Why is Tea Good for You – Is Oolong Tea Good for You

Why is tea good for you? This is an age old question. Tea has been around and enjoyed in different forms in almost every country and culture for centuries. It has been respected and sought after by kings and emperors and business moguls all the way from premium grade tribute teas presented to Chinese emperors and fine black teas presented to British monarchies on to some of the biggest business empires and tea traders such as East India Company in the 1800s and modern days tea business empires such as Liptons, Twinings, Teavanna and many, many more. Today tea is available and consumed in more varieties than ever ranging from commercially produced iced teas and flavored teas to premium grade and rare, single estate gourmet teas that are worth thousands of dollars per pound/kilogram.

An Enjoyable beverage

Tea is an enjoyable drink and is the second most consumed beverage after water. There is just something good about drinking tea – it feels good, it taste good, it is “sociable” and friendly and pleasant to enjoy in the company of others. It provides a great way to invite others for a social occasion or just to have a chat over a cup of tea. It is conducive to healthy and meaningful conversations – uplifting, energising and non-alcoholic. It is also a wonderful drink to enjoy on your own. It can be relaxing, homey, contemplative, calming, energising – just what was needed as a little “pick me up”. It has been states by some doctors that drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking plain water because the main function of water is to replace fluids in your body, whereas tea replaces the fluids and provides antioxidants and other nutrients to it has multiple benefits.

It is not expensive and readily available

The average cup of tea or tea beverage is affordable for almost everyone and is readily available in grocery stores and supermarkets in almost every country in the world. There are over 1,500 different types of tea – not including herbal and fruit tea. There are of course some very expensive teas out there and these are appreciated by high end tea drinkers and discerning tea connoisseurs who can afford the luxury of premium gourmet teas.

As mentioned tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. There are an estimated 165 million cups of tea drank daily in the UK. In the US tea drinking is on the increase but on a per capita basis the US is way behind the UK and many other countries. It is interesting to note that the most popular tea in the US – black tea (mostly in the form of iced tea) has not increased in consumption in recent years, whereas Fruit and Herbal teas (7%), Green teas (40%) and Oolong teas/White teas/Rooibos (8,000%) have all increased in consumption.

Tea Contain Minimal Calories

Tea can be enjoyed without needing to bring out the calorie counter and weigh up whether you should have a cuppa or not. It is important to understand that I am referring to natural unsweetened tea here which contain between 0 and 2 calories per cup. Adding sugar to tea increases the calorie count at the rate of approximately 15 calories per teaspoon – and these are empty calories – that is 0 nutritional value. Adding milk to your cup of tea adds approximately 9 calories (5 for skim milk). Some bottles iced teas are extremely high in sugar. A recent study by Choice (a consumer watchdog) discovered that some bottled teas tested had more than 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than 150 calories and more than a can of Coca Cola! So the moral of that is – tea is good for you if you drink unsweetened bottles iced teas and drink hot tea without milk and sugar to get the best results. That’s what is good about Oolong teas and good grade black teas and green teas as well as the many other varieties out there – they are naturally sweet and don’t need anything added. The Chinese and Japanese cultures have been drinking teas without milk or sugar for centuries. Good quality teas do not need anything added to make them taste better. It is like when the Chinese first started importing and drinking fine wines, they unknowingly would add Coca Cola, or other additives to the wine thinking it would make it taste better – much to the horror of the French wine connoisseurs! Well it is a bit the same with high grade teas – many people need to acquire a taste and appreciation for good teas. Once you do, you’ll never consider adding stuff to your tea again and you will enjoy tea to its fullest an calorie free to boot!

