We all know there are extensive health benefits from eating healthy foods.  But did you know that your cookware can also affect your health?  It’s true!

Cast iron cookware offers many health benefits.  For one, cooking in a cast iron skillet has been shown to add up to 20% more iron to food.  Most of us could use a little more iron in our diets!  Secondly, cast iron pans do not have the protective non-stick coating that newer cookware is coated with.  While that may not sound like a good thing, food does not stick to a well-seasoned cast iron skillet so there is no need for a protective coating.  Because food doesn’t stick, you don’t need to cook with as much oil, which lowers the fat and calories in food.  The lack of non-stick coating/finish means that there are no harmful chemicals that can be transferred to your foods; only iron is getting into your food.

In addition to the health benefits, cast iron cookware is a good investment for many other reasons.  Cast iron heats evenly and consistently and can go straight from the oven to stove.  It can be used for almost anything: baking, stir fry, one pot meals, etc.   No special utensils are needed, clean up is very easy, and the pans never buckle.  Cast iron lasts forever and can even be passed from generation to generation.  Surprisingly, cast iron cookware is pretty inexpensive.  The skillet pictured above costs less than $30!

Obviously, I love cooking in my cast iron skillet and am a bit biased.  But I can be fair and present the down-side of cast iron cookware.  If you’ve ever picked up a cast iron skillet, you know it’s heavy.  But why not lift it up and down a few times and call it a workout?  This might just be a benefit!  Cast iron skillets need to be washed with hot water and a stiff nylon brush (no dishwashing soap) and can not be run through the dishwasher.

Do you cook with a cast iron skillet?  What are your thoughts about it?

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