China has been using Oolong tea for the past 400 years. Just like any other tea, it is also a fermented tea. It is semi-green in color because the fermentation process is stopped as soon as the leaves start to change their color.
Oolong tea reduces risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders, high cholesterol levels, etc. Oolong tea has a fragrant and fruity flavor with a pleasant aroma. Despite its caffeine content, it is extremely relaxing to drink.
Nutritional Value of Oolong Tea
This tea is nature’s gift to mankind and is rich in antioxidants. It also contains calcium, manganese, copper, corotin, selenium, and potassium, and Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Furthermore, it contains folic acid, niacin amide and other detoxifying alkaloids. It is not completely fermented, thus it preserves polyphenolic compounds. Oolong tea also contains caffeine and theophylline and theobromine which stimulate the nervous system.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
- Weight Management
The polyphenol compound present in oolong tea is very effective to control the fat metabolism in the body. It activates enzymes that enhance the functions of fat cells in the body. It is found that daily consumption of oolong tea can reduce obesity. Some studies actually show that the caffeine content in the oolong tea is the active ingredient behind weight loss, but now it seems to be mainly due to polyphenols. This is because the active components in oolong tea make fat work for you.
- Healthy skin
According to scientific experiments, the polyphenols present in oolong tea also work as anti-allergenic compounds. They reduce irritation and chronic skin problems, known as atopic dermatitis. Patients with eczema can benefit from drinking 3 cups of oolong tea per day relieving them from such conditions.
- Healthy bones
The high quantity of antioxidants present in oolong tea protects teeth against decay, strengthens the bones, and prevents osteoporosis. People who consistently drank oolong tea for years have been found less likely to lose their bone mineral density over time. It has some components that actually stimulate the retention of minerals from other foods as well.
- Controls diabetes
Oolong tea can be used as a herbal brew for treating type-2 diabetes. It acts as a supplementary drug for treating that disease. It regulates the amount of sugar levels in the blood and insulin that is in the bloodstream. A study showed that when oolong tea is combined with regular hyperglycemic drugs, it can further balance the blood sugar levels and prevent the sudden drops.
- Anti-cancer properties
Oolong tea has been found as an anti-cancerous compound and it is a well-known fact around the world that tea drinkers have a lower risk of getting skin cancer. Moreover, polyphenolic compound present in oolong tea promotes apoptosis. This prevents stomach related cancerous growths. This polyphenol extract also has properties that make it a chemo-preventive instrument which is able to protect you against the development of other forms of cancers as well. These compounds suppress the activation of carcinogenic cells, thus preventing the formation of N-nitroso compounds, and trapping genotoxic agents before they can become active.
Word of Caution
In spite of all of these very important benefits of oolong tea, it is essential to keep in mind that oolong tea tends to be very high in caffeine. Different people may respond differently to caffeine, but common side effects include, headaches and severe anxiety, sleeplessness, diarrhea and heartburn, irregular heartbeat, and confusion. Other conditions that may be affected or elevated by high caffeine intake include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, and irritable bowel syndrome.