When shopping for tea, there are various kinds on the shelves of supermarkets and health stores. While oolong, green, white, and black teas have different names, they’re all made from the same plant. This article will focus on oolong tea benefits and possible side-effects
Oolong can provide various health benefits. They include weight loss, anti-diabetes, and anti-cancer. There’s a good amount of scientific evidence about certain benefits. In other cases, there’s little or no evidence the natural tea can provide certain health benefits. However, it’s a healthier choice versus sugary iced teas on the market whether it’s powdered or bottled. Those teas are highly-processed so their nutritional value is much lower than teas made from natural tea leaves. This is why you should making natural tea your cup of tea. White and green tea are better overall options but oolong still provides lots of health benefits.
What Exactly Is Oolong Tea?
The tea’s origins are claimed to be in China and Taiwan. The tea variety is popular in both regions today. Oolong is closest to green and black teas. It’s in its category since it’s processed more than black tea but less than green tea. If you’re looking for more antioxidants, then green tea is a better option. However, oolong tea has more antioxidants than black tea.
The amount of processing is related to the amount of “oxidation” that are allowed. That affects the number of antioxidants in tea based on how much oxygen is allowed to contact the tea leaves. For example, full oxidation is allowed for black tea, which gives it its dark color and malt-like scent.
On the other hand, green tea is oxidized just a little. That gives the natural tea a full green color and flavor like fresh-picked tea leaves. White tea has a higher concentration of antioxidants because it’s unprocessed. So among processed teas, green has the most antioxidants.
The traditional shapes of oolong teas are thin strands or tight balls. One story is the Chinese named the tea “Wulong” (black dragon) due to the large black leaves that were highly oxidized. They naturally twisted into shapes like Chinese dragons.
Top Oolong Tea Benefits
In one serving of tea, you get 36mg of caffeine. It is a healthy source of a substance compared to other options like soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks. The key is to go with natural teas instead of highly-processed versions for the best results.
Natural caffeine sources can provide various health benefits. It can boost metabolism, which can help with weight loss. It can also help with mental focus and other mental/emotional benefits.
Vitamins and minerals
You get several nutrients from oolong tea including about one-quarter of the daily value of Manganese and Fluoride. These are some of the various minerals that humans need daily.
The healthy beverage is also high in antioxidants. Oolong tea like green and black tea is high in plant-based chemical compounds known as polyphenols. These are known to provide many health benefits.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Another possible benefit of oolong tea is the “polyphenol” antioxidants. They’re believed to lower insulin and blood sugar levels. These are critical issues to help prevent/treat conditions like prediabetes and diabetes. These health conditions are related to the body’s ability to process blood sugar, which can cause various health issues like inflammation and weight gain. Drinking 480 ml (16 ounces) per day might lower blood sugar.
It’s believed that the plant-based chemicals in oolong tea could help to boost metabolism. It can help your body absorb less fat and help shed pounds. The theory is that tea antioxidants can trigger enzymes that turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
One of the main benefits of tea over coffee is it’s high-caffeine yet can also have a calming effect. That’s due to an amino acid in oolong tea that provides this calming effect. That’s why you should consider tea instead of coffee close to bedtime. It will help to prevent you from counting sheep all night.
Possible Side-Effects of Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is considered very safe for adults when taken in a moderate amount. That works out to around 4 cups of tea per day. You should generally avoid drinking more than that per day. However, it’s best to consult with your doctor about the issue to determine whether or not it would cause any possible health issues.
Consuming a high amount of oolong tea might be unsafe. That is especially true if you drink high doses long-term. You might experience some side-effects due to the tea’s high caffeine content. The possible side-effects include:
- Sleep issues
- Irregular heart rate
A related issue is drinking many cups of oolong tea could result in caffeine addiction. This is because they’d have to drink the same amount daily to get the same health effects.
If they stop drinking the tea they could experience “withdrawal.” This is because their bodies don’t have access to the tea’s chemicals including caffeine.
Certain high-risk groups should consider avoiding oolong tea:
- High Blood Pressure
- Anxiety Disorders
- Heart Problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If you have any of these conditions, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not you should avoid oolong tea. In some cases, you might get a green light. However, in other cases, your doctor might suggest that you not consume certain beverages like oolong tea.
One factor in terms of tea consumption is how much you consume. A moderate amount is 4 cups/day. However, if you’re drinking more, this increases your risk of various health benefits. That’s because it’s beyond the limit for moderate tea-drinking.
Your doctor might recommend that you drink less than that amount based on several health conditions. That will you avoid side-effects while experiencing the oolong tea benefits.