The tradition of consuming tea is as old in the Chinese culture as the Chinese culture itself. Some estimates put it at around 5000 years old.
China itself has from the past been a major tea grower in the world and is known for introducing the world to many new and unique forms of tea.
Aside from the natural plantation methods, Chinese people are also known to develop ways to differentiate the plantation of tea plants and alter its variety.
For the Chinese people itself, their centuries old relationship with consuming tea has served them in numerous ways.
For Chinese people, drinking tea after every meal aided in controlling nervous disorders. Tea was also used in herbal medicine in China with its leaves added to other forms of food as well.
Historically and to this very day, tea has served to make a healthier bond between different social classes and age groups of people in China.
For example in the case of younger Chinese people, inviting their elders for tea at a restaurant or just offering them tea is viewed as a way of showing respect to them.
Chinese people are fond of drinking many different types of tea.
Among the several different types of tea that are used in China are red tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, puerh tea, flower tea and yellow tea, etc.
Our article today, will discuss about what is oolong tea in detail along with what benefits it brings to your body.
What is Oolong tea?
Oolong tea is a famous traditional Chinese origin tea.
It is made from the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis, which is also used in the making of black tea and green tea.
So what makes the oolong tea different from black and green tea?
It is basically the procedure used in producing it that makes it different.
To make the oolong tea, its plants are withered under the sun and go through the process of oxidation before being finally curled and twisted.
Most exclusive brands offering fine quality varieties of the oolong tea, use a bit different procedure to give them the superior look.
How to check the quality of oolong tea?
Oolong tea is mostly used as a refreshing hot drink in China after eating a rich diet meal.
To check the quality of the oolong tea, its light yellow or orange color signifies that the oolong tea is of good quality.
If the tea served was entirely fermented, you might see a darker color as well.
As far as the taste of a good quality oolong tea is concerned, it should be pleasant but slightly bitter as well.
Bad quality oolong tea results from the extra fermentation of the oolong tea.
In such a case, the oolong tea won’t have its usual fragrance which gets lost during the fermentation process, its color will seem much redder along with a dull taste.
10 Health benefits of drinking oolong tea
While oolong tea is not as widely known as are the black tea and green tea, it does offer quite similar health benefits as green and black tea.
The known health benefits of oolong tea are found to be related and benefit the bone, dental health, heart, brain, metabolism of your body and type 2 diabetes.
We look in much detail now at the 10 health benefits of oolong tea that come due to its regular consumption.
1. Oolong tea may reduce risk and prevent diabetes
While oolong tea has still not been much researched just like the most common green tea and black tea have been, it is still known that the polyphenol anti-oxidants in the oolong tea are good for reducing the sugar levels of blood.
Oolong tea is also thought to reduce insulin levels and increase its sensitivity.
Regular consumption of oolong tea can also help reduce the risk and prevent type 2 diabetes.
2. Oolong tea can is good for improving your heart health
As per different researches, the polyphenols in the oolong tea can help in breaking the certain type of fat in your blood and reduce the risk of blood pressure and high cholesterol levels which subsequently reduces the risk of any heart disease.
A study done in China alone, suggests drinking oolong tea on a regular basis also reduces the risk of having a stroke.
But an important thing to share here is that oolong tea does contain caffeine which may risk increasing blood pressure in some people.
But with regular consumption of oolong tea, this issue tends to vanish on its own as well before raising any serious concerns.
3. Using oolong tea to reduce your weight
According to health experts, the polyphenols contained in the oolong tea can help to boost your metabolism as well as reduce the amount of fat absorption from the food you eat.
Aside from this, the same polyphenol anti-oxidants in the oolong tea are believed to activate enzymes that are capable of burning your existing fat reserves in your body to provide for its energy needs.
But while the combination of caffeine and polyphenol in oolong tea may help in burning your already stored body fat, the speed of weight loss may not be similar in every case.
4. Oolong tea can also help in improving your brain functionality
To begin with, oolong tea already has caffeine in it. Caffeine alone is seen as an essential component in enhancing the brain functionality for the majority of humans.
By increasing the release of special enzymes, caffeine intake can help in promoting a better mood and more attentiveness.
If you talk about the polyphenols in the oolong tea in this case, they are known to have calming effects on the consumers.
Quite similar to what is observed in the case of black tea drinkers, regular oolong tea consumers are also less likely to have a reduction or fall in their brain functioning potential.
5. Oolong tea as a protection against certain cancers
According to scientists and researchers, the anti-oxidants present in oolong tea can help in preventing the circumstances that relate to the formation of cancer in a human body.
