Healthy Drinks

This Matcha-Infused Green Juice Is Packed with L-Theanine, Which Helps Reduce Stress and Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age

Photo: DAVIDsTea
Truthfully, we’re more than a little interested in learning about the secrets to longevity based on the habits of some of the longest-living people in the world. According to research by Dan Buettner, founder of the Blue Zones and author of The Blue Zones Kitchen, there are five regions around the world where folks live well past their 100th birthday.

Of course, there are a number of lifestyle factors at play when it comes to reaching centenarian status, but one thing Buetter's research has shown is linked to longevity is daily diet. To get more specific, he's found that all five Blue Zones regions follow a largely plant-based diet that prioritizes antioxidant-rich foods, such as fresh produce, whole grains, olive oil, spices, and (our personal favorite), tea.

Indeed, one of the most commonly sipped-on beverages in the Blue Zones is tea, which makes sense: Teas like green, matcha, oolong, and black are packed with anti-inflammatory benefits as well as L-theanine, which has been linked to reducing stress, boosting cognitive function, and improving mood.

So, aside from brewing up a cup of tea—which is delicious on its own—how else can we reap the benefits of this deliciously healthy drink? Well, according to a tea expert, adding tea (like matcha) to your daily green juice can help boost its already vitamin-rich benefits. Here’s how to make a longevity-boosting matcha tea-infused green juice based on a classic Mexican drink called jugo verde.

Why this matcha green juice recipe is so good for you

According to Nadia De La Vega, tea sustainability and content director at DAVIDsTEA, one of the most delicious (and creative) ways to drink matcha tea is by infusing it in her daily green juice. De La Vega calls on her Mexican roots when making this easy, energizing drink, noting that "it's a play on jugo verde, or Mexican green juice."

In Mexico, it’s common to drink freshly-squeezed juices or fruit-infused beverages like agua fresca or jugo verde first thing in the morning and throughout the day. “It’s a breakfast time staple that helps start your day feeling great,” De La Vega says. Jugo verde is typically made with an array of fruits and veggies, like fresh pineapple, spinach, cucumber, and nopales (cactus). However, in De La Vega’s version, she uses parsley and celery to add even more vibrant herbaceous flavor, plus a pinch of DAVIDsTea unsweetened peach matcha that adds both antioxidants and sweet fruity notes to the drink.

Speaking of antioxidants, this drink recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory and vitamin-rich ingredients that, when paired with matcha tea, are basically an explosion of fruity flavor and health benefits. For starters, research has shown that the L-theanine found in matcha can help minimize the effects of cognitive decline as you age. “L-theanine has been shown to reduce cortisol and cardiovascular responses to acute stress in humans,” Louise Dye, PhD, a psychopharmacologist and professor of nutrition and behavior at the University of Leeds, previously told Well+Good. Meanwhile, the green juice is filled with folate and iron from the spinach, fiber from the nopales, and bromelain (a digestive enzyme that can help support gut health) thanks to the pineapple. Lastly, De La Vega’s delicious version of the drink features parsley, which is a brain-friendly herb that boosts focus and mental energy.

Ready to bring on the greens? Same.

green juice recipe
Photo: DAVIDsTea

Matcha jugo verde recipe

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

1 Tsp DAVIDsTea unsweetened peach matcha
1 cup of water or orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple, frozen or fresh
1-2 Tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 celery stick, veins removed
1/4 cup cactus leaf (nopal), peeled and cut into squares

1. In a blender, add pineapple, parsley, celery, cactus leaf, water or orange juice, and unsweetened peach matcha. Blend until smooth.

2. Serve in a glass and enjoy.

A registered dietitian gives the lowdown on what makes green juice so good and good for you too:

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