Oolong tea is well worth discovering despite it representing only 2% of total tea consumption worldwide. Oolong tea benefits are never-ending as it combines the qualities of both green and black tea.
In the article, we will explain to you the oolong tea benefits and all the other aspects you need to know about it. You will find, What is oolong tea? Its various health benefits; What are the side effects of oolong tea? What are its nutritional values? and everything else about it.
Oolong Tea? What is it?
Oolong tea is a traditional drink in China. It has been a part of Chinese culture for its various health benefits for a long time.
Oolong tea is made from Camellia Sinensis plant leaves. These leaves are also used in the making of green and black teas. The basic difference between the oolong and the other two types of teas is the way they are processed.
All tea leaves do the process of oxidation due to the presence of some certain enzymes in them. The oxidation process is what turns the leaves into deep black color leaves.
The leaves used in black tea are oxidized until their color changes to black, whereas the green tea leaves are not oxidized to this extent. The leaves used in the oolong tea are between these two and are oxidized partially.
The characteristic taste and the color of oolong tea come from this partial oxidation process. But, these color characteristics of this tea can vary from brand to brand.
Nutrients in Oolong Tea
Oolong tea contains several antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, just like Rose tea, green tea, and black tea.
A cup of brewed oolong tea contains the following.
- Fluoride – 5 to 24 %
- 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
Oolong tea also contains theaflavins, thearubigins, and the EGCG type polyphenols, which are antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for various health benefits.
One other content responsible for oolong tea’s relaxing effect is theanine, which is an amino acid.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
There are various health benefits of the oolong tea, which include
The polyphenol antioxidants present in the oolong tea are thought to help reduce insulin levels and the levels of blood sugar. These are also thought to increase sensitivity towards insulin.
Some studies have also shown that the regular consumption of this tea also lowers blood sugar, which helps in reducing type 2 diabetes risk. But, the effects of this tea are not thoroughly studied like black and green tea.
A recent study on oolong tea with diabetes patients has proven that the patients who took 1.5 liters of oolong tea per day had up to 30% reduction in their blood sugar levels after 30 days. Another study shows that those who took 1 liter of oolong tea for 30 days had a 3.3% reduction in blood sugar levels.
The oolong tea studies don’t show just the good effects, but a recent study shows that those who had more than 480ml or more of oolong tea per day had higher chances of diabetes. This study was further refuted by scientists as the material used in it was thought to be contaminated with pesticides.
Improves Heart Health
Consumption of antioxidants through tea regularly is also beneficial for heart health. It is one of the many good oolong tea benefits.
Various studies on oolong tea also show that it reduces cholesterol levels and BP, which are good for heart health.
A study on 76,000 adults in Japan has shown that the people who drink oolong tea on a regular basis have many heart health benefits. The adults who drank 240 ml or more of the oolong tea had reduced heart disease risk by up to 61%.
Some studies also show that people who have 120ml of oolong or green tea on a regular basis have a low risk of developing blood pressure issues up to 46%. But, not all studies agree on this.
One thing to keep in mind is that oolong tea contains caffeine, which may lead to the minor blood pressure increase. It can also be harmful to people who are sensitive to caffeine. The effects of caffeine are not much as it amounts to the only ¼ of a 240ml oolong teacup.
May Help To Lose Weight
This is also an oolong tea benefit. Scientists believe that some antioxidants present in oolong tea can increase metabolism and decrease the fat absorption levels of the body from food.
The antioxidants in the oolong tea are also thought to activate enzymes that help in using fat for energy. A study on this has proven that participants who drank oolong tea burnt 2.9% to 3.4% more calories.
It could be due to caffeine, but the tea antioxidants also play a vital role. To testify the ideas, researchers compared the caffeine alone and caffeine + tea antioxidants. In the study, it was seen that both caffeine alone tea antioxidants + caffeine increased calories burning. But, only tea antioxidants + caffeine caused fat burning.
It proves that the fat-burning effects of tea are also due to plant compounds and not the caffeine alone.
Furthermore, the oolong tea benefits were varying from participant to participant, which shows that it has different effects on person to person basis.
Oolong Tea Improves Brain Function
In recent studies on the oolong tea benefits, it was seen that it helps in preventing Alzheimer’s and also improves brain function. In fact, various components of this tea may improve brain function.
For beginners, the caffeine content of this tea can increase norepinephrine and dopamine-releasing. These two are thought to be beneficial in brain function, mood, and focus. More research on oolong tea has also proven that the amino acid theanine in it helps in relieving anxiety and boosts attention.
Some studies have also shown that people who drink oolong tea regularly have 64% lower chances of brain function decline. One other study on the oolong tea benefits shows that it improves cognition, executive function, information processing effect, and memory of a person.
Protect Against Certain Cancers
The oolong tea benefits include this one also. In studies, it was seen that antioxidants helped prevent the mutation of cells, which can lead to cancer. Cancer cell division also decreases due to the tea antioxidants.
Drinking oolong tea regularly also lowers the chances of oral cancer by up to 15%. Other studies also show similar good effects on liver, esophageal, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers.
However, most studies have shown that tea antioxidants had no effects on breast, bladder, and ovarian cancers.
Oolong Tea Promotes Bone And Tooth Strength
Oolong tea benefits also include good teeth and bone health. The studies show that people who drank oolong tea for more than a period of 10 years had 2% higher overall bone mineral density.
A study on postmenopausal Chinese women shows that those who drink oolong tea on a regular basis has 4.5 % to 4.9% higher bone density. Other studies have also shown the similar effects of oolong tea on bones.
Research also links the oolong tea to a decrease in dental plaque. It is also opulent in fluoride that helps in protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.
Oolong Tea Help In Relieving Eczema
The antioxidants present in oolong tea are also helpful for people with eczema. A study involving 118 people with eczema have proven that oolong tea helps with eczema.
The people were given 1 liter of oolong tea every day, and the results showed that they had improvements in eczema within a period of 1-2 weeks. After the treatment for one month period along with oolong tea intake, patients’ health improved up to 63%.
One more thing which was proven in the study was that the improvements persisted in over 54% of patients even after five months.
Safety And Side Effects
Oolong tea has been in use as a health drink for centuries and is generally safe. However, it contains caffeine, which can be bad for caffeine people with caffeine sensitivity.
Drinking the oolong tea is fine until not done in excess as the caffeine content can lead to headaches, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, and other caffeine-related problems.
Another problem which some people can face if they drink oolong tea in excess is the antioxidants present in it can act as pro-oxidants.
People with low iron levels in the body must avoid using this tea with meals and consume foods rich in vitamin C to help in the absorption of the iron by the body.
USDA and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) both consider the 1.4 to 2.4 liters of oolong tea intake per day safe as it is under the 400mg caffeine limit, which is safe for the body.
Pregnant women are the ones who need to be careful while using oolong tea as their caffeine intake must only exceed the 200mg limit.
Oolong Tea is an incredibly healthy drink, although it is not as famous as green tea and black tea.
In the article, we have listed the various health benefits of this tea, including the oolong tea benefits for the brain, bone, heart, and other body. We have also discussed the various health benefits of this tea.
What do you think about oolong tea? Please do let us know in the comment box.