Lemons have long been one of the many things people have added to tea. Until recently, other than adding a bit of flavor and vitamin C, the full health effects of this addition were not fully known. Some recent research has shown that drinking tea with lemon also increases our bodies’ ability to absorb the unique antioxidants in tea.
Research out of Purdue University found that citrus juice brings out tea’s antioxidants and makes them more available for our bodies to absorb. Catechins in tea prefer the acid environment of the stomach but they become degraded in the more alkaline conditions of the intestines, where nutrient absorption takes place. Lemon juice can increase the amount of catechins your body extracts from green tea by up to six times. While compounds in tea can inhibit iron absorption from foods in your diet, drinking your tea with lemon reduces that effect.