Curing anaemia

Wellbeing

Curing anaemia
Iron is an essential nutrient required by the human body. In the blood, it is present in the form of haemoglobin that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. In the muscles, it takes the form of myoglobin that stores, transports and releases oxygen.

It is estimated that nearly a quarter of the world’s population suffers from iron deficiency, a condition that leads to anaemia. Some major causes for anaemia are insufficient iron content in the diet, excessive menstrual bleeding, inflammatory conditions, worm infestation and pregnancy.

The main symptoms of anaemia are fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, hair loss, paleness, anxiety, restless legs syndrome and persistent headache. When left untreated, anaemia can cause severe damage to the body tissues and in extreme cases may also be fatal.

While the common method to increase the iron content in the blood is to take supplements, over prolonged periods, it may lead to an overdose. Excessive iron intake causes toxicity, as the body cannot flush it out easily. Hence, iron content has to be regulated on a daily basis. Besides a healthy diet including iron-rich foods like fresh greens, dates, an effective way to add elemental iron to the diet is to use cast iron cookware.

Cooking in cast iron pots and pans is a traditional way to ensure a good supply of elemental iron in our diet, which we have unfortunately lost to the invasion of Teflon-coated cookware.

A study reveals that cooking in cast iron pots increases the iron content in food by as much as 17% compared to other methods. This addition of iron happens through the process of leaching. Being in elemental form, iron from the vessels is easily absorbed into the blood when ingested.

Cast iron vessels are not only cheap but long lasting too. The heat transfer is uniform and once they are conditioned, they can acquire the non-stick quality and also use less oil. Wouldn’t it be prudent to switch over then?

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