Microwaves are extremely convenient.
- They take just minutes to heat up our food, which is great when we’ve just got back from a long day at work.
- They’re the perfect solution for when we want to tuck into some leftovers out of the fridge.
- They also allow us to purchase ready made meals we can just pop straight into our clever little mini ovens.
But is all of this too good to be true? Have we really created something so miraculously quick and easy, whilst still keeping our food highly nutritious and healthy?
Life doesn’t tend to work like that… If it sounds to good to be true, that’s because it probably is!
Let’s first cover how microwaves actually work;
“Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules to vibrate 2.5 billion times per second, eventually turning to steam that heats your food. While your microwave can rapidly heat a dish, it also alters the food’s chemical structure. Structures of the water molecules are torn apart and forcefully deformed. This is different than conventional heating of food, whereby heat is transferred conventionally from the outside inward.”
Microwaves were only available for consumer use about 40 years ago and in that time, multiple studies have been conducted which highlight the dangers and the detriment these little devices have to our health. The findings of such studies are as follows;
Firstly, microwaves deplete the nutritional value in our food. We may think we’re consuming a healthy diet, but if we’re using a microwave to cook up these amazing meals, we’re actually undoing all of our efforts to be healthy.
The results from some studies linked to decreased nutrition;
The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2003 study found that broccoli cooked in a microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
Pediatrics, 1992 study found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1998 study found that six minutes of microwaving turned 30 to 40 percent of the B-12 in milk into an inert form – i.e. it was destroyed.
Secondly, if you use plastic containers when heating your food, you should stop doing so immediately. Toxic chemicals like BPA leak out into our food which cause hormone disruption, gut damage and are cancer causing. These include well documented carcinogens such as toluene, benzene and dioxin. Yikes! You might want to reconsider heating up that leftover Chinese…
Thirdly, whilst it’s been argued that microwaves are safe because they don’t cause thermal damage, what they do cause is biological damage. They cause internal free radicals but not just any free radicals either, they cause hydroxyl free radicals which are the most destructive known to man. These damage mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, which is the cause of most chronic disease!
Every time you turn on your microwave oven, you are exposing yourself to microwave radiation densities thousands of times higher than your mobile phone.
It might not be as convenient to prepare food from scratch, but it’s definitely a lot healthier. Taking food out of the freezer in the morning or heating up your morning porridge in a saucepan are great alternatives. Is it really that much hardship?
Make sure you do your research and take responsibility to help your health. We’re eating healthier, drinking more water, exercising regularly, but if we’re using microwaves, we’re undoing all our efforts and I would hate for that to happen to you.
Further information can be found on the following links;