For centuries, the Chinese have been drinking tea to achieve better health. Tea is an aromatic infusion of tea leaves called Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub that originated in Asia. It’s prepared by adding dried tea leaves to boiling hot water. Tea originated in China and was introduced to the Portuguese in the 16th century. From there, tea drinking was passed to other parts of the world including Britain, one of the heaviest tea-drinking countries in the world.
Now there are different types of teas, the most popular being green tea and oolong tea. How are these two different from each other and which one is more beneficial?
Difference Between Green and Oolong Tea
All teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. What differentiates green tea from oolong or other types of tea is the way the tea leaves were processed.
Oolong tea or black dragon tea is heavily oxidized, causing the leaves to take on a darker color. The dark color of the tea leaves makes for a dark, almost coffee-like colored tea. This is the main characteristic of oolong tea. Oolong tea also has a bolder, deeper taste.
On the other hand, green tea leaves are minimally oxidized so nutrients are preserved. Green tea, as the name implies, yields a bright green liquid when steeped in hot water. Green tea tastes light, crisp with a delicate grassiness.
Benefits of Oolong and Green Tea
Oolong and green tea have always been associated as excellent treatment for a variety of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. The natural compounds found in tea may help break down glucose in the blood and normalize blood sugar level.
Green and oolong tea are also full of the antioxidant catechins. Catechins not only prevents the onset of cell mutation—which is the precursor to cancer cell formation—it also strengthens and calms a hyperactive immune system. Oolong tea, in particular, also contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. It’s effective in preventing tooth decay and neutralizing enzymes generated by some types of streptococci.
Teas also help prevent heart diseases, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and even keep the skin younger-looking!
But for dieters, perhaps one of the most important health benefits of green and oolong tea is accelerated weight loss.
It was only a few years ago when numerous supplement brands hawked green tea capsules as fat burners. And it’s true — green tea (and oolong tea) does help burn off stored fat. Clinical tests show that oolong and green tea help stimulate both fat oxidations and EE in men with normal weight.
So which of the two types of tea is best for losing weight? Both green tea and oolong tea are prized for helping keep the weight down. Although there is still no scientific proof that one is better than the other, as far as fat burning goes, most dieters prefer oolong tea to green tea. However, you’re not going to lose weight if you don’t include a healthy diet and regular exercise to the equation. The weight loss benefits of any type of tea are only activated when you exercise.