There are many ongoing studies associated with the benefits of drinking a variety of teas for their properties, such as polyphenols and amino acids. Tea is considered the second most consumed beverage globally, after water, in many cultures it is consumed at elevated social events. Tea ceremonies have arisen in many cultures, such as Chinese and Japanese traditions, each of which have ritualized protocol and certain techniques of brewing, and serving tea for enjoyment in an elegant and cultured setting. Here Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com, reflects on the oolong tea and its potential:
“While there is growing interest in green tea, particularly the famous matcha green tea from Japan, there are other varieties that can offer exemplary benefits as well. Take oolong, for example: It offers potential for weight loss, heart health and a wide array of health issues;1 yet, it only accounts for 2 percent of overall tea consumption worldwide.2
This article puts the spotlight on oolong tea: its origins, how it’s produced and potential effects it can have on your health. Brew yourself a delicious cup of this tea and take delight in every sip.
What Is Oolong Tea?
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Some say oolong is a type of black tea, while others often pit oolong against green tea, claiming these two are the same. But oolong actually doesn’t fall under either type.
Various teas are enjoyed all over the world, but actually there are only four main types of tea: black, white, green and oolong. These are the varieties produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not considered “true” teas, as they do not come from Camellia sinensis.3
What sets the four true teas apart is their degree of fermentation. Organic oolong tea, made from the buds and stems of the plant, is described as “slightly fermented and semi-oxidized,”4 and as a result has a taste that falls between green tea and black tea.
Oolong’s flavor depends on its oxidation level, which can vary from 10 to over 80 percent.5 Less oxidized oolongs may have a fresh green tea flavor, while more oxidized varieties may have a “woodsy” black tea flavor.6
Oolong tea is said to have originated from China and Taiwan. There are many different types of oolong tea, with the most famous type hailing from the Fuijan province in China.7 The word “oolong” actually means “black dragon” in Chinese. One folklore tale has it that a plantation owner went to check his harvest only to find a black dragon in the fields, scaring him away. After coming back a few days later, the creature was gone. However, the tea leaves had gone dark and fermented under the sunlight.8
You can brew oolong by steeping loose tea leaves or you can simply buy oolong tea bags. Just make sure to avoid tea bags made with plastic, such as nylon, thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene, which can leach unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals into your beverage.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
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Because it falls between black tea and green tea, oolong tea offers both of these teas’ benefits, making it one of the healthiest tea varieties you can consume.
Oolong tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which include theaflavins, thearubigins, catechins and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These beneficial compounds account for oolong tea’s positive effects. Another beneficial component in it is theanine,9 an amino acid with relaxing properties.10 The caffeine in oolong tea is also responsible for some of its benefits, particularly in fat metabolism and weight management.11
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Sipping a cup of oolong tea can go a long way in improving your well-being. If you want to know what oolong tea is good for, just take a look at these potential effects:
Helps with weight management — The polyphenols in oolong tea help control fat metabolism in the body by activating certain enzymes.12 A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ingested either full-strength or diluted oolong tea burned 2.9 to 3.4 percent more total calories daily.13
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• Assists in free radical elimination — The antioxidant properties of polyphenols help remove excessive free radicals in the body,14 which play a role in various diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
• May boost brain function — One study conducted on elderly Chinese people found that those who regularly drank black and oolong tea had a 64 percent lower risk of brain function decline.15
This may be because of various factors, such as the caffeine, which can increase the release of the brain messenger hormones norepinephrine and dopamine, therefore improving mood, attention and brain function. The theanine in oolong is believed to help boost attention and relieve anxiety as well.
• Helps keep your bones strong — Drinking black, green or oolong tea every day (in a 10-year period) is said to increase bone mineral density by 2 percent, according to one study.16 Having a higher bone mineral density may help reduce the risk of fractures.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/teas/oolong-tea.aspx
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