Iron Absorption: Avoid these Around Meals

Published by EditorialStaff on

Iron Absorption Coffee and Tea

The main reason to avoid tea or coffee right before and after meals is because they can interfere with iron absorption.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tannins: Both tea and coffee contain tannins, which are natural compounds that can bind to iron in your food. This makes it harder for your body to absorb the iron. Iron is an important mineral for many bodily functions, including oxygen transport. Reduced iron absorption can lead to iron deficiency and anemia.
  • This is particularly concerning for people who are already at risk of iron deficiency, such as vegetarians, pregnant women, and children.
  • Timing: Experts recommend waiting at least an hour before or after a meal to enjoy your tea or coffee.

However, there are some additional things to consider:

  • Milk and iron absorption: Adding milk to your tea or coffee can help mitigate the impact of tannins on iron absorption.
  • Type of iron: There are two main types of dietary iron: heme iron (from animal sources) and non-heme iron (from plant sources). Non-heme iron is more susceptible to being blocked by tannins.
  • Overall diet: If you have a balanced diet with plenty of iron-rich foods, the impact of tea and coffee on iron absorption may be less significant.

If you’re concerned about iron deficiency, it’s always best to talk to your doctor.

Categories: CandidSelf Help