Why an Iron Fish Can Make You Stronger
Anaemia, which is one of the most common nutritional problems in the world, affects young children, teens and pregnant women. A Canadian science graduate, Christopher Charles came up with a gadget, Iron Fish which could be used to increase the iron levels in the right amount when boiled in water or soup for ten minutes. This releases the iron from the Iron Fish and enhances the iron content. If this procedure is followed daily, then it provides for 75% of an adult’s daily recommended iron intake and more in the case of children.
Anaemia in Cambodia
When Dr. Charles visited some villages in Cambodia, he came across children who were small and weak with slow mental development. The women too, were feeble and complained of tiredness and headaches. The pregnant women had a lot of health complications before and after childbirth and experienced haemorrhaging. This was mainly due to anaemia caused by iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency anaemia is often due to a poor diet. Their diet usually consists of a bowl of rice and some fish.
Foods such as red meat are a good source of iron. Spinach too provides iron, but overcooking can kill the nutrients.
The usual treatment of iron supplements was not found to be effective. They were also expensive, not easily available and even caused side effects.
The Iron Fish Idea
Dr. Charles came out with an idea. This was based on earlier research, where the iron content of food increased when cooking in cast iron pots. He devised a gadget, Iron Fish. The gadget was shaped like a fish, since it is a symbol of luck according to Cambodian culture. It is 3 inches long and weighs 200g. When the Iron Fish is boiled in water or soup for 10 minutes, it releases iron from the gadget. The Iron Fish then needs to be taken out and a small amount of lemon juice needs to be added, which is essential for iron absorption. It provides for 75% of the recommended amount of an adult’s daily iron intake and more in the case of children. More than half of the people who followed this procedure were no longer anaemic after 12 months.
Benefits of Iron Fish
The Lucky Iron Fish company has distributed this gadget to several organizations and many of the people in Cambodia are using the Iron Fish. This gadget was not too costly, with no side effects and increased the iron levels, bringing down the rate of those suffering from anaemia.
What is Iron Deficiency?
In anaemia that is caused due to iron deficiency, there will be a reduction in the number of red blood cells. Iron produces red blood cells, which is essential for storing and carrying oxygen in the blood. If the red blood cells are less, then there will be less amount of oxygen supplied to the organs and tissues. This in turn causes a lot of problems like tiredness, breathing problems, and paleness of the skin. The people are more prone to infections and illness and the most affected are the children and pregnant women.
Anaemia is believed to contribute to about 20% deaths during pregnancy. The Lucky Iron Fish is planning to send this gadget, Iron Fish to parts of the world that need them.