Oolong tea is something which has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in popularity over the last two years, and for a good reason. Not only is it one of the tastiest forms of tea out there, but it also has an incredible array of benefits, far more than the average, standard antioxidants and caffeine boost which come with other types of tea. In fact, with oolong, caffeine is rarely the main reason why it is consume; there are so many other good reasons to enjoy this drink regularly.
Make no mistake; oolong tea is packed with nutrients. Not only does it contain theanine, the amino acid known to aid rest and relaxation, a cup of brewed tea will contain manganese (26% of RDI), Fluoride (5–24% of the RDI), Potassium: (1% of RDI), Sodium: (1% of RDI), Magnesium (1% of RDI) Niacin (1% of the RDI) and approximately 36 mg of caffeine. Tea polyphenols are also in good supply, which are the essential antioxidants that turn this from a simple hot drink to a supercharged health kick.
Oolong tea and its antioxidants, in particular, have been shown in studies to have potential diabetes fighting effects. Regular drinkers have been shown to have reduces blood sugar and insulin levels as well as increase sensitivity to insulin. Which means that the body will naturally fight many of the everyday situations and dietary decisions that can lead to type II diabetes.
Perhaps one of the most sought-after health benefits of drinking oolong tea is losing weight. Studies have shown that six cups a day for 30 days can lead to dramatic (but healthy!) weight loss, especially in areas around the abdomen; quite simply, it does an amazing job of burning belly fat. This is thought to be largely down to the enzymes in the antioxidants reacting to the presence of body fat and turning it into energy.
Although research is still very much in the preliminary stages for both cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown in China that drinking oolong tea had a potential link with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers. Furthermore, additional studies tie the drink to a reduced risk of ovarian cancer for women. The studies equated each cup of tea drunk daily to around a 4% lower risk.
Heart disease is also something that is debates when discussing this drink. But oolong tea is thought to contain some of the antioxidants vital for reducing cholesterol levels. The same is thought to be the case with green and black teas, which both stem from the same leaves as long.
It is important to reiterate, however, that these findings are not guarantees and should not be taken as facts. They are still being studied, but initial research is encouraging.
As we mentioned earlier, oolong tea contains up to a quarter of the recommended daily intake of Fluoride. This is essential for healthy, strong, and white teeth, as well as a reduced risk of cavities and gum disease. However, an overdose of Fluoride can actually have the effect of browning the teeth. So whilst we all know that the oolong tea is super tasty and packs full of health benefits. It’s like anything else; drink in moderation!
We have already mentioned antioxidants, and in particular, polyphenols. These are the plant-based antioxidants that give our immune system a boost and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. As well as having excellent effects when uses to treat skin complaints such as eczema. Whether it is consistently dry skin, a swollen sports injury or painful welt. Drinking loose leaf oolong will give the body a few extra helping hands to take down the swelling or dryness.
One of the other benefits of oolong is that it naturally contains no calories, no carbs, fat, or sugars. Tea is often drink, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, with no milk or sugar. This is the healthiest way to drink it, even if it is not the most flavorsome. An unsweeten cup of black tea delivers vital nutrients, precious antioxidants, and a metabolic ‘kick’ (meaning the fat burning process is given a quick nudge) without the associates ‘bad’ ingredients. Where else do you get that ratio of good to bad?
It’s important to know that research into this drink is still a mix of proven causal links and potential health benefits. Studies into antioxidants and the ingredients in loose leaf oolong have yielded both established and accepted health benefits. As well as areas for research in the future. That said, anyone who regularly drinks it experiences a generally increase in feeling of well being when it is uses in moderation. As long as its users are not hypersensitive to caffeine, or looking to use it as the sole solution to their problems. There is little that can go wrong. Furthermore, drinking it in loose leaf form allows for a more pure and unfiltered experience. As well as leaving out all of the rubbish that goes into mass scale and bag based production.
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