Even though it is extremely easy and convenient to just reach for a frozen dish and prepare a meal in minutes by following instructions written on the back, have you ever wondered is it healthy?
Modern-day society is relying on convenience, and according to The Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communication, and Computation (SMECC), more than 95 percent of households in the United States own a microwave, and use it daily. Microwave is also considered an essential part of their kitchen by more than 70 percent of people who own one.
While your frozen meal may consist of healthy products with low caloric impact, the way you prepare the dish directly affects the amount of nutrients that actually remain in it. The microwave oven preparation method will significantly reduce the nutritious value of your meal, which directly affects your health and increases the chances of developing some serious conditions.
Here are some reasons why you should avoid using the microwave:
- The taste
Meals prepared in a microwave will never taste as good as those prepared on a stove. This rule applies to reheating too. College students can testify to the fact that ramen noodles are just endlessly better tasting when you cook them on a hob. The simple fact is that there is no time for flavors to develop in the short time it takes to cook a meal in the microwave, and the same applies to the partially cooked ones. When reheating food it doesn’t get evenly heated through as it would on a stove, where you can mix and stir the food as it reheats.
- Health factors
There is a lot of disagreement, even in the scientific community, on the microwave radiation harmfulness. It is a fact that radiation is used to heat the food, but the debate is on whether some of the radiation leaks out, or is it all contained within the microwave.
There are stories of patients passing on after receiving microwaved blood transfusions, as well as babies being harmed by microwaved breast milk. All of these reported cases show a strong link between microwaves and harm caused to us.
- Nutrient decline
There is evidence that microwaves reduce nutrients in food. Any cooking will actually change the nutrients in food in some way, though low and slow cooking seems to preserve the most nutrients while faster methods of cooking (microwave being the fastest) destroy more nutrients.
- Three recent studies of historical food composition have shown 5-40% declines in some of the minerals in fresh produce, and another study found a similar decline in our protein sources.
- In a study performed on garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic’s principle active anti-cancer ingredient.
- Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria
- A recent Australian study showed that micro- waves cause a higher degree of “protein unfolding” than conventional heating.
- A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97%of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.
- Alpha waive disturbance
Microwaves cause significant disturbance in alpha, beta, and delta brain wave patterns. This can lead to memory loss, decreased ability to focus, and sleep pattern disorders.