Microwaves Reduce Nutrients in Food


There are likely very few high school students and no elementary students who remember living in a home without a microwave oven. These age groups have always been able to put pastries, popcorn, pizza, water, chicken, and just about any food or hot beverage into a microwave and have it be hot and ready eat or drink in less than 5 minutes.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s food was prepared on top of a stove or in the oven. Yes it is true it took a longer period to cook chicken. I am sure there were anxious husbands and children waiting for dinner. Instead of practicing and teaching patience people began looking for a faster way to get their meals prepared. Of course companies leaped to the challenge of finding a speedier way for wives and moms to cook.

According to Gallawa.com the microwave is older than I ever thought.

In 1947, the first microwave oven was introduced to the world. It was called a “Radarange.” It was about the size of a refrigerator and cost between $2,000 and $3,000. This microwave was not intended for home use. It was for commercial use. Sometime between 1952-1955 the first home model priced at $1295 was introduced. Two years later, the first counter top, domestic microwave oven was introduced. It was a 100-volt oven, which cost around $500 and was smaller, safer and more reliable than previous models. Fears of excessive radiation, going blind or being sterile from these fast cooking ovens did not discourage the American people from placing them in their homes. The speedy way of cooking was so appealing that people were quick to overlook the dangers. In 1975 microwave sales sky rocketed and exceeded sales of even the gas range.

Through the years there have been many studies and questions regarding the safety and healthiness of the food coming out of the microwave. Most of the studies have been about the dangers of the unit itself. From time to time a new study will come out telling us not to stand in front of the oven when it is operating, not to use plastic dishes in the oven, etc.

Always the industry has claimed that the foods coming out of the unit were safe. That the nutrients and vitamins had been protected in the cooking process. Recent studies have finally come out to tell us what microwaves actually do and do not do to our food. It is really worth your time to continue reading.

First of all we all know the texture of the food is changed when you remove it from the microwave. Pizza crust is not crispy, but is rubbery. We know that we lose the good smell and flavors that are cooked in during a slow cooking time. However, what do we know about the nutrients and vitamins in our food prepared in the microwave?

Does cooking your food in a microwave change the acids, fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients in your food? Studies from reliable sources have said yes. Now, does cooking a meal in a microwave from time to time do real harm to us? Probably not. How about those of us who use our microwaves on a daily basis? What will that do to our health?

First let’s look at the over all healthiness of our produce and food. The earth has become depleted of nutrients and minerals in it’s soil. Therefore our produce does not have the minerals to begin with that it once did. Then we “zap” it in the microwave. Which heats it at such a rapid speed and high temp that it destroys even more of the minerals and nutrients. By the time you heat garlic at such a high heat it loses all of it’s cancer preventing ingredient. The study shows that broccoli loses up to 97% of its antioxidants. Steamed broccoli only loses around 11%.

In this modern day and time moms sometimes will place a baby bottle of breast milk into the microwave to warm up. I know when a baby is crying the sooner you get that bottle ready, the better. Right? In your need for quickness, with out knowing it you are destroying the disease fighting nutrients found in breast milk. This method also encourages growth of bacteria in the milk. In this case quicker is not better.

Leftovers heated in a microwave does not seem to lose as much of the nutrients and minerals as food actually prepared in the microwave. Never use plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave. When heated these two items release dioxins.

The microwave oven not only takes away from our food it also adds to it. Cooking in a microwave adds radiolytic compounds to our foods. These compounds are not found in nature nor humans. It is not known what these compounds will do to our bodies. It is believed they are not promoting good health.

Maybe cooking your meals in the microwave is not the healthiest way to go. Alternatives to microwave cooking would be a better choice in preparing food for our families. Try steaming, baking, and using crock pots to do our cooking. Of course you get more nutrients, minerals and vitamins from uncooked vegetables and unheated dairy products.

Microwave cooking is something we all need to take a close look at. We all need to see if the convenience out weighs the dangers. Please follow the link below to get more information to help you make this decision.


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