Oolong tea accounts for only 2 percent of tea consumption around the world. Although less popular, oolong tea still has a variety of benefits. Read on for more information about oolong tea and its associated health benefits. Find out the Top 10 Benefits of Oolong Tea you must know.
I. Oolong tea and its popularity
Made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is slightly fermented and semi-oxidized, giving it a taste between black and green tea. There are many oolong teas, but the most famous oolong comes from the Fujian province of China.
Oolong tea is commonly consumed in China and Taiwan. In Asian countries, tea is a large part of the culture and social gatherings. Friends and business associates often meet over tea.
II. History of oolong tea
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea with a rich history dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). The origins of oolong tea can be traced to the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian province, where the tea was first cultivated and processed.
Legend has it that oolong tea was discovered by a farmer named Wu Liang, who lived in the Wuyi Mountains during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). Wu Liang found a tea plant growing in a crevice between two rocks and decided to cultivate it. He then developed a unique method of processing the tea leaves by partially oxidizing them in the sun, and then finishing the oxidation process indoors. This process gave the tea a unique flavor profile that became popular among tea drinkers.
Oolong tea became especially popular during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 CE), when it was designated as a tribute tea, which was offered as a gift to the emperor. During this time, oolong tea production spread to other regions of China, including Taiwan, now known for its high-quality oolong teas.
Today, oolong tea is enjoyed worldwide for its complex flavor profile and numerous health benefits. It is often described as being somewhere between green tea and black tea regarding oxidation level and flavor. The tea is known for its floral, fruity, and nutty flavor notes, and it can be brewed in various ways, including gongfu style, which involves using a small teapot and multiple infusions.
III. Nutritional Content of Oolong Tea
Here’re the nutritional values of 1 serving of oolong tea.
- Caffeine: 4 – 7%
- Calories: 90
- Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Calcium: 4%
- Total Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Vitamin C: 100 %
IV. Top 10 Benefits of Oolong Tea
There’re many health benefits of oolong tea that we can experience if we start to drink it:
1. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Boosting your metabolism, causing weight loss.
Oolong tea helps you burn fat faster by raising your metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it. Oolong also contains polyphenols that can block enzymes that build fat. This means you can lose weight with oolong tea, so long as you don’t load it with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. If your tastes lean towards sweet tea, consider using a small amount of raw honey, maple syrup, stevia or agave syrup—all of which are sugars low on the glycemic index.
2. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Lowering cholesterol
Oolong is known to reduce cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Because oolong tea is semi-oxidized, it produces a perfectly sized polyphenol molecule that can activate the enzyme lipase, known to dissolve body fat.
3. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Increasing mental alertness
This healing hot cuppa naturally revitalizes your mental alertness and performance because it contains caffeine. Be careful if you are sensitive to caffeine and limit your consumption to one lightly steeped cup a day, or indulge a few times a week.
4. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Aids digestion
Oolong can help aid digestion for those not sensitive to caffeine. The tea alkalizes the digestive tract, reducing inflammation in those with acid reflux and ulcer problems. Because it is mildly antiseptic, oolong tea can clear bad bacteria from your belly. Its calm, smooth flavor can soothe the stomach when consumed hot.
5. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Promoting healthy hair
Due to its high level of antioxidants, oolong tea can prevent hair loss if you make a tea rinse out of the leaves. Not only that, but your hair will be thicker and shinier. Oolong softens and adds lustre to your hair.
6. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Bettering your skin condition
Eczema often occurs in conjunction with allergies or sensitivities. Oolong tea can suppress those allergic reactions because it combats free radicals, a healing property of an antioxidant. Also, the antioxidants found in oolong are essential for vibrant, youthful skin. Drinking oolong can greatly slow aging, so it’s a great anti-aging tool.
7. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Stabilizing blood sugar
When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels are elevated. Studies have shown that those suffering from diabetes could benefit from drinking oolong, which, in studies, has decreased blood glucose to a healthy level. The oolong’s antioxidants, which come from polyphenols, do wonders for metabolizing sugar.
8. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Preventing tooth decay
Both oolong and green tea protect teeth from acid produced by certain bacteria. The production of acid and the growth of bacteria are inhibited by oolong tea, which means it effectively prevents tooth decay and plaque build-up.
9. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Preventing osteoporosis and forms strong bones
Oolong can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Those who consistently drink oolong tea are less likely to lose their bone mineral density, helping retain minerals from healthy foods consumed. It has been discovered that oolong contains magnesium and calcium in its leaves.
10. Benefit of Oolong Tea in Strengthening the immune system
Known for its anti-cancer properties, oolong tea assists in maintaining a healthy immune system. The antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea prevent cellular damage. The production of anti-bacterial proteins is much higher in those who drink oolong tea, indicating a strong immune response when fighting infection.
V. How much oolong tea should I drink?
Two cups of oolong tea are recommended. If possible, one in the morning and one in the afternoon; so it won’t affect your sleep. Consuming too much caffeine can result in side effects, including headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, irregular heartbeat and inflammation. And too much oolong can upset the stomach and decrease the effectiveness of medications.
VI. How to drink oolong tea?
The easiest way is to add boiling water to a cup of oolong tea in teabag form or a level tablespoon of loose leaves. As a general rule of thumb, for 6 ounces of water, use 1 teaspoon if the tea is rolled into balls and up to 2 tablespoons if it consists of large open leaves. Then, steep for 2–5 minutes, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. It’s better to enjoy the tea while it’s still hot.
VII. Other Benefits of Oolong Tea:
While there is not enough current research to support the following benefits, drinking tea has also been associated with the following:
- Healthier gut bacteria
- Lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Natural defense from the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- Stronger bones
Read more: What is Oolong Tea and What Benefits Does it Have?