I’m sure that you have seen a lot of news about the health benefits of green tea or about green tea and weight loss.
But is it true?
Let’s look more closely at the different kinds of tea and how they affect health…
First, it is important to know that all three of the primary varieties of tea (black, green, and oolong) actually come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The differences in colors, strengths, and flavors are a result of the way in which the leaves are processed.
Black tea results from leaves that have been fully oxidized, oolong tea is partially oxidized, and green tea which is not oxidized.
All of these are beneficial to health, although the benefits vary for each kind.
Cardiovascular Health: One of the most widely recognized benefits of black tea is related to cardiovascular health. The high level of antioxidants in black tea has been shown to support cardiac muscle function, lower LDL cholesterol, improve coronary vasodilation, and lower the risk of heart disease.
Cancer Prevention: While green tea may be the star in this category, black tea is no slouch. It may help prevent a number of cancer types, including stomach, breast, and prostate cancer. This study also demonstrates that black tea may reduce the risk of oral cancer in general, and among those who smoke or use tobacco products.
Brain and Nervous System: The naturally low amounts of caffeine that occur in black tea promote blood flow to the brain without being overstimulating. This can help to sharpen focus and improve memory. Tea is also an adaptogen, which means that it boosts energy while also helping to relax and reduce stress hormones.
Immune Support: Research has shown that the tannins in tea can help to fight viruses and suppress tumors. The alkylamine antigens in black tea specifically help to boost immune response.
Digestive Health: The tannins in tea make it an excellent digestive aid as they have a calming effect on intestinal and gastric illnesses. The polyphenols (antioxidants) in green tea have also been shown to have a positive effect on intestinal inflammation for those suffering from colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Cardiovascular Health: Green tea is another powerhouse for cardiovascular health and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies also show that green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis and be beneficial for lowering cholesterol.
Cancer Prevention: Green tea has the most current research linking it to cancer prevention. Research has shown that the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can shrink the size of tumors when applied by intravenous administration. There have also been studies that link consumption of green tea with a lower risk of stomach, colon, and throat cancer, amongst others.
Immune System: The green tea compound EGCG may also help to boost the number of regulatory T cells in the body, which support the immune system and could be a way to help control autoimmune disorders
Weight Loss: There is some evidence linking green tea and weight loss. However, oolong tea is actually much more effective as a weight loss aid.
Cancer Prevention: As with the other two kinds of tea, the powerful antioxidants in oolong tea have been shown to be beneficial the prevention of some forms of cancer. Specifically, there is good research linking consumption of oolong tea with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. It may also help to prevent oral cancer, specifically in those who use tobacco products.
Skin Health: There is good evidence that oolong tea may be helpful for managing skin conditions, including eczema. A 2001 study showed statistically significant improvement in using oolong tea for patients suffering from recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. Additionally, the powerful antioxidants in oolong tea combat the free radicals that cause wrinkles, age spots, and other skin aging.
Diabetes: Recent research shows that consumption of oolong tea in conjunction with standard treatment may help to naturally regulate blood sugar levels in those suffering with type 2 diabetes.
Weight Loss: The most promising research has shown that oolong tea is the real powerhouse for weight loss, and more effective than green tea. This is due to it’s high concentration of polymerized polyphenols.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that oolong tea promotes weight loss and increased fat oxidation in study participants by 12%. These participants burned 67 more calories a day compared to those who only consumed caffeinated water.
Another study, published in the Journal of Medical Investigation in 2003, found the energy expenditure (EE) was increased by 10% after consumption of oolong tea in comparison to only a 4% increase after consumption of oolong tea.
Both of these studies confirm that the regular consumption of oolong tea can raise metabolism support healthy weight and will be more effective than green tea.
Drink to Your Health?
With the host of benefits that tea can offer, it seems like an ideal beverage option.
It is 100% natural, and a simple way to support good health.
These benefits may be even greater if you use tea in place of other less healthy caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and energy drinks.
Additionally, tea is completely calorie free. So if weight loss specifically is your goal, adding oolong tea to your daily routine is a great way to boost your metabolism and help fight fat.