If you’re an avid tea drinker, then chances are you have tons of boxes of your favorite teas stashed away in the kitchen. From your early morning Earl Grey to nightly Moroccan mints, each one carries a different aroma, flavor, and vibe. However, it might be time to add Oolong tea to that collection of yours if you haven’t already! Let us tell you why!
This perfect blend of green tea and black tea comes in a variety of flavors and roasts. It comes from the same plant as both Green and Black tea which is Camellia sinensis but is the perfect middle ground of both. So as Miley Cyrus put it, with oolong tea, you’re definitely getting the best of both worlds!
9 Benefits of Oolong Tea:
#1 De-stress, Rejuvenate, and maintain a healthy brain!
Packed with l theanine which is an amino acid that decreases anxiety and reduces your blood pressure, this tea is perfect for de-stressing and improving your mood before bed after a tiring day. Apart from that, this tea also improves cognitive function by stimulating your mental performance and increasing your attention span.
Sounds like the perfect thing to sip on during exam season when you need a little break from those espressos! Especially since it comes with enough caffeine to give you a little boost of energy and alert your brain.
Aside from improving cognitive brain function, oolong tea also protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. This is because the EGCg present in the tea helps fight free radicals.
According to tests, a cup a day of oolong tea has also been known to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke which is caused by a blockage in arteries leading to the brain.
#2 It promotes a healthy heart!
This tea has been known to promote a healthy heart with a long- term use. One of the main causes of heart diseases is the buildup of cholesterol in the heart’s blood vessels, but luckily oolong tea does a great job of stopping its spread. It also decreases the vascular inflammation that’s caused by increased consumption of red meat. Moreover, it prevents the death of heart muscle cells which further improves the heart function.
#3 Loose weight and stay fit!
Not all of us can eat a whole plate of French fries followed by a double cheeseburger and not gain a pound. But you can add components like Oolong tea to your diet which help with weight loss and increase your metabolism.
This tea promotes a process known as thermogenesis in which the production of fat cells is suppressed. Along with that, the polyphenols in the tea aid in a faster breakdown of these fat cells which keeps those few extra pounds at bay.
The best way to ensure this helps with weight loss is to also incorporate a generous amount of regular exercise in your routine.
#4 It improves digestive health
Acting like antiseptics, the polyphenols in oolong tea regulate the bacterial environment in your gut. It promotes the production of healthy bacteria. If this gut balance is off, it can cause various problems such as inflammation, bowel disease, liver diseases, and metabolic disorders.
Along with that, the tea is known to help with digestion and regulate bowel movements. This is great for people who have recently had bowel surgeries that have made excretion a more painful process than it needs to be.
#5 It promotes healthy bones
Apart from helping your organs, oolong tea improves your bone density as well to make sure your bones stay strong. The tea comes packed with chemicals and minerals such as Magnesium and Potassium that deposit themselves in your bones. This is great for diseases such as osteoporosis where the bone is essentially porous and very vulnerable to fractures. It also calms down any inflammation in bones by reducing the effect of genes that are responsible for inflammation in the first place.
#6 It may help with Diabetes
Even though research gives us mixed results with this one, most of the research supports that drinking oolong tea in moderate amounts can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This is because of the polyphenols present in the tea that stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels. The tea inhibits the digestive enzyme a-amylase which is responsible for high glucose levels in the blood.
The one research that does not support this has been ruled to do so because of possible pesticides present in the tea used for that particular experiment. Hence, professionals have not indicated to avoid oolong tea itself.
#7 It promotes better skin and helps with Eczema
From improving eczema to easing skin damage, studies prove that oolong tea can do it all. With regular usage, you should see improvements on eczema-prone skin after 1 or 2 weeks.
The polyphenol present in the tea also helps in reducing the oxidative damage to your skin. This means that they fight off the free radicals in your skin to slow down aging and degeneration of your cells, so you stay wrinkle-free for longer!
#8 It improves sleep
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, you might want to consider adding a cup of oolong tea to your night routine. With a combination of L theanine and GABA, it can aid in longer and better quality sleep. GABA is a compound that reduces the excitement of neurons in your body and essentially helps your body relax. For a better result, you should look for GABA enriched Oolong teas.
However, make sure you’re not having more than a cup of oolong tea before bed because it does contain a certain amount of caffeine that can fire you up instead of shutting you down if consumed in large amounts.
#9 Cancer prevention
According to research, the polyphenol antioxidants present in Oolong tea help with the prevention of mutations that can lead to cancer cells in the body. These antioxidants target and help to prevent the growth of ovarian, pancreatic, esophageal, lung and liver cancers, etc.
Are there any risks involved when drinking oolong tea?
As long as your oolong tea intake is controlled, you have nothing to worry about! The problem occurs when you drink it excessively leading to a caffeine overload. Even though oolong tea does not nearly have the same amount of caffeine as coffee does, it will still affect you if consumed in larger amounts, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. This caffeine overdose can lead to palpitations, nervousness, tremors, abdominal pain, headaches, etc.
Teas, in general, can also lead to problems of iron absorption. Furthermore, to avoid heart problems, do not drink this tea with substances such as Ephedrine or Amphetamines, blood-thinning medications such as Heparin or substances that slow down blood- clotting.
What does Oolong tea taste like?
As we mentioned before, oolong tea is a hybrid of both green and black teas. Black teas are fully oxidized, giving them a stronger flavor; on the other hand, green teas have a fresher flavor and lighter color since they go through minimum oxidation. Oolong tea has varying oxidations from 8% to 80%, but the more oxidized it is, the stronger its flavor. Different types of oolong teas can have different flavors based on the age, oxidation, and roasting process of the tea. It can be floral, grassy, sweet, or toasty.
What is milk oolong tea?
Contrary to its name, milk oolong tea doesn’t actually contain milk. It’s a traditional Taiwanese version of the tea which is made from tea leaves that have a creamy and buttery flavor. The tea has a floral scent and the milk flavor simply comes from how this tea was harvested. This tea does provide the same benefits as regular oolong tea.
How to prepare oolong tea?
Oolong tea is most commonly prepared by steeping the tea leaves in boiling water for a few minutes. For one cup of tea, take about 1 or 2 teaspoons of tea leaves, add them to an infuser and add it to your cup of boiled water. If you don’t have an infuser, feel free to simply add them in your cup of hot water and strain the tea once it’s been steeped. The tea leaves are usually left in for about 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. The same tea leaves can be used to brew at least 2- 3 cups of teas, providing slightly different flavors each time before throwing them away! Even though the best way of preparing this tea is by loose tea- leaves, you can find it in tea- bags and different flavors in the market. Traditionally, it’s drunk without the addition of creamer or milk, similar to green tea.
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