Saturday, March 27, 2010

Iron Pots

Cooking healthy again, like thee old times, is the new way of living.

We need to find alternative ways cook our foods and not use manufactured clad/ aluminum/ tephlon/ caphlon/ who-knows-what-type material pots, as the chemicals from these seep into foods when cooking.

Cooking in a cast iron Dutch Oven, Fryer, Skillet, Grill Pan, Biscuit and Muffin pan is a healthy way to prepare food and can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body.  This has been shown in various studies, published in the Journal of Food Science. In addition to eating more iron-rich foods like meats, beans, and spinach, cooking in a cast iron pot is an easy way to boost your iron intake.

Iron is an essential nutrient for all the cells in our body. Iron's main job is to help transport oxygen through hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscles. In order to function well, your body needs just the right amount of iron, which depends on your age and gender. A lack of iron in red blood cells leads to a condition known as iron deficiency or anemia. On the other hand, too much iron can lead to a dangerous condition called iron toxicity. Children under age three are particularly susceptible to iron toxicity. To be on the safe side, avoid cooking foods for young children in iron pots.

Researchers have found that cooking in an iron skillet greatly increases the iron content of many foods. Acidic foods that have a higher moisture content, such as applesauce and spaghetti sauce, absorb the most iron. For example, one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that the iron content in 100 grams of spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg after being cooked in a cast iron pot. Other factors that boost the iron content of foods include longer cooking time, frequent stirring, and using a newer iron skillet.  However, not all foods increase this much in iron; For example, hamburger, corn tortillas, cornbread, and liver with onions didn't absorb as much iron, probably due to shorter cooking times, and the fact that they were turned once, resulting in less contact with the iron.  Also instead of deep frying, try a healthier cooking method that still packs a lot of flavor like roasting, grilling, or using a marinade.  Look for these pots in every store... there everywhere now.

Another healthy way to cook; the natural iron in the cookware is no different from the iron in our bodies.

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