Recently we had an email asking about tannins in tea, and whether or not they are bad for you, so we thought we’d take a deeper look.
What are they, and what types of tea have them? And are they safe to drink when pregnant or breastfeeding?
Keep reading as we explore the essential information you need to know about tannins in tea!
What is a tannin?
The definition of tannin is a natural yellow or brown chemical called polyphenol that can be found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves and fruit skins.
Tannin is also used in the process of making leather and dying.
Tannins are found in teas and many foods, including cheeses and nuts, and in drinks such as wine.
Which teas have tannins?
There are very few teas that do not contain tannins in some form or another. Tea contains different levels of tannins depending on which type of tea you enjoy.
Tannins are naturally occurring and are presented as the highest in black and green tea, while white tea has a lower level of tannin.
Does green tea have tannins?
Green tea is one of the world’s most popular teas.
The tannins that exist in green tea contribute to health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of a heart attack and certain types of cancer.
Are there side effects of tannins?
There is no research to suggest that consumption of tannin consumed in moderation gives you any side effects.
However, if your body finds it difficult to absorb iron, then tannin is not recommended for consumption. It is best to stick with pure herbal teas in this instance.
Are tannins safe to consume during pregnancy or when breastfeeding?
In the stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers need to consume more dietary iron. An iron deficiency during pregnancy can adversely affect the baby’s growth.
Therefore, it is recommended to avoid tannins found in tea and coffee, so the absorption of iron is not affected. It is suggested for all tea drinkers with low iron or absorption problems to enjoy drinking purely herbal teas
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