It is a common practice for most people to take tea after eating. While this might be a habit gained over time, nutrition experts are advising against it.
Tea is found in different tastes and varieties; green, purple, herbal, and black tea. Tea in itself has a lot of nutritional benefits including boosting the immune system and fighting off inflammation.
We all agree that food is the one major source of nutrients we require every day, most of us don’t know that certain food items have some non-nutrient components which can hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals. One such example is tannins, which are present in tea and are responsible for providing a dark brown color to it. Similarly, green tea contains catechins and flavonoids, which are other forms of tannins. High concentrations of the two can inhibit the absorption of protein and iron.
The caffeine content present in the tea may prevent the absorption of nutrients in the digestive system. Tea leaves are acidic and will affect the digestion process. If you consume protein in the meal, the acid from the tea will harden the protein content, making it difficult to digest. Having tea after a meal also relieves gases and flatulence in the stomach.
Kassim Lupao, PanAfricare Health, and Nutrition Specialist advise that tea can be taken an hour before or an hour after meals, “For proper digestion and intake of food nutrients tea can be taken an hour before meals or an hour after eating.”
Foods rich in iron and protein should not be consumed with tea owing to the presence of tannins, which are found in legumes and cereals. Removal of seed coat can reduce tannin levels in the food. Tannins are identified based on their bitterness, astringency, and tendency to bind with proteins.