of the health benefits of green tea is robust. The specific research on matcha is a bit smaller but expanding as it gains more popularity outside China.
Some of the potential health benefits include:
- Boosting concentration and cognition
- Preventing cancer
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Lessening the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Relieving autoimmune uveitis
The compounds in matcha that may lead to these benefits include antioxidants called catechins, the amino acid L-theanine, and caffeine.
Matcha Green Tea Powder
There are some common traits that have been used to describe the flavor and texture of matcha lattes made from green tea powder. They include sweet, rich, creamy, vegetal, wheatgrass, full-bodied, and frothy.
You can find matcha green tea powder at online retailers, health food stores, and many grocery markets. If you have a local tea shop in your area, they may carry several kinds and even assist you in showing you the perfect way to prepare it.
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Can You Drink Matcha While Pregnant?
Many medical professionals, including midwives, believe that the consumption of tea, including green tea from which matcha is made, is safe to consume during pregnancy. Matcha is much lower in caffeine than coffee. As much as about 25 grams a cup versus 100 grams. You should limit yourself to less than three cups a day, though. Because it is high in catechins, too much can prevent your cells from absorbing folic acid fully. Your body needs folic acid during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects in your developing baby.
Matcha and Breastfeeding
Due to the caffeine in matcha green tea, mothers may be hesitant about drinking matcha while breastfeeding. Fortunately, because of the lower caffeine content in green tea than that of coffee, medical professionals consider it safe to drink one to three cups of green tea a day without having any harmful effects on your newborn. The overall consumption of caffeine you have should not be more than 300 mg a day while you are breastfeeding.
Is Matcha Safe While Breastfeeding?
If you stay within the guidelines of the total amount of caffeine consumed to be not more than 300 mg a day, having matcha regularly while breastfeeding is safe. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breast milk contains less than 1 percent of the caffeine consumed initially by a woman. So, if you’re not drinking more than three cups a day, you should be completely fine.
Matcha Green Tea While Breastfeeding
Enjoying a green tea latte or having matcha ice cream is a safe practice while breastfeeding. There is evidence that after you consume five or more caffeinated beverages, you may notice your baby gets fussy after breastfeeding. That being said, you should pay attention to your consumption and monitor any changes in your baby that your caffeine intake may have influenced. Another important note is to remember other things you eat or drink may contain caffeine, including chocolate. These should all be added to the total 300 mg a day, or under that, you take in.
Matcha for Weight Loss Postpartum
Lovingly known as one of the world’s healthiest beverages, green tea is loaded with the antioxidants and other beneficial compounds we talked about above. There is evidence that green tea, including matcha, may be helpful for weight loss postpartum as well. These claims surround its ability to boost metabolism and help burn fat quicker. This is from a combination of caffeine, a well-known stimulant, and the EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate antioxidant it contains that can significantly boost metabolism. You can get these benefits through drinking matcha green tea. Still, if you are looking to supercharge the antioxidants, you may also look into green tea extract, an excellent concentrated source of catechins like EGCG.
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How to Use Matcha Powder
Preparing matcha green tea powder is a fairly straightforward process. Most matcha lovers have a set specifically for preparing this tea. It consists of a small bowl and bamboo whisk. You can use a small whisk of another material, but it does not yield as frothy a cup of tea as the bamboo.
Below is the process for preparing the powder:
- Place 1 ½ teaspoon matcha powder in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of hot water to it. Mix with the bamboo whisk to form a smooth paste.
- Heat ¾ cup of milk of your choice on the stovetop.
- Add half the hot milk to the bowl and stir with the bamboo whisk. Move the whisk back and forth quickly until the matcha is incorporated and you achieve a thin frothy foam on top.
- Pour into a cup and add honey to sweeten and the rest of the warm milk. Enjoy!
On top of making a delicious latte, you can mix matcha powder into smoothies, baked goods, and even make homemade ice cream.
Matcha Side Effects
In general, not only is matcha safe to consume by most people but also very beneficial. Studies on side effects of consumption tend to revolve around excessive green tea consumption. So moderation is key.
Some side effects include:
- Reduction in iron consumption
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sleeping problems
Again, these side effects presented themselves after excessive consumption. A standard serving size a day has not been clinically shown to cause issues.
Must-Try Matcha Recipes
One of the wonderful things about matcha is that it can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be a hot or cold latte, creamy ice cream, puddings, or baked goods. One of the easiest ways is to make a quick blender iced latte. The process couldn’t be more straightforward.
Iced Matcha Latte – Quick Recipe
You need just three ingredients:
- 12 ounces of milk of your choice
- Two teaspoons of matcha powder
- Two teaspoons of honey
Throw it all in the blender and when smooth and frothy, pour over ice. It is refreshing, the perfect amount of sweetness, and good for you. You can make a batch and keep it sealed in your fridge for a few days too. Just make sure to shake or stir before serving.
If you are looking for something to curb your sweet tooth, great baked good recipes incorporate matcha. Here is another quick and easy match dessert you can make at home in just a few minutes.
Matcha fudge is a super easy, five-ingredient recipe that takes 15 minutes in total to prep.
- 8-inch square cake pan
- Two tablespoons matcha powder
- ¾ cup condensed milk
- 14 ounces white chocolate
- One teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Grease the pan. Insert parchment paper that is cut to the size of the bottom.
- Heat the condensed milk and matcha powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat until well incorporated. You will want to sift the matcha into the pan.
- Add the white chocolate chips into the pan and mix until melted.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt.
- Pour the fudge into the baking pan and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Cool at room temperature and then cover and chill for at least 3 hours in the fridge.
- Optional – Sift extra matcha powder over the top before serving.
There are so many delicious must-have matcha recipes out there. You can find twenty of them here or give the two above a try!
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and are a green tea lover, then have no fear. It is safe to have matcha while breastfeeding if you stick to caffeine consumption guidelines and do not overdo it. As with anything that may concern you when pregnant or breastfeeding, you can always ask your physician if drinking matcha is suitable for you.