Tea consumption in general and not just related to oolong tea is found to avoid risks in your body that can cause various types of cancer.
Regular consumption of oolong tea may have protective effects against several different types of cancer such as bladder, ovarian, breast, pancreatic, liver and colorectal cancer, etc.
6. Oolong tea’s benefits for your dental health
Regular consumption of oolong tea also benefits your dental health as well.
The tea plant leaves contain fluoride naturally so drinking of oolong tea can help prevent cavity and plaque issues in your teeth.
But remember to not drink too much oolong tea as intake of excess amounts of fluoride rich liquids can be harmful for the human body.
Because fluoride is a substance that is also present in other things that you use daily such as your tooth paste, mouthwash and drinking water; your daily amount of fluoride consumption through any and all means should be properly balanced.
7. Oolong tea strengthens your bones
The anti-oxidants present in the oolong tea can also help in keeping your bones strong.
While there is not enough evidence of how exactly this happens, it is reported that those who consume oolong tea have higher bone densities.
Higher bone density is linked to lower risks of bone fractures.
8. Oolong tea can also help in relieving Eczema
Regular consumption of oolong tea is also found to help in relieving from Eczema.
Eczema is a type of skin condition which makes skin red and itchy, something that is common in children but can still occur at any other age as well.
9. Oolong tea can help to improve your body’s gut microbiome
Having a balanced level of gut bacteria is necessary to many health problems such as inflammatory bowel diseases, metabolic disorders, allergies and diseases related to the liver.
Regular consumption of oolong tea can help in keeping a balance of the healthy bacteria in your body and help avoid any of these health concerns.
10. Reducing vascular inflammation
Having high amounts of red meat in your diet can cause vascular inflammation in your body.
To counter this issue, drinking oolong tea can help reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Side effects of oolong tea
Just like consuming any other tea, consuming oolong tea also requires a diligent approach keeping in mind that excess of anything primarily beneficial can eventually turn out to be harmful.
The following is a general list of some side effects and safety measures related to normal and high consumption of oolong tea.
- Drinking oolong tea for a longer time period and in high amounts can give rise to the side effects related with high levels of caffeine intake.
- High amounts of caffeine in your body can cause mild to serious levels of heartburn, sleep problems, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and seizures etc.
- For children, consuming oolong tea is safe as long as it matches their daily intake level and does not exceed it.
- If you have an anxiety disorder, avoiding oolong tea is advisable as it can deteriorate your existing condition.
- For pregnant and breast-feeding women, your oolong tea intake should depend on what your health expert or professional suggests for you.
- The caffeine in the oolong tea can help reduce the clotting ability of your blood in case of injuries and bleeding. So drinking oolong tea should be avoided in such cases.
Nutrients found in oolong tea
Now that you are pretty much aware of how regular consumption and excess drinking of oolong tea on a daily basis affects your normal body functions, let us now briefly look at the nutrient composition of oolong tea as well.
Just like the much popular and more widely used green and black tea, oolong tea contains several vitamins, minerals and beneficial anti-oxidants.
While how many cups of oolong tea should you consume is a recommendation for which you need to seek your medical health consultant, any average cup of brewed oolong tea should normally have –
- Caffeine – 36 mg
- Magnesium – 1 percent of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake)
- Potassium – 1 percent of the RDI
- Fluoride – 5 to 24 percent of the RDI
- Manganese – 26 percent of the RDI
- Sodium – 1 percent of the RDI
- Niacin – 1 percent of the RDI
Where oolong tea is majorly produced in the world?
As mentioned earlier, oolong tea originates from China.
However, along with China, Taiwan is also a main producer of oolong tea.
The largest cultivating regions of oolong tea in China are Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
But still, the oolong tea produced in the Wuyi Mountains is the most famous variety of all other forms of oolong tea.
Famous varieties of oolong tea
Below are some of the most famous varieties of the oolong tea –
- Se Chug Oolong
- Tie Guan Yin
- Darjeeling Oolong
- Jade Oolong
- Oriental Beauty
- High Mountain Oolong
- Dancing Oolong
Although you might have been unfamiliar with the oolong tea before reading this article, it is a highly popular hot beverage in China.
Its popularity can be ascertained from the fact that if you order a hot beverage in any Chinese restaurant, chances are that you will be served with the oolong tea.
No wonder oolong tea offers a number of health benefits but all of these depend on how much your daily consumption of it is.
To avoid any adverse health issues related with drinking excess amounts of oolong tea on a daily basis, you may want to consult an expert or professional.
This way you will get better advice for what optimum level of oolong tea should you preferably consume to attain maximum benefits of it without risking anything in return.