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10 Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Overview

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. This plant is also used to make both black and green tea. Green tea is only oxidized for a short period of time, while black tea undergoes full oxidation. Oolong tea undergoes a period of oxidation smack-dab in the middle.

Oolong tea contains plenty of nutrients and bioactive compounds, including fluoride, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

Read on to discover 10 benefits of drinking oolong tea.

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Benefits

Health benefits of oolong tea

1. Improves mental performance

Thanks to its caffeine boost, oolong tea can improve mental performance, including both cognition and alertness. While this is an immediate benefit, some research has also found evidence that long-term tea consumption improves cognition in adults.

2. Boosts memory

One 2004 study found that along with cognition benefits, drinking oolong tea regularly can help improve your memory long term.

Oolong tea has this benefit because it somehow inhibits the activity of acetylcholinesterase. This is an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters that are known to decrease in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Maintains heart health

Multiple studies show that oolong tea may help prevent heart disease and coronary artery disease. One study even found an 11 percent decrease of risk of heart attacks with consumption of three cups of tea a day. Oolong tea also reduces levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as “bad” cholesterol.

4. Prevents tooth decay

A cup of oolong tea contains fluoride and antioxidants that can help promote healthy teeth. It also has antibacterial properties that may aid in preventing cavities and decreasing the acidity of saliva, which can wear down enamel.

5. Promotes healthy skin

Skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can be painful or uncomfortable, but oolong tea may provide some relief. One study found that oolong tea, along with green tea, reduced allergic dermatitis reactions. Some saw positive effects as soon as one week after drinking one serving daily.

There is also evidence that skin cancer risk is reduced when you regularly consume tea with anticancer properties.

6. Aids in weight loss

Like green tea, oolong tea catechins, the main active compounds, promote fat loss, thereby improving metabolism. As a bonus, oolong tea is much safer than a large number of weight loss supplements.

7. Has anticancer properties

Both oolong and green tea have strong antioxidant properties, which may help protect your body against free radical damage that can cause cancer. The polyphenols may also help prevent or decrease the rate of cancer cell division.

The research is strongest in the area of prevention of ovarian cancer, though oolong tea may also help prevent other cancers, too.

8. Reduces risk of rheumatoid arthritis

Oolong tea’s antioxidants and other health benefits may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. According to some research, drinking about three cups a day of oolong tea resulted in a decreased risk of this form of arthritis compared to those who never drank tea.

9. Stabilizes blood sugar

Maintaining blood sugar is one of the biggest challenges many people with diabetes face. Oolong tea has been found by some studies to help stabilize blood sugar in those with this disease. One study from 2003 found that oolong tea may be a good complementary therapy in addition to traditional medications.

10. Fights off bacteria

Oolong tea has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which can help your body fight off bad bacteria. Oolong tea even has antibacterial effects against Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, and other types of bacteria.

Making oolong tea

How to make oolong tea

Making oolong tea at home is simple. Use the amount of tea the packaging it comes in recommends. Heat water in a cup or kettle to between 180 and 200˚F (82 and 93˚C). Add the tea to the water, and let it steep between one and five minutes. Steeping it for the full five minutes results in the strongest flavor and highest number of health benefits. Remove the tea bag or infuser, and let the tea cool enough to comfortably drink it.

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Side effects

Side effects of oolong tea

Oolong tea is generally safe for most people to consume on a regular basis, though some people will be negatively impacted by the caffeine.

Caffeine can interact with medications like amphetamines. Women who are pregnant should also avoid caffeine. If you have any heart conditions, including irregular heartbeat, ask your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake. The caffeine can also make anxiety disorders more severe.

You should also ask your doctor about oolong tea if you have diabetes. While some research shows that it may help control diabetes, the fact that it could interfere with your blood sugar levels is something you should discuss with your doctor first so you can adjust your medications if needed.

Takeaway

The takeaway

Oolong tea is an affordable, delicious way to potentially improve your health on a consistent basis. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions that may be affected by the tea, and monitor your body’s response to the increase in caffeine. Start with just one cup a tea and slowly increase the amount over time.

