Benefits of Oolong tea includes keeps your mind sharp, you could live longer, controls type-2 diabetes, stabilizes blood sugar, helps burn belly fat, is good for your belly, it boosts immunity, perfect sidekick to a good book, drink up to fend off cancer risk, is a free radical fighter, keeps your skin healthy & looking youthful, could restore hair’s health and beauty and an excellent energy drink.
If black and green tea had a kid, it would be somewhat like oolong tea. Also known as ‘Wu long tea’, this traditional Chinese tea is known for its fruity, grassy flavor and, of course, the impressive health benefits.
What is Oolong Tea?
It is prepared from the leaves, sprouts, and stems of Camellia sinensis, the same plant from which green and black teas are prepared. Talking about how oolong tea differs, it is partially fermented. Also, while green tea is minimally oxidized and black tea is completely oxidized, oolong tea is only partially oxidized – somewhere between 8% to 80%. And, that’s where it’s color and robust taste stem from.
What’s The History of Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea has a long-standing history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). However, oolong tea came into the limelight during the Qing dynasty. By mid-1900’s Taiwanese started producing oolong tea. Now, the most popular and flavorful oolong tea comes from Mainland China andTaiwan. Other countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and India also produce oolong tea.
Oolong Tea Nutrition Facts
Oolong tea is full of catechins, a group of antioxidants. It contains minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, carotene, selenium, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Folic acid, niacinamide, and detoxifying alkaloids are also found in traces.
Due to its semi-fermented nature, oolong tea contains numerous polyphenols that provide a huge array of health benefits.
These tea leaves, like all others, also contain caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine (not as much as in traditional coffee, though)
15 Impressive Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
Read on to know why oolong tea is the best health drink, when to consume it, methods to prepare, and much more.
1. Oolong Tea Keeps Your Mind Sharp
Drinking a cup, a day may keep Alzheimer’s at bay concludes the research done by Dr. Ed Okello. Epidemiological evidence also showed the anti-amyloid effects of tea in protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
Also, the caffeine in oolong tea triggers norepinephrine and dopamine secretion – two neurotransmitters associated with improving mood and beating stress. Be careful if you are caffeine-sensitive; limit your consumption to one lightly steeped cup a day, or 2-3 times a week. Gallic acid, epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the catechins in tea also play a key role in suppressing brain dysfunction.
2. You Could Live Longer
Oolong tea might even help cheat death, according to a 2014 population-based study. Scientists found that long-term consumption of oolong tea reduces the risk of dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia is linked with more than half of global cases of ischemic heart disease and more than 4 million deaths per year, says the World Health Organization.
Further, a Japanese study concluded that drinking oolong tea can increase adiponectin levels in the blood. Adiponectin regulates blood glucose levels and fatty acid break down – meaning it can cut the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
3. Controls Type-2 Diabetes
Another major pro for oolong tea is that it can control Type-2 Diabetes. A Japanese study looked at the relationship between tea polyphenols and sodium-dependent glucose transporter (SGLT1) of intestinal epithelial cells. Researchers found favorable effects. Epicatechin gallate (ECG) exerts an antagonistic effect on sodium-dependent glucose transporter, SGLT1 possibly playing a role in controlling the dietary glucose uptake.
4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Once again oolong tea multitasks. The polyphenols present in oolong tea are known to keep blood sugar levels in check. Studies show that type 2 diabetic patients can benefit from drinking oolong tea. More specifically, it can reduce blood sugar levels by up to 30%.
Oolong tea’s antihyperglycemic effect also makes it an effective adjunct to oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetic treatment.
5. Your Smile Will Thank You
Oolong tea is a healing potion when it comes to your tooth and gum. The polyphenols and antioxidants in the healthy beverage work to keep the bacteria from colonizing in your mouth. The fluoride in oolong tea leaves beats out cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride is credited with preventing enamel loss and calcium-phosphorus replacement.
Fair warning, too much tea consumption can stain your teeth. So, you should still brush, floss, and rinse before bed.
6. Helps Burn Belly Fat
Obesity is indeed a silent killer. Daily consumption of oolong tea could help you shed that weight (around your middle), according to a Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine study. Polyphenols in oolong tea are also linked to curbing appetite and preventing fat gain by inhibiting angiogenesis, which fat cells’ growth depends on. Caffeine in oolong further aids the weight loss process by maintaining lean body mass.
