Does cooking with cast iron = more iron in your food?

Yes, cooking in a cast iron pot is considered to be the easiest way to boost iron intake, in addition to eating more iron-rich foods like beans, spinach, and meats. The iron in the cookware is no different from the iron in your body- you just have a much smaller amount. So if you would like to boost your dietary iron, you should start cooking you favorite meals with a cast iron pot.

How Does the Cast Iron Pot Add a Significant Amount of Iron to Your Food & into Your Body?

While cooking with cast iron skillet, individual iron atoms either flake off or are chemically absorbed by your food. Once the food is ready and you’re enjoying it, the iron atoms make their way into your stomach, where they get absorbed into your body, and eventually put to use in making ferritin, hemoglobin and other containing proteins.

The Importance of Iron to the Body

Your body needs just the right amount of iron in order to function well. It’s an essential nutrient for all the cells in your body, and helps transport oxygen through myoglobin in muscles and the hemoglobin in the blood. A lack of iron in red blood cells results in a condition known as anemia or iron deficiency.

On the other hand, too much iron leads to a serious condition referred to as iron toxicity. It’s likely to affect children under the age of 3 years, and symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and hemorrhaging. So to be on the safer side, you should avoid preparing food for the young ones in iron pots.

Factors that May Boost the Iron Content in Your Food While Cooking With a Cast Iron Pot

• Using a new cast iron pot

• Frequent stirring

• Longer cooking time.

Can You Get More Iron in All Food While Cooking with Cast Iron Pot?

If you would like to increase your dietary iron, you can get the best results by cooking moist, acidic foods like scrambled eggs, applesauce, tomato sauce, chili, stew, etc. A cup of these foods can get you 6- 8 milligrams of iron. Other foods, non-acidic ones, such as liver with onions, hamburger, pancakes, cornbread, rice and corn tortillas, don’t absorb iron as much. This may be due to their shorter cooking times as well as the fact that they are either turned once or not at all, which results in less contact with the iron.

Prove that Cooking with Cast Iron Mean You Get More Iron in Your Food

Researchers have found out that cooking in a cast iron pot boosts the iron content of many foods. They claim that acidic foods, which have higher moisture content, such as spaghetti sauce and applesauce, absorb the most iron. A perfect example is a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The researchers found out that the iron content in 100 (about 3.5oz) grams of spaghetti sauce and applesauce each, increased from 0.6mg to 5.7 mg and 0.6mg to 5.7mg respectively, after being cooked in a cast iron pot.


If you would like to boost your iron intake, you need to start cooking with cast iron pot. The amount of iron that gets transferred from the cookware to the food happens to be just enough and can be a significant source of dietary iron. Overall, cooking acidic foods with a cast iron pot is a safe and effective way to increase iron intake, and doesn’t pose any risk of iron overload in healthy people.


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