Tannins are a group of compounds found in tea. Various researches have been done on them because of their special properties and flavor and their interesting chemical properties. These compounds can have many properties for our body.
What are tannin?
Tannins are a chemical compound that belongs to a larger group of compounds called polyphenols. Their molecules are usually much larger than those found in other types of polyphenols. These molecules have a unique ability to combine with other molecules, such as proteins and minerals.
Tannins are found naturally in a variety of edible plants, including bark, leaves, spices, nuts, seeds, fruits, and legumes. Plants use these compounds as a natural defense system against pests. Tannins also provide color and flavor to plant foods.
Some of the richest and most common food sources containing tannins are:
The bitter taste, which is one of the characteristics of these foods and drinks, is usually caused by the abundance of tannins in them.
The amount of tannin in different teas
Although tea is generally considered a rich source of tannins; But several variables can affect the final amount of this substance in tea.
In fact, the four main types of tea, namely white tea, black tea, green tea and oolong tea, which are all made from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis, contain tannins. But the concentration of this compound is strongly influenced by the way tea is produced and the duration of its brewing.
Some sources say that black tea has the highest concentration of tannins. While most sources of green tea introduce low tannin tea. White tea and oolong usually fall somewhere between the two types of tea, black tea and green tea. But the amount of tannin in both types can vary significantly depending on the production method.
In general, low-quality teas have a lot of tannins, and the longer the tea is brewed, the higher the concentration of tannins in your cup of tea.
Benefits of tannin
There are different types of tannins in the tea we consume on a daily basis, and how they affect the human body is still not well understood. However, preliminary research suggests that specific tea tannins have properties similar to other polyphenols and can help prevent disease by having properties such as antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Read more: benefits of tea
One of the main tannins in green tea is known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG belongs to a group of compounds known as catechins. The presence of this substance is thought to support the benefits that tea has for our bodies.
Animal and laboratory studies have shown that EGCG may play a role in reducing inflammation and protecting the body against cell damage and some chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Finally, more research is needed to better understand how EGCG can be used to support We need the health of the human body.
Theoflavins and theorubigins
Tea consists of two other groups of tannins called theoflavins and thearobigins. Black tea contains a large amount of these tannins, which is why its color is darker than other teas.
Scientists still know very little about theoflavins and theorubigins. However, preliminary research suggests that these compounds act as powerful antioxidants in the body and may protect against cell damage caused by free radicals.
Most of the available evidence on theoflavins and thearobigins is limited to laboratory and animal studies. Therefore, we need more human research in this field.
Tea also contains a large amount of tannins called ellagitannins. Early research suggests that ellagitannins may promote the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria. But we need more studies in this field. Ellagitannins have also recently gained attention due to their potential effect in cancer treatment and prevention.
Like other edible polyphenols, ellagitannins have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Laboratory studies show that these compounds may play a role in reducing the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Current research is promising, however, to fully understand whether ellagitannins have anti-cancer effects on the human body or not, and what place this compound has in cancer treatment or prevention programs; More research should be done.
Side effects of tannin
Although the tannins in tea have many properties for the body; But their excessive consumption may lead to negative side effects. As we said, tannins have a unique ability to combine with other compounds. This feature gives great taste and bitter taste to tea. But besides this property, it can disrupt certain processes in the digestive system.
Read more: side effects of tea
May reduce iron absorption
One of the main concerns about tannins in the medical community is that this compound has the potential to prevent the body from absorbing iron. Tannins can easily combine with iron in plant foods in the digestive system and prevent the absorption of this important mineral in the body.
Research has shown that this effect is unlikely to cause significant harm in people whose blood iron levels are normal; But it can be problematic for people with iron deficiency.
If you have iron deficiency but you want to drink tea, you can reduce this risk to some extent by avoiding tea with iron-rich foods. Instead, try drinking tea between meals.
May cause nausea
If you drink tea on an empty stomach; The tannin in it may cause nausea. This negative effect may especially affect people with digestive system problems who have a more sensitive stomach.
You can avoid this effect by drinking a glass of tea in the morning with some food or adding a little milk to it. Proteins and carbohydrates in food can bind to these compounds and minimize their ability to stimulate the digestive system. Also, keep in mind that you should never drink several cups of tea in a row.
Tannins are chemical compounds found in a variety of herbal foods and beverages, including tea. They are responsible for giving the tea a dry and somewhat bitter taste and determining the color of certain types of tea.
Preliminary research suggests that the tannins in tea can provide many benefits due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. However, more research needs to be done to confirm this claim.
The tannins in tea may cause nausea. Especially if taken on an empty stomach. These compounds may also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the iron found in certain foods.
To get the maximum benefits of tannin-rich tea, consume this drink separately from iron-rich foods and be sure to drink it in moderation.
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This article was prepared by an expert. But this is for general information only. Before any action, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
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