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This Is the Worst Time of Day To Drink Tea, Science Says

And no, it's not bedtime. Strong tea can affect some peoples' ability to absorb iron and zinc during this time.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

If you love tea for many reasons, including its health benefits, then you'll want to know this: A new study out of Ireland has found that drinking tea at a particular time of day actually interrupts your body's ability to absorb certain minerals, especially for tea drinkers in a specific age group.

With many Western countries seeing populations over 65 as their fastest-growing demographic, Ireland's Department of Health recently asked the Food Safety Authority in Ireland to conduct a study that could recommend strong and current dietary guidelines for older adults. The department reportedly used a rich bank of Irish citizens' data to investigate how eating habits affect overall health.

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One key finding of the study was that for individuals age 65 and older who drank strong tea while eating a meal, tea showed interference with the body's ability to absorb iron and zinc. Therefore, the researchers recommend that seniors should drink tea only between meals in order to get the maximum nutritional benefit of their food.

Why are iron and zinc so important for our bodies to absorb? Zinc is known to be our most abundant mineral, supporting our immunity and helping our bodies heal. Meanwhile, iron has a lot of important roles, like immune support, energy production, and carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Other interesting dietary recommendations that came out of this study include that older individuals should get plenty of protein in order to stimulate muscle growth, stay well hydrated, take a Vitamin D supplement, and to avoid eating too much sodium, as a diminished sense of taste when we age can tempt some older people to use a lot of salt.

If you're looking out for your longevity, check out Having Low Levels of This Can Shorten Your Life, New Study Says.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more
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