What is Good About Oolong Tea

I wanted to include a brief note on Oolong teas – my favourite teas. Mind you I enjoy drinking almost every kind of tea if it is decent quality. There are many wonderful teas in every type, whether black, green pu-er, white/yellow or Oolong. And there a lot of amazingly good tasting herbal infusions and fruit teas as well. The thing about Oolong teas is that there is such big range of choices available. You can get a lightly oxidised Oolong such as a Baozhong or a High Mountain (Goa Shan Cha) and some Tieguanyin Oolongs that are a little similar to some green teas in certain taste and flavour profiles and then you can go to the other end of the spectrum and get a heavily oxidised Da Hong Pao or Oriental Beauty Oolong that can slightly resemble some black teas like a Darjeeling in their taste and flavour. I find many Oolongs have can have very pleasant, almost sweet tasting flavors and they can range from the fragrant, flowery sweetness of the lighter oxidised varieties to a honey tasting, richer sweetness of the more heavily oxides varieties. So plenty of variety there and certainly no need for sugar to be added to any of them!

Tea is Healthy

I was determined to write this article on why I tea good for you without majoring on the traditional health benefits that are associated with tea. So there you go, some good reasons why tea is good for you without even considering whether tea burns belly fat or not or whether the antioxidants in tea kill off the free radicals in your body and stop cancer. They may help with that and help with a lot of other good healthy things as well such as contribute towards cancer prevention, protection against heart diseases and high blood pressure, longevity, bad cholesterol, reduced body fat, less dental plaque, mental alertness and calmness and more. Many of these nutritional and health benefit associated with are not proven facts, but even without them, you are still way ahead of the curve by drinking good tea regularly and enjoying a cuppa with your friends whenever you can rather than a lot of other drink options out there. Aren’t you? What do you think?

Notes:

While nobody is running around extolling the virtues of cola as a replacement for water for daily hydration, researchers at Kings College London want to make sure you don’t think every non-water drink is a poor substitute for water. After reviewing numerous studies on the benefits of drinking tea, they’ve concluded that tea is a superior drink.

Dr Ruxton said: “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

Many people have lumped tea in with other caffeine containing drinks such as coffee and colas, as a dehydrating drink. Not a concern, the research team says:

“Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid.”

Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. That’s because it’s so versatile: You can drink it iced or hot, and there are enough varieties of tea to suit just about any palate (there are over 1,500 types of tea—not including herbal teas).

People have been drinking tea for centuries also because of its health effects. Much research suggests drinking tea—particularly green tea—can fight diseases and even lengthen life. This is due to tea’s high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols, which may contribute to the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. While polyphenols are also found in abundance in fruits, vegetables, and grains—and also coffee in even higher amounts—tea is especially and uniquely rich in particular types of polyphenols called catechins (specifically, EGCG) that may be the most powerful ones of all.

The American Cancer Society explains:

EGCG may help cause certain types of cancer cells to die in much the same way that normal cells do. This effect is important because cancer cells are different from normal cells in that they do not die when they should—they continue to grow and spread.

Although the ACS says more clinical trials are needed to support claims that green tea can prevent or treat any specific types of cancer, it notes the many laboratory studies demonstrating green tea’s protective effects against cancer cells. One study, for example, found EGCG to suppress lung cancer cell growthand another found that it inhibits breast cancer tumors. A meta-analysis of 13 studies indicates women who drink green tea have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than non-green-tea drinkers. Like most scientific research, however, there’s other conflicting results suggesting black and green teamight not contribute significantly to breast cancer risk—so you probably shouldn’t drink tea for the sole purpose of preventing cancer. That’s okay, because there are lots of other positive health associations with tea.

Protection Against Heart Diseases and High Blood Pressure

study of 40,530 people in Japan, where green tea is widely consumed, found drinking green tea significantly lowered the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. (31% lower risk in women, and 22% lower risk in men.) The risk of dying from stroke was even lower: 62% lower in women and 42% lower in men. The catechins in green tea are believed to inhibit the production of free radicals in the lining of the arteries and also help prevent the formation of blood clots.

A review, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,concludes that “green tea and EGCG can be regarded as food components useful for the maintenance of cardiovascular and metabolic health.”

