It’s a fact that the health benefits of oolong tea have gone unrecognized in the United States for far too long.
While everyone has heard about the remarkable benefits of tea, most people don’t know that there is another kind of tea that provides great benefits besides the mainstream green and black teas.
In fact, if green tea and black tea had a baby, it’d be oolong tea.
Oolong tea isn’t widely known and only 2 percent of the tea-drinking population consumes this amazing tea.
Even though oolong tea hasn’t captured the attention of masses, it offers several amazing health benefits including cancer and heart disease prevention.
In this informative post, you’ll discover our eight favorite health benefits of oolong tea.
What is Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea is a Chinese tea and it is mostly consumed in Taiwan and China.
It is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis – the same plant that is used for making black tea and green tea.
The difference between them, however, is in processing and harvesting.
Black tea is always fully fermented while oolong tea is only partially fermented.
Oolong tea also differs in types and amounts of antioxidants. Black tea contains two antioxidants – thearubigins and theaflavins. Green tea, on the other hand, is high in catechins – another class of antioxidants.
Oolong falls somewhere in the middle regarding the amounts of antioxidants.
Green tea and oolong tea have similar amounts of caffeine – about 10 to 60 mg per 8 oz. cup.
For perspective, coffee contains about 70 to 140 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup. Unsweetened brewed tea contains no protein, fat or carbohydrates and is considered a 0-calorie beverage.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
It’s true, there are many health benefits of oolong tea and below are our personal eight favorites:
Oolong Tea for Weight Loss
Oolong tea is considered effective for weight loss.
Drinking this tea may help the body lose more heat via a process known as ‘thermogenesis’ and thereby, increasing metabolism. This is important for people who are trying to shed those extra pounds as there is usually a decrease in the rate of metabolism during weight loss.
Recovering that loss is one of the ways oolong tea helps.
There is little doubt that this tea helps people lose weight and can protect against obesity in the long-term with increased metabolism, reduction in inflammation, and reduction in fat.
Oolong Tea for Diabetes
Teas contain polyphenol antioxidants which are thought to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels.
They are also known to increase insulin sensitivity. Several studies have reported links between regular consumption of tea, lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes and improved blood sugar levels.
It is important to point out that there is less research on the effects of oolong tea on diabetes. The effects of black tea and green tea have been widely researched.
That being said, there is a review in which it was observed that people who drink 24 oz of oolong tea every day had a 16 percent less risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
In another study, it was reported that diabetic patients who consumed 50 oz of oolong tea every day had up to 30 percent lower blood sugar levels after 30 days.
Similarly, consuming 33 oz of the same tea every day for 30 days decreased blood sugar levels of the participants of a study by 3.3 percent.
Nevertheless, not all research studies have reported favorable effects of drinking oolong tea on diabetic patients.
Oolong Tea for Cancer
Antioxidants present in oolong tea may help prevent mutations of cells in the body that could lead to cancer.
Tea polyphenols may decrease the rate at which cancer cells divide in the body. In a review, it was reported that people who consume tea regularly might have 15 percent less chance of suffering from oral cancer.
Similar protective effects have been reported for colorectal, esophageal, lung, liver and pancreatic cancer.
Most research reports have shown that tea has small effects on bladder, ovarian, and breast cancer.
Keep in mind that scientific research has primarily focused on the effects of black tea and green tea.
Since oolong tea falls in the middle of black and green tea, we can expect similar benefits from it.
Oolong Tea for Brain Function
It’s a fact the cognitive function of human beings is affected by drinking tea.
Consuming tea which contains L-theanine and caffeine – nutrients are known for their positive impact on the function of the brain – correlates with an increase in attention levels, calmness, alertness, and visual information processing within the first hour of drinking the beverage.
Drinking tea also helps prevent or slow the decline of cognitive functions associated with age. ECCG – a polyphenol in tea – helps improve the function of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain linked to memory and learning.
Drinking oolong tea regularly may help older populations by improving brain function and preventing cognitive decline.
When talking about cognitive impairments related to age, one disorder people are generally interested in is Alzheimer’s disease.
Drinking tea may reduce the risk of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by about 8 percent. This is partly because of the ECCG found in the tea.
The methods through which tea helps support functions of the brain aren’t yet completely understood, but there is no doubt that tea is beneficial for the brain.
Oolong Tea for Eczema
Eczema is a terribly embarrassing skin condition and oolong tea might just offer some relief from it.
Studies suggest that oolong tea contains anti-allergenic antioxidants which may help relieve eczema. If you want to get good results for your condition, it would be best to drink oolong tea three times a day for at least six months.
