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What is Oolong Tea and What Benefits Does It Have?

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea.Oolong Tea is a green tea and semi-fermented tea with many varieties. It is a unique tea category in China.

Oolong tea is a high-quality tea produced after picking, withering, shaking, frying, rolling, baking and other processesOolong tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Its dried leaves and leaf buds are used to make several different teas, including black and green teas. Oolong tea is fermented for longer than green tea, but less than black tea. It contains caffeine which affects thinking and alertness.  Oolong tea evolved from the tribute tea dragon dumplings and phoenix cakes of the Song Dynasty, and was created around 1725 (the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty). After tasting, the fragrance remains on the teeth and cheeks, and the aftertaste is sweet and fresh. The pharmacological effects of oolong tea are prominent in fat decomposition, weight loss and bodybuilding. It is called “beauty tea” and “bodybuilding tea” in Japan. Oolong tea is a unique type of tea in China, mainly produced in the three provinces of northern and southern Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan. There is also a small amount of production in Sichuan, Hunan and other provinces. In addition to being sold domestically in Guangdong, Fujian and other provinces, oolong tea is mainly exported to Japan, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macao. Its main production areas are Anxi County, Fujian Province and other places.

Green tea is produced from fresh tea leaves that have not undergone oxidation, a chemical reaction that begins when the leaves are exposed to the air and which is responsible for the color and taste of different types of tea. Black tea is created when leaves are fully crushed to enhance oxidation, and oolong is created when leaves are wilted in the sun and slightly bruised to create partial oxidation. 

Nutrients in oolong tea

Similar to black and green teas, oolong tea contains several vitamins, minerals, and helpful antioxidants. 

A cup of brewed oolong tea contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains about 38 mg of caffeine. In comparison, a cup of green tea contains about 29mg of caffeine. 

Some of the main antioxidants in oolong tea, known as tea polyphenols, are theaflavins, thearubigins, and EGCG. These are responsible for many of its health benefits . 

 

Oolong tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid shown to have positive effects on relaxation and cognitive performance.

Oolong tea may help protect against diabetes

In general, tea has been shown to help protect against diabetes and complications from diabetes, possibly by easing insulin resistance and decreasing inflammation, among other mechanisms.

Accordingly, a study from 2021 and a review from 2019 both report links between regular tea consumption, improved blood sugar management, and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, the specific effects of oolong tea are generally not as well researched as those of green or black tea.

That being said, one smaller, older study does point to the possible effectiveness of oolong tea in lowering plasma glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes .

Nevertheless, not every study agrees on oolong tea’s ability to help ward off or ease type 2 diabetes symptoms, with a 2011 study involving approximately 5,000 Japanese men concluding that consumption of the tea may be a predictor for the onset of the disease.

 

Oolong tea may improve heart health

 

Regularly consuming tea antioxidants may also improve heart health (13Trusted Source).

Several studies of regular tea drinkers show reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease

In a large study from 2003, people who drank more than six cups of tea per day had a “significantly” lower rate of coronary heart disease than non-tea drinkers.

Several studies have also investigated oolong tea specifically.

One study of more than 76,000 Japanese adults observed that men who drank 8 ounces (240 mL) or more of oolong tea per day had a 61% lower heart disease risk .

What’s more, a study done in China reports that adults who drank 1 to 2 cups per day of either green or oolong tea “significantly” lowered their risk for a stroke.

One thing to remember is that oolong tea contains caffeine, which may possibly raise blood pressure, or hypertension, slightly in some people. However, there have been inconsistent results when it comes to studies looking at a link between blood pressure and caffeine, so more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be made.

Furthermore, since the caffeine content in an 8-ounce (240 mL) cup is only about one-fourth of that found in the same amount of coffee, any negative effect regarding hypertension is likely to be quite small.

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