You don't have to be a tea connoisseur to know that as a drink, tea can compliment your meals in ways that go beyond taste.
Pairing tastes is an ancient practice when it comes to tea but nutritional complimenting of tea with certain foods is becoming more and more popular now as well.
Although there is a lot of controversy over the effects of tea on iron absorption after meals, tea has been proven to help with digestion. It contains catechins that aid in the production of digestive enzymes such as pepsin that help breakdown proteins in the stomach.
Here are some general guidelines to help you navigate this new skill set:
Pairing for Taste:
When pairing for taste, here are a few things to take into consideration.
- Green Teas are light teas and are great with light but well seasoned foods such as fish and sushi. They also work well with Asian cuisine. Be sure to have a pot of Lipton Green Tea ready for the next time you order Chinese food!
- Black tea's are rich, aromatic and robust. They have the potential to overpower lighter foods. So with Red and Black blends be sure to choose strong and rich foods such as steak and mashed potatoes or a roast with a pasta with rich white sauce. Lipton Black tea can also help balance a heavy meal that has the potential of making you sleepy.
- Scented and sweet teas go well with sweets. Lipton's herbal range Anise, Hibiscus , Chamomile, Mint & Lemon Ginger, pair well with your dessert, your evening pound cake or biscuits
Pairing For Nutrition
When aiming to pair tea with a food for nutrition, try to combine your favorite tea's strongest nutritional features with that of the food you are planning to eat.
For example, Pairing Green Tea with Oatmeal can help boost your metabolism while utilizing the hearty protein element in oatmeal that can keep you stay feeling full for hours.
- 1/2 cup Green Tea with a fruit or berry flavor (steep Lipton Green Tea with Apple in half a cup of hot water 15 mins before you use it for the recipe.
- 1 cup water - 1/2 a cup of old fashioned preferably large flakes oats
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tbsp clover honey
- 1/4 cup low fat milk or soy milk
- 1 scoop powdered protein
- 1/4 cup frozen berries Instructions:
- Prepare the oats by boiling them the traditional way oats are prepared
- Remove oats from heat and stir in the flax seeds and honey
- Combine your milk and protein in a blender and pour over your oatmeal
- Add frozen berries
Who should avoid tea with food
Tea actually does marginally inhibit the absorption of iron in the intestine's lining. This is due to the phenolic compounds present in tea.
Therefore, individuals suffering from iron-deficiencies should limit their intake of teas during meals.
Menstruating women or women who have just given birth, as well as vegans and vegetarians who may be low on iron because of their specific circumstances should avoid combining tea with their main meals.