Oolong tea combats free radicals so it may suppress the allergic reactions responsible for causing atopic dermatitis or eczema.
The antioxidants in oolong tea may also make the skin more youthful. They might even treat wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, and acne.
Oolong Tea for Heart Health
Research suggests that drinking oolong tea can reduce the risk of heart disease.
In patients who suffer from coronary heart disease, oolong tea has been known to stop atherosclerosis – a feature of heart disease – from spreading.
In a research study, after drinking oolong tea for one month, patients saw a decrease in the narrowing and hardening of arteries.
Oolong tea can also reduce blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Patients consuming over 600 milliliters of this tea every day saw a drop in LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and overall cholesterol levels.
Extracts from oolong tea may help prevent the death of cells in the heart muscle tissue.
Oolong Tea for Bone and Teeth Strength
As we age, it’s inevitable that our bones will start to weaken, which could lead to arthritis and osteoporosis.
Studies show that drinking oolong tea can prevent these issues as it helps maintain high bone density.
Drinking oolong tea for a long time may increase bone mineral density. Individuals who drank oolong tea for a period of 10 years were found to have 2 percent greater bone density.
Oolong tea is also known to build healthier and stronger teeth.
Consumption of oolong tea can reduce dental plaque. Since this tea is rich in fluoride, it can also strengthen the tooth enamel.
Oolong Tea Fights Inflammation
When you can reduce chronic inflammation by making changes in your diet, you have a better chance of preventing many diseases, including chronic pain.
This is one reason polyphenols and other antioxidants present in oolong tea are considered so important.
Oolong tea is rich in polyphenols. These compounds rev up our immune system and can protect against inflammation and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Another flavonoid responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of oolong tea is EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate.
It fights inflammation-causing free radicals and prevents related diseases such as cancer and clogged arteries.
Oolong Tea Questions and Answers
Q. Can I Drink Oolong Tea Every day?
Tea leaves contain fluoride and excess fluoride could be harmful. However, drinking less than a liter of oolong tea every day is considered safe for most adults.
Q. What are the Side Effects of Oolong Tea?
- Caffeine Effects
Drinking too much oolong tea can cause adverse effects due to caffeine. People may experience insomnia, dizziness, heart palpitations or irritability from consuming too much caffeine. Overdose of caffeine may even lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or headache.
- Pregnancy Concerns
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should limit their consumption of oolong tea because of caffeine effects. Caffeine can affect the developing fetus. It is even associated with rare cases of growth retardation, low birth weight, and spontaneous abortion.
- Iron Metabolism
Drinking oolong tea in excess may impair your iron metabolism. The deficiency of iron in the body could lead to anemia. This condition can affect a person’s ability to do physical work as it causes extreme fatigue and also affects brain function.
- Drug Interactions
Talk to a doctor before you make oolong tea a part of your daily regime, especially if you are taking medications. This is because oolong tea can interact with certain medicines. Medicines that are known to be affected by the consumption of oolong tea include adenosine, beta-lactam antibiotics, benzodiazepines, metoprolol, propranolol, aspirin, clozapine, and phenylpropanolamine.
- Sensitivity to Caffeine
People with high sensitivity to caffeine should avoid drinking oolong tea. This sensitivity can cause skin rashes and hives. The caffeine may also interfere with sleep.
- Increased Symptoms
People with anxiety-related issues, stomach ulcers, heart problems or kidney disorders should avoid drinking oolong tea. Caffeine can affect the kidneys and might worsen incontinence. It may also raise the production of stomach acid, worsening ulcer symptoms. Caffeine may also increase the heart rate and blood pressure in some people.
Q. What are some of the Best Oolong Tea Brands?
Some of the best oolong tea brands include:
- Oolong Tea Collective
- Ito En
- Ten Ren
- Mountain Tea Company
- Chronic Organic Teas
Q. Where to buy Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea can be purchased on Amazon where they offer a wide selection. You can also find it in all major grocery stores including Walmart.
In a nutshell, there are numerous health benefits of oolong tea.
It can help with weight loss, management of diabetes and also fight inflammation.
Not only that, but oolong tea can prevent cancer, strengthen bones and teeth, help retain brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you don’t like drinking black tea or green tea, you could try oolong tea and reap its many amazing health benefits.
Start drinking it regularly and after a while, you should notice its effects on your body.
Be wary of the side effects of this tea though as it contains a high amount of caffeine that can cause adverse reactions and interact with medicines. If you are on any kind of medication, consult your doctor about whether you can safely drink oolong tea.
We hope you find the information we have provided helpful. If you have any questions about oolong tea, feel free to comment below or reach out to us.