Avoid tea and coffee if there is a lack of iron



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Black tea and coffee increase the iron deficiency

Coffee and black tea can exacerbate an existing iron deficiency in the organism, since the tannin it contains inhibits the absorption of iron from food. Therefore, people affected should generally avoid black tea and coffee at least immediately after eating, so as not to hinder the absorption of the trace elements, Petra Renner-Weber from the Association of Oecotrophologists in Bonn told the news agency "dpa".

In principle, people with an iron deficiency should significantly reduce their black tea and coffee consumption, otherwise the health complaints may increase, the expert warned. Petra Renner-Weber also recommends that patients with iron deficiency pay special attention to their diet to ensure that sufficient amounts of the trace element are absorbed. The best way to use iron from animal products such as meat or sausage is by the body. Petra Renner-Weber advises vegetarians to eat a lot of iron-rich vegetables such as beetroot, legumes or whole grain cereals. The iron absorption in plant foods is promoted by vitamin C and organic acids, so that a glass of orange juice with a meal or a fruit salad as a dessert can be particularly beneficial at this point. In addition, "after a meal, you should pass around two hours before drinking coffee or tea" in order not to block iron absorption, explained the expert from the Association of Oecotrophologists.

Black tea and coffee inhibits iron absorption According to Petra Renner-Weber, iron deficiency is mostly due to a one-sided diet, but can also be triggered by heavy menstrual bleeding in women. If too little iron is ingested over a longer period of time, the organism's iron stores empty and the body is urgently dependent on food. Since the tannin in black tea and coffee inhibits iron absorption, their consumption should be reduced as much as possible in such cases and should not take place parallel to eating or immediately after eating. In the case of people who are well supplied with the trace element, however, the body is only slightly dependent on iron absorption from the food, so that they can continue to enjoy black tea and coffee to their heart's content.

Symptoms of iron deficiency For those affected, an existing iron deficiency often manifests itself in rather unspecific symptoms such as headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, tiredness, rings under the eyes or diffuse hair loss. Inflammation of the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis), brittle nails and pale skin can also indicate an iron deficiency. In addition, those affected are often particularly susceptible to infections and suffer from dry, brittle skin. As part of a medical examination, the iron deficiency can be detected relatively easily using blood samples and in most cases the complaints can be remedied by simply changing the diet. If this is not successful, additional iron supplements can be administered. However, caution is required here, as excessive iron intake can also have negative consequences. According to the experts, children, in particular, repeatedly experience symptoms of intoxication due to overdoses of iron intake. According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), a daily iron intake of between ten and 12 milligrams is recommended, depending on age and gender. For women in pregnancy, a quantity of 30 milligrams per day is a guideline and, according to the DGE, 20 milligrams of iron should be consumed daily during breastfeeding. (fp)

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