From the Archives (February 21, 1922): How to eat iron

Iron is an essential element in the food of man and the higher animals, and the best way to take it into the system is not in the form of pills and tinctures, but by the consumption of vegetable food containing the metal. An exhaustive study of the distribution of iron in various parts of plants has been made by L. Maquenne and R. Cerighelli, whose report appears in the Comptes Rendus (Paris) of the French Academy of Sciences. They say, in substance: “iron exists in plants in two distinct forms: that of the insoluble peroxide, which is deposited by evaporation or chemically fixed upon the cellular membranes, and that of an organic compound. This latter form is the only one of importance, but it may be masked by the other if the latter predominates. Our records show that potatoes, carrots, and the leaves of spinach, lettuce and romaine are exceptionally rich in iron; but in these only a very slight proportion of iron exists dissolved in the cell sap, and this is almost entirely precipitated by boiling.

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