Everyone knows green tea, and everyone knows black tea, but do you know what kind of tea comes in-between? You guessed it—oolong! While black tea are tea leaves that are fully oxidized, oolongs are partially oxidized, and can have more of a green- or black-tea character to them. Comprising only 2% of the world’s teas, oolongs have a wide variety of flavors. But what’s so special about these oolongs? In this article, we’ll explore the magic of oolong teas—and five reasons to love them!
1. Oolong tea can really help you lose weight.
Japanese researchers found that drinking oolong tea can boost the metabolism by 20% for two hours. It helps to reduce your body’s absorption of dietary fat and even works on helping to burn fat in problem areas—specifically the belly (where stress-related fat gets stored). If you’re looking to lose weight but have to consume a high-fat meal, try sipping an oolong (without dairy or cream!) alongside your food. You’ll absorb less fat and boost your metabolism of the fat you do absorb for hours after.
2. Oolong tea helps to balance your microbiome.
If you’re into health, you’ve probably heard of the massive colonies of microbes that inhabit your body—and influence everything from your gene expression to your digestive health, weight, and mood. A subject of intense research, the human microbiome is a complex entity that nobody has complete answers for yet. We do know, however, that certain foods can have a beneficial effect on it.
One such food? You guessed it—oolong teas! The polyphenols in oolong teas increased Bacteroidetes (the weight-loss boosting bugs) and decreased Firmicutes (the weight-gain bugs). It is known that this ratio has a lot to do with how we metabolize and store fat—and increasing it has a beneficial effect on our health. In addition, compounds called catchetins in oolongs act as prebiotics, helping to boost beneficial gut bugs.
3. Oolong tea may help stave off breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. However, it has been shown that people who regularly consume oolong tea have lower rates of breast cancer. In addition, compounds in oolong tea seem to target and damage cancerous breast cells. You can’t say no to that!
4. Oolong tea may help prevent diabetes—and other issues related to it.
Studies have shown that oolong tea consumption might help to boost insulin sensitivity, which is responsible for healthy sugar metabolism and balanced insulin and blood sugar levels. In fact, one study showed that daily consumption of 24 oz. of oolong tea resulted in a whopping 12% reduction in developing type 2 diabetes! In addition, conditions like PCOS that are often rooted in insulin resistance may be improved through oolong tea consumption.
5. Oolong teas may help you to maintain strong bones and teeth.
Oolong teas have been shown to correlate with higher bone densities—both in the general population, as well as in postmenopausal women. One Chinese study showed that people who drank tea had a 2% higher average bone density than those who did not, while postmenopausal women who drank oolong teas had more than a 4.5% increase in bone density than those who did not. In addition, oolongs have been shown to help deter the buildup of plaque on teeth, helping to keep teeth strong and healthy.
As you can see, oolong teas have a lot of benefits to boast about! And did we mention: they’re delicious! If you’ve never tried an oolong tea, you’re in for a wonderful surprise! Check out our selection of oolongs, and as a personal favorite, try Coconut Cocoa Oolong!
Do you have experience drinking oolong tea? Comment below!
*This information has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to diagnose or cure a medical issue, or replace professional medical care. If you are pregnant or nursing, are under the care of a physician, or on prescription medication, talk to your health care provider before making any changes to your diet or routine.