Cast Iron Fact #56

It Fortifies Food with Iron

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide with toddlers, postmenopausal, and pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans having an increased risk for the deficiency. Since cast-iron cookware is made of iron, it releases some of this goodness into our foods. In fact, when you cook some added acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in cast iron, you can increase the iron content of your food by up to 30%.

Iron plays a significant role in many diverse functions because it helps the blood carry oxygen to the lungs, muscles and all parts of our bodies. Because of this role, it also is involved in brain function and helps keep our immune system strong.

How to Get More Iron

Iron comes from a variety of foods: meat, poultry and seafood, as well as legumes, enriched grain products and leafy green vegetables.

Animal sources of iron (which contain heme iron) are best absorbed, while plant sources (non-heme iron) should be eaten with a vitamin C source to help increase its absorption. For example, serve iron-fortified cereals with grapefruit or 100-percent orange juice, and cook beans with tomatoes in a chilli. Cooking food in a cast iron pan also can increase iron content.

 

For example, here is the iron content in some common foods:

  •  3-ounce hamburger: 2.5 milligrams

  •  ½ cup cooked, baked or refried beans: 2 to 3 milligrams

  •  1 slice enriched bread: 1 milligram

  • 1 cup iron-fortified breakfast cereal: 4 milligrams, more or less (for cereal, check the Nutrition Facts Label on food packaging for the specific amount.

 

Whats your favourite dish that’s packed with Iron do you cook in your Cast Iron Pan?? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Cast Iron Section At Straight Outta My Kitchen. See Ya Next Monday For Cast Iron Fact’s Monday.

 

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