7. Oolong Tea Is Good For Your Belly
Time and time again, scientists have connected gut benefits with oolong tea (and tea, in general). One study by Ningbo University found the polyphenols in the brew regulates intestinal flora and generate short-chain fatty acids to promote gut health. Also, oolong tea offers alkalizing and mild antiseptic effects, preventing bad bacteria from causing inflammation.
8. It Boosts Immunity
The antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activities of tea flavonoids are to thank for this as well. Because it is so great at fighting off pathogens and keeping the gut healthy, oolong tea is linked to strengthening the immune system. Remember, 80 percent of our immune system resides in the gut, after all.
9. It’s A Perfect Sidekick To A Good Book
There’s nothing quite like cuddling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. To make it more relaxing, scientists suggest using oolong tea thanks to the theanine present in it. Theanine provides a relaxing and tranquilizing effect by boosting alpha waves in your brain.
Oolong tea is an ideal brain food to increase your focus and concentration.
10. Drink Up To Fend Off Cancer Risk
Oolong tea contains a mixture of simple polyphenols such as catechins and other complex polyphenols. This means that if you work out on the reg, oolong tea could just fend off cancer. The antioxidants in the plant, especially EGCG, scavenges free radicals that trigger DNA damage, which can lead to mutations and oncogenic growths.
Ongoing studies show that daily consumption of oolong tea can cut the risk of ovarian cancer, melanoma, oral cancer, and lung cancer. Though it is still too early to conclude, this is a good move in the right direction.
11. Oolong Tea is A Free Radical Fighter
Oolong tea contains a concentrated amount of antioxidants, which may help stabilize harmful free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable atoms in the body that damage cells, resulting in aging and chronic diseases. By consuming oolong tea, you will reduce the risk of developing degenerative, age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegeneration, and diabetes.
12. Your Bones Will Thank You
Magnesium and calcium present in oolong leaves protect against bone loss and reduce the risk of fracture and osteoporosis. One study looked at the epidemiological evidence of increased bone mineral density in habitual tea drinkers. Researchers concluded that individuals drinking tea (including oolong) for more than 10 years had 2 percent higher bone density.
Further, the polyphenols in oolong prevent oxidation induced bone cell damage, thereby reducing inflammation and support bone building.
13. Keeps Your Skin Healthy & Looking Youthful
Those free radicals that damage DNA can also damage cell membranes. When skin cell membranes are damaged, your skin can appear dull, saggy and dry due to moisture loss. Oolong tea, drunk hot or cold, can rejuvenate the skin cells and delay biological aging.
We also need to talk about skin conditions here. The anti-allergenic antioxidants in oolong tea can give long-term benefits to Eczema patients, say the studies.
14. Oolong Tea Could Restore Hair’s Health and Beauty
If you battle with hair loss or dull and dry hair, antioxidants in oolong tea will help to fight those. Experts believe that the antioxidants fight off the dysfunction DHT or dihydrotestosterone synthesis, which results in hair loss. It also fights dandruff and itchy scalp, giving you healthy, tumbling locks. As a bonus, some people have seen their hair grow as a result of using it as a hair rinse.
15. It’s An Excellent Energy Drink
When you desperately need an energy boost, try oolong tea. It has enough caffeine (50 to 75 milligrams per cup) and an amino acid called L-theanine for providing long-lasting energy kick. More importantly, a cup of oolong tea is an instant pick-me-up without the crash of high caffeine.
As the saying goes, excess of everything is bad. Although oolong tea brings a plethora of health benefits to the platter, you must keep a check on the quantity that goes in. So, how much is too much? Read on.
How Much Oolong Tea Should You Drink?
Drink this low-calorie health drink 2-3 times a day. Do not overdo it to harness all benefits quickly. An overdose can make you dehydrated, insomniac, or anxious. In the worst cases, it may even result in increased heart rate, upset tummy, skeletal fluorosis, kidney stones, and anemia.
How to Add Oolong tea to food?
Due to their quite grassy and smoky flavor, oolong can be paired with herby dishes, smoked meat and cheese, baked goods, and desserts.