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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Cast iron skillet to raise iron levels?


08-06-2010, 05:00 PM   #1
Crohnadian
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Cast iron skillet to raise iron levels?

My father and I have been doing some research and came across the idea of using a cast iron skillet to help infuse my foods with iron in an attempt to raise my iron levels (iron pills are proving to be useless for me as is Proferrin). Has anybody else done this? There is only ONE study I can find from the 80's showing this as a viable option for iron-deficient people but I can't find anything to re-enforce this study. Any help? Thanks
08-06-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
rygon
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Personally I cant see it helping too much, theres going to be minute iron particles coming off the pan, once its been used a bit it builds up a protective coating which will stop that from happening as much. Guessing eating iron rich food will help.
Of course steak will help but so will spinach (sag aloo is amazing lol)

If i remember i'll try and post recipes that are rich in iron for you in the food forum (if i dont remember by a week msg me pls)
08-06-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
Crohnadian
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Cool thanks. My father used to sell these pans and told me there was a big warning back in the day NOT to use them as there was a lot of iron being released into the food (it was tripling and quadrupling food's natural iron levels). This site won't let me post a URL until I have 15 posts so please go to Google and type in "Iron skillet anemia" and you'll find a few links to the article, most are the same one. Please read them over as I would like to hear that you think based on this. Iron skillets do require special treatment so that they don't develop a coating and continue to function properly
08-06-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
scifi-enthusiast
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Of course steak will help...
Be careful how much red meat you eat. Depending on the person, red meat can cause problems in crohn's patients. I know I had to cut down to eating red meat to twice a month, doctor's orders.
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Last edited by scifi-enthusiast; 08-06-2010 at 10:56 PM.
08-06-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
bethyd78
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My mom always cooked with black iron pots she swore that you could gain iron from there use. Of course it may be a old wives tail. But we all grew up fine. And no one ever suffered from anemia all 8 of us.
08-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
kari
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Cast iron pans do actually help with iron especially when you add some lemon or tomato to the food.

cast iron
08-08-2010, 09:19 AM   #7
Crohnadian
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That is the study I was referring to. But that is also the problem. Any and every article you will find on the internet pertaining to this claim about cast iron skillets links to this one and only study done on the topic. There's no other studies out there on it. That's why I was wondering if anybody's had personal experience with this.
08-08-2010, 10:30 AM   #8
Silvermoon
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Cooking with the lemon/tomato/apple sauce makes sense, as these are acidic and would help break down the iron in the skillet to be absorbed into the food.

As to how MUCH of that iron, once in your food, would be absorbed into your body, I don't know. That is like the meat/broccoli iron debate: sure a cup of broccoli contains the same amount of iron as 2-3 ounces of meat, but the amount that is readily absorbed into your body is minimal from broccoli...you have to actually eat aboout 5 cups of broccoli to absorb that same amount of iron out of the meat.....

All that being said, I don't think it is going to hurt! Every little bit helps. So I would go for it! (As a matter of fact, I never thought of the idea before, and am now seriously concidering going and getting my iron skillets out of the holiday trailer and adding them to my regular kitchen ware!! LOL!)
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08-08-2010, 11:05 AM   #9
MisB
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OMG...iron skillets. In order to best cook in them and preserve them, thy must be prepared. This means coating them completely in shortening, placeing on a bake dish and baking in a high temp oven for about an hour. It's been a while since I've done this, and I need to refresh my memory so I'll post it here when I do. What this process does is seals and provides a non-stick coat to the skillet whether it is to be for stove top or baking. It takes several processes for a good seal. In my opinion, once this seal is provided, I would think little to no iron would gain access to the food. However, having grown up in a southern home with mostly iron cookware, the food flavor and clean up are a lot easier with a well-seasoned iron skillet and they make a great weapon when you spouse comes home late.
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08-09-2010, 12:11 AM   #10
tmgread
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My favorite piece of cookware is my cast iron skillet. They are inexpensive, so buy one and try it out. I'm not sure if it will help with your iron levels, but it can't hurt. Just don't use soap to clean it or it will have to be seasoned again.
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08-09-2010, 01:40 AM   #11
MisB
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Thanks Tina, I forgot about the soap. Not only that, but don't leave them wet. they'll rust and you have to re-season them again. Sometimes it's a pain to season, but well worth it. Thay don't make things like they use to.
08-09-2010, 01:55 AM   #12
saidinstouch
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I love my skillet, but as said before the whole idea is that you essentially bond oil (or shortening) to it which creates a carbon layer that acts as a non-stick surface. You can use acidic foods to break through this and maybe get some iron, but that also ruins the seasoning and leads to foods sticking...which leads to the use of soap...which leads to the tedious reseasoning process. Also, I doubt the amount of iron coming off in the normal cooking process in today's skillets is substantial enough to matter.

However, I LOVE my skillet since it can be used to cook stovetop or in the oven or as a broiling pan. It is damned versatile and super easy to clean. Also, you get a great sear on foods that traditional non-stick cookware can't do. Who doesn't love a pan where it is highly recommended that the first item you cook in it when you get home from the store is bacon (assuming you can eat bacon like I can)?

All in all, you can get a lodge (best us brand) pre-seasoned 12" cast iron skillet for around $30 at crate and barrel or other similar stores. You can also find them very cheap on amazon if you want a variety in sizes. It can't really hurt to get one to cook with as it will become one of your favorite pans to use and complements any cook set (stainless or non-stick) very well. The heat distribution rocks, and it really is non-stick if you maintain it well. Just do a little reading on how awesome they are and get one! If it helps your iron that is a bonus.

Ultimately, don't rely on the skillet for iron, but use it to cook iron rich foods! Also, there are many other iron supplement options than the ones you listed that might help, so try those as well.
08-09-2010, 02:48 AM   #13
Dallies
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A very interesting thread!


It is suggested that one can increase the body's iron absorption of a non-heme iron source if cooked in an iron pot.

Iron-rich foods include raisins, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, red meat (liver is the highest source), fish, poultry, eggs (yolk), legumes (green peas and beans), chick peas, almonds, apricots, beet root, pomegranate, dates, figs, and whole grain bread.

However iron is absorbed in the small intestine and if this part is diseased........................
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Last edited by Dallies; 08-09-2010 at 02:51 AM.
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