While most people turn to tea to keep warm during the winter months, others enjoy drinking it in the summer to freshen up. A major reason for that is because this popular hot beverage is available in many flavors and aromas, each providing numerous health benefits to people.
One tea variety that seems to be on the rise lately is oolong tea. It is a traditional Chinese tea that is made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. As a result of the fermentation and semi-oxidation process that it goes through, oolong tea’s flavor and aroma fall somewhere between black and green tea. This combination of roasted and earthy flavors makes oolong tea very popular among tea lovers.
So, if you are looking for a unique hot brew to include in your daily regime, here are the main reasons why and how you can add oolong tea into your diet.
Benefits of oolong tea
Helps with weight loss
Oolong tea can help you during your weight loss process. Numerous polyphenols present in the tea block enzymes that build fat, boosting your metabolism in the process. This can further help reduce the risk of obesity as it has been proven by numerous studies that oxidized tea polyphenols have weight-loss effects on the body.
Also, in order to get the most of its benefits, make sure you don’t mix it with refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Instead, opt for raw honey or maple syrup to balance out the tea’s earthy flavor.
Improves oral health
One of the most unique health benefits of oolong tea is that it can improve oral health. This is because the tea’s leaves contain fluoride which is a compound that helps prevent the development of cavities and plaque build-up. That’s why this element is often added to numerous dental products.
However, it must be noted that excessive use can be harmful, so it is recommended that you stick to drinking less than one liter of oolong tea daily to be safe and able to protect your teeth.
Protects against severe diseases
Probably the most important health benefit of oolong tea is that it can help treat and manage various cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
For example, regular consumption of oolong tea can help improve heart health because of the polyphenols that activate the enzyme that breaks down triglycerides. This is a type of fat that contributes to the thickening of the artery walls and when they are broken down, the risk of stroke, heart attacks or other heart diseases is reduced.
In addition, the presence of antioxidants in oolong tea helps inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
Boosts mood and alertness
If you are looking for a tea variety to boost your mood and alertness, then oolong tea is the perfect choice. It contains the L-theanine amino acid that has proven beneficial in improving brain activity without providing the jittery feeling or upset stomach that is sometimes accompanied from drinking too much coffee.
In addition to this, the amino acid also helps in reducing stress levels by producing a state of mental calmness and clarity. This healthy combination of caffeine and L-theanine is all you need to give your brainpower a boost.
Treats skin conditions
If your skin is prone to acne or suffers from persistent eczema, then regularly drinking oolong tea can help you achieve a natural skin glow. This is because the tea’s antioxidant properties are able to fight against free radicals that cause such severe skin breakouts. It will also help slow down the aging process for which the free radicals are usually responsible.
In addition, oolong tea can help reduce skin discoloration that is caused by increased ultraviolet exposure. In this case, you can either drink it or directly apply it to the affected area.
Forms strong bones
People who consistently drink oolong tea are less likely to lose their bone mineral density which further prevents the development of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. One of the reasons is because the tea’s leaves contain minerals such as magnesium and calcium that help form strong bones in people. Oolong tea can also help increase bone mass and strength which reduces the risk of any type of bone injuries.
Popular oolong tea recipes
If you want to make the perfect oolong tea at home, all you need to do is boil about six ounces of water and pour it over one teaspoon of the tea’s leaves. Let the hot brew steep for a couple of minutes and use an infuser to rinse. If you want to avoid the earthy or roasted flavor, you can add a natural type of sweetener to enhance its taste and aroma.
In case you want to switch it up from the traditional way of preparing oolong tea, there are few popular recipes you can try at home.
For example, if you want to drink it during the warmer months, all you need to do is add a few ice cubes to turn it into a refreshing oolong iced tea. Or, you can always make it more tasteful and cool by mixing one tablespoon of the tea leaves with ginger, lemongrass stalks and sparkling water.
Probably the most popular oolong tea recipe is one that includes almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and honey. All it takes is steeping the tea leaves in hot water and then mixing the liquid with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and adding ice cubes at the end.
If you are a true tea lover and are willing to experiment with different hot brew varieties, then oolong tea is the perfect choice for you. Not only is its taste and aroma unique, but it provides many health benefits that other true teas don’t. You can also mix up the traditional way of consuming it and make it more flavorful by adding different ingredients.
If you need a reminder of why this tea variety should be included in your daily routine, make sure you refer back to our guide and learn about the many benefits and ways how to implement it in your diet.