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Overview

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. This plant is also used to make both black and green tea. Green tea is only oxidized for a short period of time, while black tea undergoes full oxidation. Oolong tea undergoes a period of oxidation smack-dab in the middle.

Oolong tea contains plenty of nutrients and bioactive compounds, including fluoride, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

Read on to discover 10 benefits of drinking oolong tea.

Advertisement

Health benefits of oolong tea

1. Improves mental performance

Thanks to its caffeine boost, oolong tea can improve mental performance, including both cognition and alertness. While this is an immediate benefit, some research has also found evidence that long-term tea consumption improves cognition in adults.

2. Boosts memory

One 2004 study found that along with cognition benefits, drinking oolong tea regularly can help improve your memory long term.

Oolong tea has this benefit because it somehow inhibits the activity of acetylcholinesterase. This is an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters that are known to decrease in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Maintains heart health

Multiple studies show that oolong tea may help prevent heart disease and coronary artery disease. One study even found an 11 percent decrease of risk of heart attacks with consumption of three cups of tea a day. Oolong tea also reduces levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as “bad” cholesterol.

4. Prevents tooth decay

A cup of oolong tea contains fluoride and antioxidants that can help promote healthy teeth. It also has antibacterial properties that may aid in preventing cavities and decreasing the acidity of saliva, which can wear down enamel.

5. Promotes healthy skin

Skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can be painful or uncomfortable, but oolong tea may provide some relief. One study found that oolong tea, along with green tea, reduced allergic dermatitis reactions. Some saw positive effects as soon as one week after drinking one serving daily.

There is also evidence that skin cancer risk is reduced when you regularly consume tea with anticancer properties.

6. Aids in weight loss

Like green tea, oolong tea catechins, the main active compounds, promote fat loss, thereby improving metabolism. As a bonus, oolong tea is much safer than a large number of weight loss supplements.

7. Has anticancer properties

Both oolong and green tea have strong antioxidant properties, which may help protect your body against free radical damage that can cause cancer. The polyphenols may also help prevent or decrease the rate of cancer cell division.

The research is strongest in the area of prevention of ovarian cancer, though oolong tea may also help prevent other cancers, too.

8. Reduces risk of rheumatoid arthritis

Oolong tea’s antioxidants and other health benefits may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. According to some research, drinking about three cups a day of oolong tea resulted in a decreased risk of this form of arthritis compared to those who never drank tea.

9. Stabilizes blood sugar

Maintaining blood sugar is one of the biggest challenges many people with diabetes face. Oolong tea has been found by some studies to help stabilize blood sugar in those with this disease. One study from 2003 found that oolong tea may be a good complementary therapy in addition to traditional medications.

10. Fights off bacteria

Oolong tea has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which can help your body fight off bad bacteria. Oolong tea even has antibacterial effects against Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, and other types of bacteria.

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How to make oolong tea

Making oolong tea at home is simple. Use the amount of tea the packaging it comes in recommends. Heat water in a cup or kettle to between 180 and 200˚F (82 and 93˚C). Add the tea to the water, and let it steep between one and five minutes. Steeping it for the full five minutes results in the strongest flavor and highest number of health benefits. Remove the tea bag or infuser, and let the tea cool enough to comfortably drink it.

Side effects of oolong tea

Oolong tea is generally safe for most people to consume on a regular basis, though some people will be negatively impacted by the caffeine.

Caffeine can interact with medications like amphetamines. Women who are pregnant should also avoid caffeine. If you have any heart conditions, including irregular heartbeat, ask your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake. The caffeine can also make anxiety disorders more severe.

You should also ask your doctor about oolong tea if you have diabetes. While some research shows that it may help control diabetes, the fact that it could interfere with your blood sugar levels is something you should discuss with your doctor first so you can adjust your medications if needed.

Advertisement
Advertisement
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The takeaway

Oolong tea is an affordable, delicious way to potentially improve your health on a consistent basis. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions that may be affected by the tea, and monitor your body’s response to the increase in caffeine. Start with just one cup a tea and slowly increase the amount over time.

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