Manage Your Weight and Promote Health with Oolong Tea
Despite all the advertisements for pills and potions in Japan citing strange sounding ingredients for weight loss, it is not often that I am intrigued to delve into these types of products. However when I saw an ad with Miranda Kerr eating a croquette and drinking a Suntory Kuro Oolong Tea, I was inspired to research a bit more into the theory of an all-natural product used for weight loss.
Oolong tea, originated in China, and has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese for weight management. The Suntory Kuro brand emphasizes the weight loss benefits in that it aids in the metabolism of fat and makes it difficult for fat to be stored (thus why it is beneficial to drink with fatty foods like tonkatsu and croquettes). Due to the polymerized polyphenols in oolong tea, energy expenditure is increased, boosting metabolism for up to two hours after drinking it. It will break down the fat into smaller molecules to make it easier to digest.
Aside from this fact, one of the most beneficial aspects of oolong tea is its high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants in oolong tea, primarily polyphenol and catechins, help to eliminate toxic free radicals in the body. This helps to boost the immune system, fight aging and degeneration of the body, as well as promote beautiful skin and hair.
Oolong tea is also believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also known to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. Just note that too much consumption of oolong tea can flush calcium from the body, which can have a negative effect.
Oolong tea is also believed to prevent tooth decay, improve brain function and mental alertness, enhance mood and reduce cellulite. Also good news for those whose bodies may be a little more toxic, it can also offset the effects of alcohol and help the body excrete nicotine.
Oolong tea is partially oxidized, so is a cross between green tea and black tea. You will find oolong tea all over Japan. Hot or cold, you can buy ready-made bottles of oolong teas in conbinis (convenience stores) and supermarkets, or buy tea bags or leaves to brew your own blend. It is also found at almost all Japanese izakayas, restaurants and functions, so is a good option if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative at a party. Note that oolong contains caffeine, so be mindful of this fact if you have issues with the effects of caffeine.
For a twist on the regular cup of oolong and to add some other natural healing elements, try this simple variation. Lemon, fresh ginger and honey are amazing for keeping the immune system humming along throughout winter.
Healing Oolong Blend
What You Need
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 oolong tea bag
300–500 ml boiling water
¼ teaspoon raw or manuka honey
What to Do
In a small teapot, steep oolong tea with ginger in boiling water for five minutes. Add lemon juice and honey, then drink!
Top image by Ty Konzak.