Oolong tea is a partially oxidized, partially fermented tea made from the same leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant as other true tea. The name “oolong” comes from the Chinese and means “black dragon tea.” There are many different varieties of oolong tea and thus, a wide range of flavors and aromas, from sweet and fruity to deeply earthy and woody. The fermentation process of making oolong dilutes its nutritional value compared to green and white tea, however it remains an extremely healthy beverage.
Here are 7 health benefits of oolong tea:
The antioxidants in oolong are not as potent as in white or green tea, but remain a powerful ally in cancer prevention. They reduce the risks of free radical damage to cells and DNA, a well known contributor to many different varieties of cancer.
High In Antioxidants
Though fermentation reduces the concentration of antioxidants in tea, oolong remains a very good source of these essential compounds. One study suggests that steeping oolong longer, in hotter water, may increase its antioxidant benefits.
A study at Kyoto University in Japan linked drinking oolong tea with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The study found that drinking as little as one to six cups of oolong per week resulted in a 38% risk reduction in men and a 22% risk reduction in women. The tea is believed to help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
Weight Loss and Obesity Prevention
Research shows that polyphenol compounds derived from oolong has anti-obesity effects in tests with mice. Oolong tea is believed to increase the metabolism and help the body to burn fat.
One study found that drinking oolong tea is an effective treatment for dermatitis. The powerful antioxidants in tea help remove toxins from the skin that contribute to age related blemishes such as spots and wrinkles. Oolong may also help to protect the skin from sun damage caused by ultra violet radiation.
The small amounts of caffeine in oolong tea can provide a good energy boost without the energy crashes that often follow drinking coffee that is often loaded with sugar and cream.
Research suggests that drinking tea over long periods of time may help to increase the mineral density of bones and help prevent osteoporosis.