Sencha Tea- Benefits, How To Make & Side Effects
Sencha tea is infused with many excellent health benefits, including the ability to lower your risk of cancer, prevent chronic disease, reduce blood pressure, balance cholesterol levels, aid weight loss efforts, protect the immune system, increase energy and stimulate cognitive activity. There are very few side effects to drinking this tea, although some people have reported nausea and irritability, as well as anxiety, after consuming an unusually large amount of sencha tea.
This popular form of green tea makes up approximately 80% of the tea produced in Japan, a major tea-drinking nation. As opposed to matcha tea, which is made from a green tea powder, sencha tea is brewed with whole leaves, giving the tea a number of impressive health benefits and a delicious, soothing flavor. The tea itself is yellow in color and is produced from the top buds and leaves of tea plants. Green tea refers to a type of tea that is not treated or processed in any way, allowing it to retain the vast majority of its nutrients and active ingredients, leading to the many health benefits listed below.
Sencha Tea Benefits
The health benefits derived from sencha tea are in large part due to the catechins, vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, saponins, potassium, calcium and phosphorous found within these nutrient-dense leaves.
Cancer: Like most types of green tea, sencha tea is rich in antioxidants, which seek out free radicals and help to prevent oxidative stress in the body. This is also excellent for cancer prevention, as free radicals can stimulate cell mutation and tumor growth. A great deal of research has linked green tea to lowering your risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
Fat Burning: Caffeinated beverages are very good for stimulating the metabolism, which can improve passive fat-burning in the body. Sencha tea does not have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but it does have more caffeine than the majority of tea varieties out there.
Energy Boost: The rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in this green tea variety, along with an ample amount of caffeine, make it very effective as an energy-booster. If you want to increase productivity with a clear mind, and a lower risk of a caffeine crash, sencha tea is an excellent choice.
High Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that, despite having a significant amount of caffeine, green tea is able to lower blood pressure and prevent excess strain on the heart. This can be beneficial for those at high risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease.
Stimulate the Mind: Sencha tea has long been considered a brain stimulant, and the antioxidants found in this tea are able to stimulate neural pathways and prevent oxidative stress in the brain, which results in the deposition of plaque. This tea is helpful for keeping your mind sharp and focused, even as you age, and lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Reducing Overall Cholesterol: In addition to lowering the blood pressure, sencha tea is also able to reduce cholesterol levels. This can boost metabolism, stimulate weight loss, and protect you from a number of cardiovascular complications.
Immune System: High levels of vitamin C and a host of antioxidants make this tea a perfect immune system supporter. It can stimulate the production of white blood cells and prevent infections, while also speeding healing if you are suffering from common colds or the flu.AZ
How to Make Sencha Tea
You can easily make your own sencha tea at home, although you will need to find the leaves first! This tea is rarely found outside of Japan, but it is possible to find the leaves in certain specialty import stores.
- 2 teaspoons of sencha leaves
- 2 cups of water (filtered)
Step 1 – Add the leaves to a teacup. You can pack the leaves into a strainer, but in Japan, allowing the leaves to steep freely is preferred, providing a richer flavor to the tea.
Step 2 – Heat the water, but do not allow it to boil. If the water is too hot, it will cause the resulting tea to be bitter.
Step 3 – Pour the water over the tea leaves in the cup and allow them to steep for 1-2 minutes.
Step 4 – Allow the tea to cool for 1-2 minutes, and then enjoy!
Sencha Tea Side Effects
There are a number of possible side effects to drinking sencha tea, including heart palpitations, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, headaches, anxiety or irritability. These side effects are primarily the result of the caffeine found in this variety of green tea, and typically only occur if you drink an excessive amount. There is less caffeine in green tea than coffee, but it can still affect the body. There are some other side effects, but they rarely occur.
- Allergic Reaction – While allergies to green tea are rare, they do occur, with side effects like shortness of breath, throat swelling, skin irritation and an upset stomach. If you have never tried green tea before, it may be wise to speak with an allergist first.
- Iron Deficiency – Some of the antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds found in sencha tea can interfere with the body’s absorption of certain nutrients, namely iron, which can lead to anemia and iron deficiency if you drink a lot of this tea. Limiting your intake to 1-2 cups per day should help avoid this issue.
- Stomach Upset – Sencha tea is rich in tannins, and while these do have antioxidant properties, they can cause irritation in the stomach, resulting in diarrhea, nausea, cramping and bloating. This can be best avoided by drinking sencha tea along with food, and limiting your intake to no more than 2 cups per day.
- Pregnancy – Drinking caffeinated beverages while pregnant is generally not recommended, although later in the pregnancy, consuming small amounts of sencha tea is appropriate, and the high antioxidant content will do a great deal to keep you healthy.