China has always been home of the best teas in the world, and Oolong tea makes no exception. This type of tea has numerous health benefits, and despite the fact that it only makes up for 2% of all the tea currently consumed in the world, it is definitely worth your attention. Here is everything you need to know about it:
What is it made from?
This tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis leaves, the same leaves that are used for making green and black tea. The difference between these three types of tea lies in their oxidation process. Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction that is produced by the enzymes contained by all tea leaves. To produce green tea, the Camellia Sinensis leaves are only allowed to oxidize for a short while, whereas for making black tea, the leaves are allowed to oxidize until they turn black. Oolong tea is partially oxidized, the oxidation period being somewhere in the middle of that of green and black tea.
Like all types of tea, Oolong is also very rich in antioxidants. Moreover, it also contains a wide range of minerals and vitamins such as calcium, copper, selenium, potassium, manganese, carotin, and Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. It also contains numerous detoxifying alkaloids such as folic acid, niacin amide and many others. Last but not least, it contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline.
Each nutrient found in this tea can contribute to a better health. For starters, it contains a polyphenolic compound which activates certain enzymes and improves the functions of fat cells, thus aiding with weight loss. The same compound also works as an antioxidant, and so, it is also responsible for removing free radical compounds. The free radicals can lead to many health problems, including cancer, strokes, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and neuro-degeneration. Daily consumption of Oolong tea can also prevent ovarian cancer, and according to recent studies, it can also promote a healthier skin, and healthier bones, it can relieve dermatitis, control diabetes and relieve stress. Obviously, you should not view this tea as a miracle potion that can save you from any illness. Nonetheless, if you lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, drinking this tea can only further improve your health.
Contraindications and possible side effects
It is very important to understand that this tea contains quite a lot of caffeine, so if you have any health problems that don’t allow for caffeine consumption, you should not drink Oolong tea. Moreover, even if you don’t suffer from any health problems, it is important to understand that everybody reacts differently to caffeine. So, unless you are a regular coffee drinker, you might experience some unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, diarrhea, sleeplessness, anxiousness, heartburn, confusion and irregular heartbeat. If you have ever experienced these problems before, you should consult your doctor before trying this tea.