Lower Risk of Death from All Causes

Regular consumption of green or oolong tea (for at least one year) also hasbeen shown to lower the risk of developing hypertension by 46% for those who drank up to 2.5 cups a day and 65% less for those who drank more than 2.5 cups.

A review, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,concludes that “green tea and EGCG can be regarded as food components useful for the maintenance of cardiovascular and metabolic health.”

Lower Risk of Death from All Causes

The Japanese cohort study mentioned above examined the relationship between green tea drinking and death from all causes. The researchers followed the Japanese adults (ages 40 to 79) for up to 11 years and compared those who drank less than one cup of green tea a day to those drinking five or more a day.

The results? Drinking green tea was associated with a 23% lower risk of dying from any cause in women and 12% lower risk in men.

Drinking tea can contribute to both relaxation and concentration. As Tea Class explains:

L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the Camellia Sinensis plant. In fact, unless you take an artificially manufactured dietary supplement, tea is the ONLY way to get L-theanine in your diet. This powerful amino acid boosts alpha wave activity in our brains, which promotes a state of relaxed concentration. Think “quiet alertness”. The calming effects of L-theanine actually counteract the extreme highs and jitteriness that can result from excessive Caffeine intake.

As with almost all other essential elements in the leaf, L-theanine is most highly concentrated in the newest growth. A high quality loose leaf tea will contain the most L-theanine, and the very highest levels are usually found in green and white teas.

And Lots, Lots More

Studies have also associated drinking green tea with lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduced body fatinhibition of the flu virus, and even less dental plaque. The book Green Tea by Nadine Taylor also cites these benefits:

10 Benefits of Oolong Tea

1. Boosts your metabolism, causing weight loss.

Oolong tea helps you burn fat faster by raising your metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it. Oolong also contains polyphenols that are able to block enzymes that build fat. This means you can lose weight with oolong tea, so long as you don’t load it with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. If your tastes lean towards sweet tea, consider using a small amount of raw honey, maple syrup, stevia or agave syrup—all of which are sugars low on the glycemic index.

2. Lowers cholesterol

Oolong is known to reduce cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Because oolong tea is semi-oxidized, it produces a perfectly sized polyphenol molecule that is able to activate the enzyme lipase, which is known to dissolve body fat.

3. Increases mental alertness

This healing hot cuppa is known to revitalize your mental alertness and performance, naturally, because it contains caffeine. Be careful if you are sensitive to caffeine and limit your consumption to one lightly steeped cup a day, or indulge a few times a week.

4. Aids digestion

Oolong can help aid digestion for those not sensitive to caffeine. The tea alkalizes the digestive tract, reducing inflammation in those with acid reflux and ulcer problems. Because it is mildly antiseptic, oolong tea can clear bad bacteria from your belly. Its calm, smooth flavor can soothe the stomach when consumed hot.

5. Promotes healthy hair

Due to its high level of antioxidants, oolong tea can prevent hair loss if you make a tea rinse out of the leaves. Not only that, but your hair will be thicker and shinier. Oolong softens and adds lustre to your hair.

6. Betters your skin condition

Eczema often occurs in conjunction with allergies or sensitivities. Oolong tea is able to suppress those allergic reactions because it combats free radicals, which is a healing property of an antioxidant. Also, the antioxidants found in oolong are essential for vibrant, youthful skin. Drinking oolong can greatly slow down the aging process, so it’s a great anti-aging tool.

7. Stabilizes blood sugar

When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels are elevated. Studies have shown that those suffering from diabetes could benefit from drinking oolong which, in studies, has decreased blood glucose to a healthy level. The antioxidants in oolong, which comes from polyphenols, does wonders for metabolizing sugar.

8. Prevents tooth decay

Both oolong and green tea protect teeth from acid produced by certain bacteria. The production of acid and the growth of bacteria are both inhibited by oolong tea, which means it is effective in preventing tooth decay and build-up plaque.

