If you find drinking water a little too plain, tea is known as another healthy drink option. There’re plenty of studies telling us the health benefits of drinking tea, and no matter it’s hot or cold, it’s still a great refreshment. While people these days are getting more obsessed with matcha (or green tea), oolong is a great alternative that can also improve your health.
What is oolong exactly?
Made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is slightly fermented and semi-oxidized, giving it a taste in between black and green tea. There are a wide variety of oolong teas, but the most famous oolong comes from the Fuijan province of China.
Why oolong though?
The health benefits of tea range far and wide, and a cup of oolong tea goes a long way when it comes to your well-being.
As one of the most popular and traditional types of tea in China and Taiwan, oolong is known to provide robust health benefits when consumed on the regular. Packed with antioxidants, the oolong leaf combines catechin and caffeine which fight free radicals.
What’s inside oolong tea?
Here’re the nutritional values of 1 serving of oolong tea.
- Calories: 90
- Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Calcium: 4%
- Total Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Vitamin C: 100 %
How can I benefit from oolong?
There’re many health benefits of oolong that we can experience if we start to drink it:
1. Boosts your metabolism, causing weight loss.
Oolong tea helps you burn fat faster by raising your metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it. Oolong also contains polyphenols that are able to block enzymes that build fat. This means you can lose weight with oolong tea, so long as you don’t load it with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. If your tastes lean towards sweet tea, consider using a small amount of raw honey, maple syrup, stevia or agave syrup—all of which are sugars low on the glycemic index.
2. Lowers cholesterol
Oolong is known to reduce cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Because oolong tea is semi-oxidized, it produces a perfectly sized polyphenol molecule that is able to activate the enzyme lipase, which is known to dissolve body fat.
3. Increases mental alertness
This healing hot cuppa is known to revitalize your mental alertness and performance, naturally, because it contains caffeine. Be careful if you are sensitive to caffeine and limit your consumption to one lightly steeped cup a day, or indulge a few times a week.
4. Aids digestion
Oolong can help aid digestion for those not sensitive to caffeine. The tea alkalizes the digestive tract, reducing inflammation in those with acid reflux and ulcer problems. Because it is mildly antiseptic, oolong tea can clear bad bacteria from your belly. Its calm, smooth flavor can soothe the stomach when consumed hot.
5. Promotes healthy hair
Due to its high level of antioxidants, oolong tea can prevent hair loss if you make a tea rinse out of the leaves. Not only that, but your hair will be thicker and shinier. Oolong softens and adds lustre to your hair.
6. Betters your skin condition
Eczema often occurs in conjunction with allergies or sensitivities. Oolong tea is able to suppress those allergic reactions because it combats free radicals, which is a healing property of an antioxidant. Also, the antioxidants found in oolong are essential for vibrant, youthful skin. Drinking oolong can greatly slow down the aging process, so it’s a great anti-aging tool.
7. Stabilizes blood sugar
When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels are elevated. Studies have shown that those suffering from diabetes could benefit from drinking oolong which, in studies, has decreased blood glucose to a healthy level. The antioxidants in oolong, which comes from polyphenols, does wonders for metabolizing sugar.
8. Prevents tooth decay
Both oolong and green tea protect teeth from acid produced by certain bacteria. The production of acid and the growth of bacteria are both inhibited by oolong tea, which means it is effective in preventing tooth decay and build-up plaque.
9. Prevents osteoporosis and forms strong bones
Oolong can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Those who consistently drink oolong tea are less likely to lose their bone mineral density, helping retain minerals from healthy foods consumed. It has been discovered that oolong contains magnesium and calcium in its leaves.
10. Strengthens the immune system
Known for its anti-cancer properties, oolong tea assists in maintaining a healthy immune system. The antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea prevent cellular damage. The production of anti-bacterial proteins is much higher in those who drink oolong tea, indicating a strong immune response when fighting infection.
Where to get nice oolong tea?
Oolong can be found in most grocery stores. You can also find them on Amazon and eBay.
For a tea bag of one of the good tea brands, the average is 20-30 cents. If you’re looking for high end gourmet packages which offer better leaf than others, it may cost more than 40 cents per cup.
For loose whole leaf artisan-crafted teas, it costs 25-40 cents per cup for most good grade teas.
Here we’ve got some nice oolong tea recommendations for you:
- monkey picked
- Nonpareil Taiwan li Shan,
- Guang dong phoenix dan cong
- Tsui yu jade
- Dong ding
Some other varieties
- Dancing oolong
- Jade oolong
- Darjeeling oolong
- High mountain oolong
- Tie guan yin
- Oriental beauty
- Se chug oolong
How much of oolong tea should I drink?
It’s important to consume oolong tea in moderation because it contains a certain amount of caffeine.
Two cups of oolong tea is recommended. If possible, one in the morning and one in the afternoon; so it won’t affect your sleep.
Consuming too much caffeine can result in side effects including headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, irregular heartbeat and inflammation. And too much oolong can upset stomach and decrease the effectiveness of medications.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or having serious medical condition that is affected by caffeine consumption, talk to your doctor first before consuming it.
How to drink oolong tea?
The easiest way is to add boiling water to a cup of oolong tea—either in teabag form or a level tablespoon of loose leaves.
As a general rule of thumb, for 6 ounces of water, use 1 teaspoon if the tea is rolled into balls and up to 2 tablespoons if it consists of large open leaves.
Then, steep for 2–5 minutes, depends on how strong you want the flavor to be. Enjoy the tea while it’s still hot, it’s better.
But if you like iced tea and want a little bit more variety in flavors, here we also have some oolong iced tea recipes for more servings:
Recipe: Oolong Lemonade Tea
- 6 cups water
- 6 oolong tea bags
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 teaspoons stevia (optional)
- Steep the tea bag in hot water for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and add the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, or simply serve over ice.
Recipe: Peach Oolong Tea
- 6 cups water
- 4 oolong tea bags
- 2 ripe peaches, peeled and diced
- Stevia (optional)
- Steep the tea bag in hot water for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours.
- For the peaches, blend them until smooth. Add the peach puree and stevia to the chilled tea and stir it.
- Serve over ice with an extra slice of peach if you want.
Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io
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