12 Benefits of Oolong Tea
There are few things more relaxing than sitting down to a delicious cup of hot tea.
And when it comes to Oolong tea, drinkers can enjoy a whole host of benefits, beyond that great Oolong tea taste. This popular, versatile tea is bursting with health and wellbeing benefits, from weight loss to mood enhancement, and even treatment for eczema.
So let’s look at some of the many Oolong tea benefits you can expect. Before we begin though, what is Oolong Tea and where does it come from?
What is Oolong Tea?
Thanks to its incredible versatility, there are many different types of Oolong tea, all lying somewhere between green tea and black tea. The oxidation of Oolong can vary widely with some types of Oolong being light green in colour, whilst more oxidised oolongs will look almost black. Often described as a partially oxidised tea, the levels of oxidisation in the types of Oolong tea can range from 8% to 80% or anywhere in between.
The Oolong tea flavour is equally diverse, ranging from green and fresh or sweet and fruity to a maltier black tea with notes of caramel or cinnamon.
Where does Oolong Tea come from?
Oolong teas are made from the leaves, buds and branches of the Camellia Sinensis plant. They are traditionally rolled or twisted into thin strands or tight balls, depending on the preferences of the tea master.
China and Taiwan both claim the origin of Oolong tea, though today it is also grown in Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and India. The region of Fuijan in China is known for its particular preparation of Oolong, knowns as the Gongfu tea ceremony.
12 Benefits of Oolong Tea
It can help with weight loss
You may have heard of drinking Oolong tea for weight loss, and there are indeed many studies that show the link between the bioactive compounds in tea and weight loss.
The research suggests that Oolong tea can help to slow obesity by increasing energy expenditure – that is, encouraging the body to burn more calories. It also points to Oolong helping to increase the rate of fat oxidation, thereby reducing the amount of body fat.
It can help regulate blood sugar levels
Like green tea, Oolong tea has been seen to help the body regulate blood sugar levels, and can reduce fasting blood sugar levels. This is particularly relevant for those at risk of type 2 diabetes, where blood sugar control is an important part in prevention.
It reduces stress
It’s a natural inclination to pour ourselves a cup of tea when we are feeling stressed. But studies have indeed shown that Oolong tea can reduce your stress levels. The amino acid Theanine found in Oolong can relieve anxiety, making Oolong a great choice of drink if you are feeling anxious or stressed.
It increases alertness
Oolong tea contains caffeine, which is well known for increasing alertness and boosting brain activity. This in turn has a positive effect on your attention span and cognition. In addition, the Theanine found in Oolong tea is also shown to increase alertness and boost brain function.
It boosts your mood
Another advantage of caffeine is that it encourages the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals are thought to work as mood boosters as well as making you feel more alert.
It aids healthy digestion
Green and Oolong teas are also shown to promote gut health, by encouraging a healthier balance of gut bacteria. Good digestion relies on having the right bacteria in the gut, and so this balance is essential to keep you feeling at your best.
It improves heart health
Studies suggest that drinking tea regularly could contribute towards a healthy heart. One large study showed a significant decrease in coronary heart disease among those who drank more than six cups of tea a day, whilst another study resulted in a 61% lower risk of heart disease among men who drank 8 ounces or more of Oolong tea each day.
It improves sleep
Since Oolong teas – especially the greener varieties – have a greatly reduced level of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee or black tea, it is a good alternative when you are in need of a hot drink in the evening. The presence of Theanine in Oolong Tea is also known to aid relaxation to help you switch off at night.
It may help protect against cancer
Scientists believe that the antioxidants found in Oolong tea, as well as in green and black tea, could inhibit some of cell mutations that lead to cancer. There have been many studies conducted into the Oolong tea benefits in reducing cancer risk. Though there is some evidence to suggest a link, caution is also advised in not placing too much trust in these results, as they are still inconclusive.
Improved bone density
The antioxidants present in Oolong tea are reported to help increase bone mineral density. Having stronger bones is likely protect you against the possibility of fractures or breakages, although no direct studies have been done on this.
As well as strengthening bones, Oolong tea has been shown to have a positive effect on dental health. Stronger tooth enamel can protect again decay, and tea consumption is also linked to a decrease in plaque and gingivitis.
It promotes healthy skin.
Last but not least of the Oolong tea benefits, the polyphenol antioxidants in Oolong tea have shown promising signs of relieving symptoms of eczema. Research also suggests that Oolong tea may reduce the presence of sun spots or discolouration of the skin caused by sun exposure.
How to brew Oolong Tea
Start with freshly drawn water, that has not been previously boiled, and let the water heat to 90-95°C. As a general rule of thumb steeping time is between 3 & 4 minutes. As you want room for the leaves to unfold and release their flavour, we recommend one of our larger basket, or in cup infusers. You can also brew the tea leaves directly in the teapot and strain as you pour.
Where to buy Oolong tea
Delicious in flavour and bursting with health benefits, there is a lot to love about this versatile tea. So if you are looking for where to buy Oolong tea, we stock 17 different varieties of Oolong, from Orange Blossom to Milk Oolong. You are bound to find an Oolong tea taste that suits you. So why not browse our range and see what flavour takes your fancy?
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- Tags: healthy skin, healthy teeth, Heart Health, Helps with Weight Loss, Improved Sense of Wellbeing, Improved Sleep, Mood Boost, oolong tea, Promotes Healthy Changes, Reduced Stress