Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea. Like green and black tea, oolong tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
The process of oxidation is what creates green, dark, or oolong teas.
Green tea is crafted from freshly picked tea leaves that remain unoxidized, avoiding the chemical reaction initiated by exposure to air. This reaction influences the color and flavor variations found in different tea types. In contrast, black tea is fashioned by fully crushing leaves to intensify oxidation, while oolong tea is carefully crafted by withering leaves in the sun and gently bruising them to induce partial oxidation.
Nutrition in oolong tea
Oolong tea contains various nutrients and compounds, including antioxidants and caffeine, contributing to its potential health advantages.
These are the nutritious that are found in oolong tea:
- Phenolic compounds like: theaflavins, thearubigins, and theasinensins
In the realm of phytonutrients, oolong tea stands out with its rich content of phenolic compounds, believed to exert positive health effects. These plant-based substances, acting as antioxidants, hold potential benefits in mitigating oxidative stress, with implications for conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Beyond phenolics, oolong tea comprises a spectrum of nutritional elements, including polysaccharides (a category of carbohydrates), amino acids, and alkaloids, caffeine among them.
Health benefits of oolong tea
Low risk of diabetes
Recent studies suggest that the polyphenols in oolong tea can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. Insulin resistance happens when the body has trouble using sugars properly. High blood sugar and insulin resistance are both linked to health issues like diabetes and obesity. So, enjoying a cup of oolong tea might be a simple and tasty way to support your health.
Improving the health of gut bacteria
An imbalance in gut bacteria is associated with various health issues, spanning from inflammatory bowel diseases and allergies to metabolic disorders and liver disease. Oolong tea could play a role in restoring a healthy bacterial balance, offering support, especially when following a high-fat diet.
Aiding in weight loss
Oolong tea stands out as a popular choice among weight-loss teas for a compelling reason. Research indicates that it may play a role in mitigating the weight gain induced by a high-fat diet, affecting factors such as hepatic lipids and white adipose tissue weights. Moreover, oolong tea shows promise in preventing obesity, with some studies suggesting positive outcomes even without additional efforts or exercise.
Supports Heart Health
The polyphenols present in oolong tea initiate an enzyme that works to break down triglycerides, a specific type of fat circulating in your bloodstream. These triglycerides play a role in the thickening of artery walls, elevating the risks associated with stroke, heart attack, and various heart diseases. Additionally, studies indicate that oolong tea has the potential to reduce cholesterol levels, and since elevated cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease, this further underscores the heart-healthy properties of oolong tea.
Improve mood and relieving stress
The L-theanine in tea can help improve your mood and reduce stress. This amino acid is in almost all teas, except for pu’erh where it's very little. Studies found that white, green, and oolong teas generally have more L-theanine than black tea.
In a study with 16 healthy people, L-theanine was shown to lower anxiety and reduce high blood pressure caused by stress. So, sipping on tea could be a simple way to feel better and calmer.
Enhances bone health
While it may not be top of mind, maintaining healthy bone mineral density is crucial for preventing osteoporosis and fractures. Oolong Tea's polyphenols, often overlooked in this context, play a role in potentially boosting bone mass and strength. Consider the broader impact on your overall well-being by incorporating tea into your routine as a supportive measure for bone health.