The Healthiest Type Of Green Tea
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
One of the healthiest and the strongest types of green tea happens to be Oolong tea. Although it’s similar to green tea, it’s also quite different.
And if you’re a tea drinker, you may know this all too well.
But let’s take a step back for a moment, and talk about green tea. This popular drink is great on a busy afternoon or a calm, quiet evening.
Its rich flavor may soothe away the day’s troubles…and may improve your health.
Studies show that green tea may be the healthiest drink around. Due to the powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea has been linked to better overall health.
The main driving force behind green tea happens to be the catechin, EGCG.
This potent nutrient has been linked to lower cholesterol, lower inflammation, better brain health, and a reduced risk for cancer, just to name a few.
Is there a difference between Oolong and green tea?
The Healthy Difference Between Oolong and Green Tea
You may, or may not know, but tea is the second most popular drink in the entire world. Although first introduced in China and Japan, drinking tea has become the next best thing for overall health improvements.
There are many different types of teas and each may provide your body with different benefits.
For example, black teas are more oxidized, therefore giving you different antioxidant compounds than green tea.
And the slight difference in the antioxidants could offer different improvements to your health.
Other brands, such as white, green, oolong, and matcha tea contain specific nutrients that may boost everything from heart health to cancer prevention.
But is one better than the other?
Although most prefer green tea, thanks in part to the EGCG, there are other types of tea that could be equally potent for your health.
One of those teas is Oolong tea.
Grown from the Camellia Sinesis leaves, Oolong tea happens to be one of the most popular teas in China.
The flavor can range from fruity to having a very woodsy taste with wisps of honey thrown in.
Unlike green tea (which is left unfermented and unoxidized), Oolong tea is dried naturally by the sun, then oxidized and shaped into beads or twisted.
In fact, the oxidation levels of Oolong tea leaves ranges anywhere between 8 and 85 percent—depending on where it is processed.
There are other similarities as well.
Just like green tea, oolong tea leaves contain caffeine, which offers a lot of therapeutic benefits itself.
For example, studies show that the caffeine found in green tea, and other teas, may increase your metabolic rate. Studies have also shown a 12 percent increase in fat oxidation from using Oolong tea leaves.
And the faster your metabolic rate, and the more fat you can oxidize, the more weight you could lose.
However, the caffeine content may differ between oolong tea brands. Depending on where it is grown and produced, could result in less—or more—caffeine in the oolong tea leaves.
Although both green and Oolong tea are extremely powerful, and could do wonders for your health, there may be only one that is considered "healthier."
And that is Oolong tea.
The Benefits of Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is super powerful and may improve your health in so many ways.
From weight loss to better bone health, Oolong green tea could help.
Here are just a few powerful benefits you may see from consuming Oolong tea:
1. Diabetes Prevention
As you know, drinking tea may be associated with a lower risk for developing diabetes. It’s reported that regularly drinking tea could lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Other studies show that regular tea consumption may be linked to better blood sugar control, and a reduced risk for diabetes.
Recent studies have shown that those who drank 24 ounces of Oolong tea showed a 16 percent lower risk for developing diabetes.
Another study showed that participants who drank 50 ounces of Oolong tea had 30 percent lower blood sugar over the course of 30 days.
2. Boost in Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women around the world. One out of every four people will suffer—or die—from a heart attack this year alone.
In order to reduce your heart disease risk, it’s recommended that you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Regular tea consumption may reduce your risk. Numerous studies show that drinking tea could lower blood pressure and cholesterol by flushing your body with powerful antioxidants.
And it doesn’t have to be a lot of tea! One study, looking at over 76,000 Japanese adults, showed the powerful benefits of drinking Oolong tea.
They showed that drinking just 8 ounces of Oolong tea, resulted in a 61 percent lower risk for developing heart disease.
And if you doubled your intake to 16 ounces, there was a 39 percent lower risk for developing a stroke.
High blood pressure, which is associated with hardening or the arteries, could be a significant risk factor for heart disease.
But regular consumption of Oolong tea could help.
One study showed that consuming 4 ounces of Oolong tea was able to lower blood pressure by a whopping 46 percent.
In order to reduce your heart disease risk, regularly consuming Oolong tea could do the trick.
3. Boosts Weight Loss
As you know, tea may be associated with increased weight loss. The antioxidants and polyphenols could account for much of the improvements.
However, so could the caffeine. Studies have shown that drinking Oolong tea could boost your metabolism and lower the amount of fat that is absorbed by your body.
One theory as to why this works is the antioxidants may activate specific enzymes that could release fatty acids from your fat cells to be used for energy.
Another study showed that participants who drank Oolong tea burned 2.9 to 3.4 percent more calories in day.
By enabling more fat to be used for energy, and the increased calorie burn, you could see more weight and body fat loss.
The Take Home Message
Packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, and other healthy compounds, Oolong green tea is exactly what you need if you’re going to maintain your health.
Although slightly different than green tea, Oolong green tea could help improve bone health, boost weight loss, protect your heart and brain, and could also manage diabetes.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato