Sencha tea makes up nearly 80 percent of the total tea manufactured in Japan, according to the website The Nibble. Farmers harvest sencha tea from the top leaves and buds of plants grown in full sunlight. It is regarded as a high quality tea, with a golden color and crisp, grassy flavor.
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Sencha Green Tea
Black tea is created when tea leaves undergo a fermentation process. Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented. Sencha is a green tea, and as such it undergoes minimal processing and no fermentation. This allows it to maintain high concentrations of catechins, substances associated with numerous health benefits.
Catechins belong to a group of compounds called polyphenols that are powerful antioxidants, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Antioxidants help prevent cellular and genetic damage by neutralizing unstable molecules called free radicals. You can't avoid free radicals entirely – they occur naturally in your body, and unavoidable environmental influences such as air pollution also contribute to the formation of free radicals. By drinking sencha green tea, you're treating your body to a healthy dose of antioxidants that may help neutralize these harmful molecules and decrease your risk of certain diseases.
The polyphenol content of green teas such as sencha make them helpful in the fight against heart disease, according to research published in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" in 2006. Shinichi Kuriyama, M.D., Ph.D., researcher of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, found that green tea consumption was associated with reduced incidence of death from cardiovascular disease.
Several studies reveal a potential cancer-fighting benefit for those who consume green tea. According to research conducted by J.J. Johnson of the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy and published in the January 2010 edition of "Phytomedicine," green tea polyphenols appear to show promise in the prevention of prostate cancer. The University of Michigan Health System adds that green tea may aid in reducing the risk of colon cancer, but notes that more research is needed to confirm the effects of green tea on cancer prevention. Kuriyama's study did not find any link between green tea consumption and reduced cancer mortality risk.
- JAMA: Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan
- UMM: Green Tea
- University of Michigan Health System: Green Tea
- The Nibble: Types Of Tea & Tea Terminology
- PubMed: Green Tea Polyphenols for Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention: A Translational Perspective