They’re fast and convenient…but are they actually health promoting or even safe? What do they do to your food? Is it okay to use them now and then? Those are the things we will dive into in this post.
The use of microwaves has become an even more important topic as we, as a society, get busier and busier. Plus, as meal prepping and meal delivery has become more popular, popping pre-made meals in the microwave seems like a reasonable option for healthier fast food, right? Maybe not.
What do microwaves do to your food?
An animal study done in 2017 found that microwaving food damaged antioxidants in general as well as vitamin E and vitamin A, specifically.1 This alone should be enough to ban them. Inflammation is at the root of nearly all disease…antioxidants help to mediate inflammation. Vitamin E is crucial for cell membranes and brain health. Vitamin A impacts your vision. Which of these would you like to do without?
A 2016 study revealed that vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients were decreased in microwaving while cancer causing properties were increased.2 This means you are getting less nutrition and more disease from the food that you planned to eat. This same study also found that microwaved food degrades nerve impulses in the brain.2 This is not okay for me…or you…or our future generation.
Another more recent study showed that microwaving your food decreased protein levels and destroyed several of the enzymes responsible for protecting your antioxidants. Again, this results in reduced nutrition and increased inflammation.
High powered microwaves are often used as part of a military tactic to block, mess up electronics in military vehicles. At this level, there is no question of a shortened lifespan and increase in cancerous tumors.3 Of course this isn’t the same intensity used for the purpose of heating food but it does further confirm the problems caused by microwaves.
Many studies indicate that these effects are dose dependent, meaning the longer you microwave and the more often you microwave, the worse the result will be.
If you are investing your hard-earned dollars into high quality healthy organic whole food, you won’t want to destroy it’s nutrients by microwaving it!
The best alternatives…
There’s a learning curve as you create new habits, but you can create them. I haven’t consumed microwaved food in over 15 years. The one that came in the house I currently live in now is used as an extra “cabinet” to store pans. (See, they still have a purpose).
The thing to do to avoid microwaves is to plan ahead. You can obviously heat up your leftovers in a pan or the oven…or you can slow cook foods in a crock pot. A small toaster oven can be a great alternative as well.
For things like oatmeal, you can easily just heat water in a tea kettle, pour over your oats and cover it for about 10 minutes. Another thing that I do when I am home is take already cooked leftovers out of the fridge about an hour before I plan to eat. I usually don’t love most of my food cold, but I don’t mind it room temperature so that’s another time saving hack (if you’re home and able to do this). You could do this at work too.
Also, note that when you eat out, many restaurants use microwaves to cook, warm or re-heat your food. This applies not only to fast food but also to many “nicer” restaurants.
Slow down. You are worth the time it takes to cook or heat your food with out a microwave. If you use fast food methods for food prep, you can only expect a fast food body and fast food health.
If you need help navigating an entire new and vibrant healthy lifestyle, feel free to reach out. We’d love to help you! 269-204-6525
1. Eke BC, Jibiri NN, Bede EN, Anusionwu BC, Orji CE, Alisi CS. Effect of ingestion of microwaved foods on serum anti-oxidant enzymes and vitamins of albino rats. J Radiat Res Appl Sci. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.jrras.2017.03.001
2. Sudharshan K. Adverse effects of microwaves. Int J PharmTech Res. 2016.
3. De Seze R, Poutriquet C, Gamez C, et al. Repeated exposure to nanosecond high power pulsed microwaves increases cancer incidence in rat. PLoS One. 2020. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0226858
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.