9. Prevents osteoporosis and forms strong bones

Oolong can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Those who consistently drink oolong tea are less likely to lose their bone mineral density, helping retain minerals from healthy foods consumed. It has been discovered that oolong contains magnesium and calcium in its leaves.

10. Strengthens the immune system

Known for its anti-cancer properties, oolong tea assists in maintaining a healthy immune system. The antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea prevent cellular damage. The production of anti-bacterial proteins is much higher in those who drink oolong tea, indicating a strong immune response when fighting infection.

We currently have the following 2 varieties of Oolong tea available on our Amazon Store. They can be ordered by clicking on any of the links below. More varieties coming soon!

   

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10 thoughts on “Why is Tea Good for You – Is Oolong Tea Good for You

  1. Anh Nguyen

    Aside from the fact that tea makes me loose sleep from time to time, I love it.

    Oolong tea is certainly good, I enjoy drinking some in the morning whenever I can. I’d love to hear what you think about tea and how it affects your sleep, especially how to avoid it.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Anh

    Reply
    1. Peter Post author

      Thank you for your comments Anh. Yes, i have heard of similar situations of people who are more sensitive to certain teas and can not drink tea late in the afternoon or evening as it affects their sleep. I am thankful that I personally do not have this problem and often drink tea of an evening.

      I think everyone just needs to understand their body metabolism and what they can and cannot do. Everyone is different. One thing you could try, if you haven’t already, is to experiment with some lighter Oolongs or green teas. As a general rule the more heavily oxidized teas such a darker Oolongs and black teas do contain a little more caffeine than the lighter oxidized teas – although all teas have considerably caffeine than a cup of coffee.

      Another thing you could consider trying is to brew up a relaxing and calming herbal tea such as Chamomile to drink in the late afternoon or evening.

      Reply
  2. Alexey

    Hey there it’s Alexey. Your article was a wonderful read and a refreshing one as well. I drink a lot of tea by myself daily – and after reading this I feel proud:)

    To be honest I drink tea because my mom saidto me when I was young that tea is good for your body and since then I drink it quite often. I learned a lot about tea, the importance of it and the value of tea – really awesome.

    The oolong tea is something I haven’t tried yet, and I am going to very soon. You did a wonderul job and it was a good read. Thx 🙂

    Reply
    1. Peter Post author

      Thanks for your comments Alexey. Your Mom sounds very wise in recommending you drink tea. You are welcome to try some of our Oolong teas that we have available on our new Amazon Tea Store

      Reply
  3. Garrick Breaux

    Great article on why tea is good for you. I have been drinking green tea everyday for 5 years.

    I know without a reasonable doubt that drinking tea has increased my energy, better my cholesterol, lower my blood pressure and strengthen my system.

    Together with drinking green tea, I mix it with honey and apple cider vinegar.

    Do you have a particular tea that you drink? I would love to get the name of it.

    Reply
    1. Peter Post author

      Hi Garrick, good to hear you can testify of the health good results of drinking tea.

      I drink so many different teas – I love the variety. I drink GABA Oolong a lot – a good healthy, great tasting and inexpensive tea. One of my “special occasion” favorites is a wild mountain black tea from Taiwan

      Reply
  4. Albert

    I love all kinds of teas. I usually will have a pitcher of Lipton tea made from tea bags in my refrigerator. I also enjoy drinking Arizona Green tea. I think tea drinking is on the rise in the US cause more products are being made and it’s being marketed more. I do occasionally drink oolong tea as well! My mom drinks a lot of that I recently started to as well. I like it cold and hot

    Reply
    1. Peter Post author

      Glad to hear you enjoy drinking tea, Albert. Yes, I agree that tea drinking in on the increase in the US and other Western countries as well, as people become more educated and aware of the value of it – not only health wise, but as a preferred drink of choice. I read recently that the market for higher grade specialty teas is increasing at a higher rate than regular tea which is a good indication that people are becoming more aware of what is available in the world of tea.

      Reply

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