If you have anemia, you might be taking and iron supplement … or maybe just increasing your consumption of iron-rich foods.
But … studies have shown that both coffee and tea reduce iron absorption in the body. The actual culprit is a compound called tannin. Drinking coffee with an iron-rich meal can reduce absorption by about 40% … and tea, by 70%! (Taxes must not have been the only reason we threw the tea into Boston Harbor!)
Other foods and beverages containing high levels of tannin include:
- Red wine
- Apple and berry juices
- Fruits including most berries grapes and pomegranates
- Chocolate (say it isn’t so!) – those with more that 70% cocoa
- And spices like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and thyme
Fear not, though! You get to have your morning cup of Joe or sip on your English breakfast tea!
The solution: Don’t eat or drink any of these within a couple hours before or after an iron-rich meal … and certainly not with one.
If you find dietary do’s and don’ts confusing, it’s best to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you with a plan that is geared for your particular medical conditions so that you’re getting what you need to benefit your body the most.