A traditional oolong is prepared from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Camellia Sinesis plants are the same plants used in the preparation of green & black teas and is commonly consumed in China and Taiwan.
However, the difference lies in the processing methods. Oolong Teas, unlike Black & Green Teas, go through medium oxidation and only represent 2% of the world's tea. While these teas are of the rarest form, they are well worth discovering. Oolong teas are also partly fermented.
While preserving the natural essence of green tea and the toasted flavour of black tea, Oolong Teas also possesses several health benefits like boosting metabolism, reducing stress and even prevent diabetes.
What are the Health Benefits of Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea represents only 2% of the world's total tea and as a result, are rare and a bit towards the expensive side. Flavonoids, Caffeine (not as much as in black tea), Fluoride, and Theanine are just some of the composition of oolong tea, and you bet it is right for your health. Oolong teas are particularly useful in circumventing conditions like heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, oxidative stress, and even cognitive decline.
The Nutrient composition in Oolong Tea might intrigue you like the health benefits of oolong tea never seem to end.
Nutrient composition in Oolong Tea
Similar to black & green tea, Oolong teas are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and helpful antioxidants.
A cup of brewed oolong tea will generally have the following composition.
- Fluoride: 5–24% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 26% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 1% of the RDI.
- Sodium: 1% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 1% of the RDI.
- Niacin: 1% of the RDI.
- Caffeine: 36 mg
Antioxidants in oolong tea mostly comprise of polyphenols, theaflavins, thearubigins, and EGCG.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
Reducing the risk of heart disease, encouraging weight loss, and preventing cancer, oolong tea can come in handy for anyone looking to improve their health. The Polyphenols that help with cancer are also excellent for stress-busting and calmness. Research by the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine attained that those who drank 4 cups of oolong tea every day for a period of 7 days had significantly less stress and were much calmer.
Another research conducted among 700 Chinese elders concluded, those who drank oolong tea every day scored better for tests on brain functions.
While multiple pieces of research surrounding the effects of oolong tea on blood sugar levels show mixed results, one pretty consistent thing is its weight-reducing ability for overweight diabetics and pre-diabetic patients.
Oolong tea is also suitable for oral health. It stops the accumulation of plaque on teeth and gums, thus preventing tooth decay to a certain extent. While oolong teas are rich in antioxidants, it is also a great detoxifier. It not only purifies the blood by removing toxic elements but also maintains a smooth circulation (toxic blood has a slower movement than pureblood). Oolong also prevents the accumulation of fat and cholesterol; so it helps maintain good cardiovascular health.
Improves Skin Health
Drinking oolong tea thrice a day for at least six months can help enhance your skin conditions. Eczema can be an embarrassing skin condition, but the anti-allergenic antioxidants in oolong tea can help relieve eczema as per studies.
The antioxidants in oolong tea also helps your skin be more radiant and youthful while also treating acne, blemishes, wrinkles and other signs of ageing. As long as you seep the tea in hot water and use it to cleanse your face first thing in the morning, your skin shall remain healthy and young for longer.
Works As An Energy Drink
This shouldn't come as a surprise. Oolong tea contains caffeine and caffeine as we know are a great source of energy. Though caffeine content of oolong tea is far less than that of coffee or even green tea, oolong teas contain just the right amount of caffeine to help you get through the day. Interestingly, the caffeine content in oolong tea doesn't over energize you and therefore skips the jittery effect generally associated with coffee.
May help you to lose weight
It is believed that the polyphenol antioxidants in Oolong teas are very helpful in boosting metabolism and fat absorption. Drinking this tea on a regular basis along with daily exercises and a well-balanced diet may help you to improve your digestion, increase the rate of metabolism, and thus reduce your body fat.
May improve brain function
The caffeine in Oolong teas is a good source for boosting your energy levels and keeping you full of energy throughout the day. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine (the neurotransmitter responsible for relaxing the body and the mind) and keeps the mind active for a longer period of time, which can help you to focus better and increase attentiveness.
Side Effects of Oolong Tea
Though oolong might seem like a perfect go-to drink for people looking to enhance their well-being and metabolism, there are few things to be regarded before making it a daily routine.
Caffeine Effects of Oolong Tea
Caffeine if drank over a prolonged period including that from oolong tea, can result in irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations or dizziness. An overdose of caffeine can also lead to headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
You might be caffeine intolerant if you are encountering the following symptoms:
- Sleeping problems
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Skin rash
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
Luckily, when it comes to caffeine, oolong tea holds a sweet spot between green tea and black tea. If you are drinking a quality oolong tea, you can reduce your caffeine intake by throwing away the first infusion.
"Abdominal contractions or vomiting after drinking a large amount of tea may be a symptom of caffeine poisoning" University of Maryland Medical Center.
Oolong Tea Consideration
Oolong like black or green tea can decrease the volume of iron absorbed from plant foods. Also, some researchers found that children who drank tea were more likely to have lower iron levels.
It is therefore advised to drink tea outside of meals to limit the impact on iron intake. When consumed together, eating foods rich in vitamin C can boost the amount of iron absorbed from plant foods.
You can get a significant number of benefits from drinking Oolong tea. However, measurement is essential. Anything in excess can be wrong for our body. The same is true for Oolong tea which is otherwise enriched in friendly compounds.
An excess of oolong tea can cause restlessness, insomnia, an increase in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. Always keep watch on the amount of Oolong tea you are consuming per day, and stay healthy.