The Fe bioavailability and the weight gains were evaluated in rats fed a commonly consumed Tunisian meal 'bean seeds ragout' (BSR), with or without beef and with black or green tea decoction. The Fe bioavailability was evaluated in Fe-deficient rats by the hemoglobin repletion method and the Fe stored in the liver. The addition of beef to the BSR significantly increased the Fe bioavailability from this meal by 147% and the reserve of Fe stored in the liver by 77% (P < 0.001). In contrast, both black and green tea decoctions caused a significant decrease of the Fe bioavailability from BSR meal (-19.6 +/- 4.9% and -14.9 +/- 4.1%, respectively). The reserve of Fe stored in the liver was significantly lower in the BSR, the black and the green tea groups than in the positive control group (FeSO4). The weight gains were significantly lower in the black and the green tea groups (3.9 +/- 5.7 g, 13 +/- 1.9 g, respectively) than in the BSR group (24.9 +/- 6 g). The addition of beef to BSR meal counteracted the inhibitory effect of the kidney bean and considerably improved the Fe bioavailability and the Fe stored in the liver of rats. The green tea decoction, which constitutes an important source of antioxidant factors, had the same inhibitory effect as the black tea decoction on the Fe bioavailability from BSR meal. In addition, both black and green teas significantly reduced the weight gains, where the black tea decoction has the most effect.