Cast-iron cookware has seen a turbulent uprising in the recent past. What was once an indispensable part of every kitchen house-hold fell victim to its much cheaper cousin – the stainless steel and Teflon coated non-stick cookwares. But with dominance of stainless steel and Teflon came a very nasty surprise -Iron deficiency anemia, the repercussions of which we are starting to feel today. If one is to go by the findings published in International Journal of Advanced Research(IJAR), a whopping more than 40% of people in India suffer from the disease.
It affects people of all age groups equally, and majority don’t notice it because of the silent nature of the disease. Scientists aptly call it the silent killer because the symptoms start pervading into your life at a very slow pace but ultimately cause serious consequences. It starts with fatigue which people attribute to daily toil at the workplace, shortness of breath which people misjudge to be the effect of a sedentary lifestyle. But unnoticeably, the body is going through a host of changes:
- Oxygen carrying RBC production is slowed down because of the unavailability of Iron.
- Blood starts to thin and clotting during injury takes lot of time than it did previously.
- A general sense of weakness because of low amount of iron feeding RBC circulating in the blood.
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Progressively, the symptoms get worse and lead to premature aging and a host of other serious health complications. Women, in general, are more at risk of iron deficiency anemia because of loss of blood during menstruation. Pregnant women need to consume more iron-rich food because iron is vital component for a developing fetus. The current generation of people using stainless steel cookware loose out on iron, because the chromium coating given to it, prevents imbibition of iron into the cooked food. The Teflon coated non-sticks are functional but one can reasonably assume that Teflon from the pan scrapes and seeps into the cooked food. A recent study by the American Cancer Society(ACS) has found that Perfluorooctanoic acid(PFOA) used to make Teflon causes cancer in the long term. A lot of lifestyle changes are needed to keep iron deficiency anemia and cancers caused by Teflon and stainless steel cookware in check. But all the effort can be substituted by just switching to cast-iron cookware.
Cast-iron cookware makes it simple, whenever food is prepared a fractional quantity of pure iron imbibes into the food. Unnoticeably over a period of time, this mode of iron consumption completely prevents or wholly cures iron-deficiency anemia. Think about our ancestors, who used iron cookwares, they never faced any iron deficiency ailments, never had to especially consume iron-fortified tablets, never had to voluntarily search for and eat iron-rich food. They got all the iron they needed just from the cookware they used to make food.
Just by turning to cast iron cookware to prepare everyday food, RBC level in blood starts to increase because of increased iron consumption. The first changes come in the form of change in personal outlook, you start to feel more energetic, positive change in mood, vibrant and lively throughout the day. Not only that, but cast iron cookware gives a traditional earthy flavor to the food similar to what was consumed by our ancestors because of even spreading of the heat and a slow cooking process that imbibes earthbound iron flavor to the cooked food. Both trademark qualities of cast-iron cookware.
Parents are responsible for the well-being of their kids and a step towards achieving that would be to start using cast-iron cookware for a iron-clad and healthy life. Cast-iron cookware is a treasure, a family heirloom that can be passed down for generations.